Church: A Community On Mission

I’m still having a hard time wrapping my mind around everything God did this weekend. That’s probably because He did so much – our first ever leadership retreat, saying goodbye to Blake as a worship leader at Restoration City, and a Sunday morning gathering focused on the refugee crisis unfolding in the Middle East.  So many different emotions in such a short period of time!  But all of it was a reminder to me that the church is meant to be a community on mission.  When we get that right, everything else seems to fall into place.

I love our leadership team at Restoration City!  They’re an incredible group of leaders, Jesus followers and friends.  I’ve loved watching God build this team over the last two years – we’ve grown in number, in maturity and in respect for one another.  All of that was so evident as we carved out a few hours on Saturday morning to process where we’re headed as a church for the rest of 2016 and into 2017.  I loved listening to our team debate, challenge one another, affirm one another and get to a better place than we ever could without broad input.  I’m grateful for a culture where we see leadership as a team sport.

Saying goodbye to Blake was a bittersweet reminder of what a joy it is to lead and serve in community.  In case you weren’t able to join us on Sunday, we honored Blake as he and Tally get ready to move to Chapel Hill so he can pursue his MBA at UNC.  As excited as we are for them, I’m sure going to miss him!  It was a great reminder coming out of the leadership retreat not to take any of this for granted.  We all need to lean in and enjoy the time the Lord gives us to serve together.

Community is a really big deal for us at Restoration City.  But we’re asking God to create a distinct kind of community – one on mission.  That’s why I loved having Maggie Konstanski from World Relief with us yesterday.  She did such an amazing job of helping us understand the current refugee crisis and think biblically about it.  I loved the reminder that our community doesn’t exist to serve ourselves.  We exist for the good of our city and our world.  We exist to serve and lift others to a new and eternal life in Jesus.

At the end of it all, my heart is full.  I love our church.  I love the community God is building.  And I love the mission He’s given us.  So, let’s keep pressing forward!

Talking Syrian Refugee Crisis This Sunday At Restoration City

Syrian-refugees-landing

We’re going to be taking a one week break from our Sacred Trust series this weekend to welcome a special guest, Maggie Konstanski, to Restoration City.  Maggie works as World Relief‘s Disaster Response Manager and is an expert on the church’s response to the refugee crisis in Syria and Iraq. I’m excited for her to share her experiences in the region and help us think biblically about this issue.  After I take a couple of minutes to set up our conversation out of Scripture, I’ll do an extended interview with Maggie.

 

Our ability to have Maggie with us goes all the way back to this fall when we celebrated Restoration City’s one year anniversary.  At that time, our church gave to three causes: Casa Chirilagua here in DC, flood relief in South Carolina and the refugee crisis in Syria.  Some of the folks at World Relief heard about the generosity of a little one year old church plant and offered to have Maggie come spend a morning with us – and we jumped at the chance!  She’s a phenomenal communicator who loves Jesus, the local church and seeing that church mobilized to make a difference in the world.

That’s our heart for this Sunday – to tackle a topic that is very much in the national conversation from a biblical perspective.  Sunday isn’t about making a political statement.  It’s about helping us all see that the Scriptures speak to the most pressing issues of our day and giving us a model for how we can engage those questions in the public square.  We want to learn to think biblically on topics like this.

It’s also going to be a great Sunday to invite your friends.  There is deep interest in this crisis and many will be surprised to hear a church is even touching on the topic.  Invite some people to join you – it might be an amazing catalyst to a conversation about God’s heart for justice as expressed through the gospel.

Sunday’s going to be a great day for our church – I can’t wait to experience it with all of you!