Prayer and Revival (plantMIDWEST Detroit Q1)

Posted: February 25, 2015 by tylerpstclair in Church Planting
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As you may know, Restore Church is a part of a church planting movement called plantMIDWEST Detroit.
plantMIDWEST Detroit is a gospel-centered, Holy Spirit-empowered, church-planting movement that helps leaders gather to learn, pray, and connect.  Yesterday, plantMIDWEST Detroit held the first quarterly meeting for 2015 here at the PO.  Pastor Kenny Petty from St. Louis, MO kicked us off with the topic of “Prayer and Revival.”

The first thing that struck me about Pastor Kenny Petty was his sheer humility and awe of God’s grace in his life.  “I’m not going to act like I’m this big time conference speaker, I’m totally blown away by God’s grace right now,” said Pastor Petty as he stood up to minister to us.  Pastor Petty went on to tell us about how The Lord Jesus rescued him from drugs, violence, and gangs while in solitary confinement in prison by reading Psalms 51.

In session 1, Pastor Petty emphasised the absolute need for prayer for spiritual revival in our cities and country.  
You can listen HERE to this message. Here are some quotes from his message:

“Throughout history, there has never been a great move of God without united, persistent, kingdom centered prayer.”

“We need to be in prayer for spiritual renewal in our lives and the lives of others.”

“No man is greater than his prayer life. The leader that is not praying is playing and believer that is not praying is straying.”

In session 2, Pastor Petty broke down the keys to revival found in The Book of Acts.  To see God send a true revival/spiritual awakening like during the days of the apostles we need (1) pray bold, earnest prayers (2) Christ-centered preaching and (3) contextual church planting. You can listen HERE to this message.

You can also check out the Q and A session HERE.

Grace, the Engine of the church

Posted: February 24, 2015 by Nick in Uncategorized

In the end of Titus 2, following a series of practical lists, out of nowhere Apostle Paul writes to Titus the explosive message of the gospel of grace. The gospel of grace is what makes all of the practical things function in their proper relationship with one another. In other words, grace is the engine for the churchGrace is the engine that fills the church. Is it ridiculously exclusive to say that there is only one way to God? This most exclusive message is actually the most inclusive message for everybody. There’s one door but there is enough room for everybody. Is your name on the list? Jesus puts all of our names on the list to enter the kingdom of God, simply by grace. In essence, we receive our all-access pass to the kingdom of God. Grace is also the engine that fuels the church. It teaches us to say no to ungodliness and unholiness, and to say yes to godliness and holiness. We’re identified not for what we’re not but what we are. This grace of God that brings salvation transforms our desires. It produces people to be a people that can’t wait to do what pleases him. How does God’s grace do what we can’t seem to do? Jesus obeyed for us because he knew we couldn’t. He hung on the the tree to absorb the wrath so that we can say yes. We don’t obey because we have to, but because you want to. Lastly, grace is the engine that focuses the church. We’re not boxers but professional wrestlers for we already know that no matter how bad we suffer we win in the end. God the producer has had the backstage talk with us before the match. It may seem as though there is no way that we could be victorious, but by God’s grace, all the uncertainty and fears will be relieved. Knowing that our hands will be raised in victory allows us to focus not on what we see but what we will see, standing before the literal throne of God without fear or anxiety for we know that we are forgiven, accepted, loved, and are His. This empowers us to keep fighting. Grace also helps us focus on our new identity. We’re now part of his people, a new people being formed by all people, gathered as one people. This does not mean that we don’t identify with our own people, but they become our secondary identities for our primary identity is being God’s people. This allows us to see God in ways where we never would have known before, and to show God in ways we never would have before. The world takes notice to God’s people. With grace, there is the power to reconcile the irreconcilable and to unite the non-unitable. Have you experienced this grace? God is calling us to proclaim this grace. Where does it start for you? You can listen to this powerful message of grace from Titus 2 by Pastor Cole Brown HERE!

Let us continue to lift up Pastor Cole Brown and his wife ReShawn in our prayers as they prepare to plant a church in Mexico City, that God may provide them with all of their needs and that they might be linked with the preordained partners from all over the world for the sake of the gospel!

If you have not bought your tickets for the Mission Home Conference on March 6-7 you can buy them at http://www.missionhome.net/. It will be hosted by one of our partners First Presbyterian Church of Trenton. As sited on the website, it is a two-day conference which explores how the Gospel transforms the family. This is not just a conference for moms and dads. No matter what age or stage of life you are in, you are part of a family which needs to be profoundly impacted by the Gospel.” Enough said.

Why Partnership?

Posted: February 18, 2015 by Nick in Uncategorized
What does church partnership, or membership, have anything to do with Mr. Potato Head? The way we see it at Restore, partnership is like a Mr. Potato Head in the sense that, just as the different parts have to go in the right place to complete the toy, different people are placed in the appropriate spots where they belong, ultimately serving one another for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is not like Netflix or a membership at the zoo, where there is no commitment and paying a monthly fee is what keeps your membership. You don’t have to upload the movies and maintain the website, or feed the animals and clean up after them. It is true that the word partnership is not in the bible but it is biblically implied such has the deity of Christ and the Trinity. Israelites had to be circumcised to be a part of the covenant community, and in the similar way church partnership is what brings the body of Christ together under one umbrella. As we saw throughout Scripture, the local church, as an expression of the body of Christ, is a gathered people where discipline is necessary, submission to leadership is essential, and accountability is required. Therefore, these things imply that partnership is biblical and this is why we believe that partnership is an essential matter in the church. The church is often perceived as a charitable organization or a service provider, where the pastor is a sanctified mechanic that fixes my heart and soul, or a filling station where the tank is filled up with what you want. However, the truth is the members of the body of Christ have a job to do. It’s not just about you receiving but also giving. Church partnership is not an option, but a mandate! Restore is not the church that everybody needs to be part of. There are plenty of God-fearing churches nearby. This message is to encourage you to be at one of them, and be committed to a body! You can hear the last message on the partnership series by Pastor Clete HERE!

This upcoming Friday (2/20), we will have another Dinner and Dialogue, focusing on evangelizing in the Latino context. This is another great opportunity to learn more about crossing over boundaries for the sake of the gospel! The event will begin at 6:30 pm at The Post Office (2701 Joy Road). Please invite friends and neighbors!

Another reminder, if you have not registered for Plan Midwest, you’ve still got time! It is on February 24 (Tues), 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. You can register for free at http://www.plantmidwest.com/event/2015-q1/ Don’t forget to make sure that you’re registering for DETROIT!

What We Believe

Posted: February 10, 2015 by Nick in Uncategorized

Does it remind you of the boring lectures when you were in school when you hear, “What does your church believe”? Don’t worry you might not be the only one. However, as we saw all throughout Scripture, it is important to have the right roots in order to bear the right fruit, and what we believe as a body is crucial to how to grow and function as one body. In Part II of our church partnership series, as we anticipate to roll out church partnership here at Restore in the near future, we went over the 8 beliefs of our body: (1) Gospel Centrality- We heartily embrace the gospel as the center of everything we are and everything we do. This gospel of Jesus Christ is not a one time prayer or experience but what propels us to move forward in our daily lives. We are saved by, changed through, and one day, we will be brought home by, the gospel; (2) Reformed Soteriology- we heartily embrace the sovereignty of God’s grace in saving sinners. Salvation belongs to The Lord; (3) Complementarian Ecclesiology- We heartily embrace the total equality of men and women, coupled with the responsibility of me and servant-leaders in the home and the church. There are different, yet essential and dynamic, roles for men and women; (4) Missionary Philosophy- We heartily embrace the reality the church exists to reach the nations and the neighborhoods. Every believer is a paid missionary; (5) Continuationist Pneumatology- We heartily embrace the necessity of the empowering and endowing presence of the Holy Spirit for all of life and ministry. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we do all things; (6) Multicultural Diversity- We heartily embrace God’s plan to display his glory in the church by reconciling all kinds of people to him and one another; (7) Baptistic Sacramentally- We heartily embrace believer’s baptism by immersion as our public profession of faith and commissioning to make disciples making disciples; and (8) God-dependent Urgency- We heartily embrace prayer is the sine qua non of the kingdom advancing in, through, and from us. Prayer is what keeps the heat on at Restore! You may have several questions regarding partnership with Restore and what that might look like, and that’s ok! Our pastors will be more than happy to converse with you, and more importantly, pray with you regarding these issues. As you were listening to the message, what did the Holy Spirit tap on your heart? You can listen to this message on church partnership by Pastor Mike HERE!

We would like to invite you to PlantMidwest. This year our focus is on PRAYER and the first quarterly, led by Pastor Kenny Petty from St. Louis, MS, will be on Prayer and Revival! It will be held at the PO on February 24th 9am – 1pm. Lunch will be provided and you can REGISTER FOR FREE HERE! (Make sure to register under the tab for DETROIT) Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to connect and pray with other church planting leaders and to learn more about prayer! If you have any question regarding PlantMidwest, you can email Peter Ashmore who has done an amazing job making PlantMidwest happen here at the PO at p.ashmore@gmail.com.

One Creator – IMAGO DEI

Posted: February 5, 2015 by Nick in Uncategorized

Racial injustices. The Holocaust.  Abortion. What do these horrific things have in common? All three of them have the same basis, namely that some people are more valuable than others, that some are inferior to others. What destroys that lie? Imago Dei. There is one creator who made us in his image and all people matter because God made all people in his image. We’re all equal, valuable, and meaningful. As we read in the early chapters of Genesis, we are all glorious dirt bags (yes, ribs as well) with humble beginnings. However, what makes people special is that we were made in His image, created by the breath of our Creator. 

So what’s racism? It is pounding violently on God’s artistry and sin is what leads us to justify it. Sin has tagged us with our own sin and we are also tagged by the sins of others. It has scarred humanity relationally. Therefore, our only hope is in Jesus Christ. He is the perfect image of the invisible God, the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature. Jesus experienced the injustice that many have experienced to an infinite degree, at the hands of man and the hands of God, the wrath that all mankind deserved. Unfortunately, there are some ways we can go against being a people created in the image of the very Creator. We push for assimilation or separation, rather than interaction and relation, centered in our identity in Christ. We can dismiss the past and the impact that it brings to the present, failing to learn the history and to celebrate the victories of others. On the flip side, we can also hold people in the present guilty for the past or broad-brush the actions of few people to represent the whole. What should we do? We need to take action, as did our Savior, which eventually led to his crucifixion. It’s not a life wasted, but a life lived to make a difference. You can hear this message on being a people created in the image of God by Pastor Mike HERE!

A bit late notice, but as a friendly reminder, it is the first week of the month, which means we has the body will be praying and fasting on Friday (2/6), seeking the Lord’s will and depending on Him. As we normally do, we will gather at the post office at 6:00 – 7:00 pm to pray together and for one another. Join us in prayer! Don’t think it’s supposed to snow again until Saturday so we hope to see you there Friday night!

Restore Elder Apprenticeship

Posted: January 30, 2015 by mikehanafee in Uncategorized

Sunday February 1 is a huge day in the life of Restore Church! After much prayer and planning we are launching a 16 month elder apprenticeship with Charles Bovan. In the nearly 3 years Charles has walked with Restore he has shown himself to be a godly, gifted, growing, and teachable man who clearly reflects 1 Timothy 3:1-7. Charle’s wife Sarah (married at The Post Office in September 2013!) works at the new CareNet Center in Detroit. The Bovans have a deep love for Christ, the church, and this great city. Thank you Lord for sending Charles and Sarah to us!
You can read their story below as well as forward to the 4:00 mark of the video below to hear a few words from Charles.

I was born and raised in Saginaw, MI. My spiritual upbringing involved attending church. (Ironically, both a Baptist and Catholic church- at the same time!) I always believed in God, but I did not have a personal relationship with Him. After college, I moved to the Detroit area. It was while living here that I began attending a ministry, Bible Study Fellowship, which I became involved in for the next thirteen years. It was through this ministry that I came to understand what it meant to have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
Sarah grew up on the other side of the state in Grand Rapids, MI. In classic west Michigan style, she was in a conservative Christian home. Being surrounded by the Christian faith at home, school and church, Sarah grew in her relationship with God through her early teens. Even though she always understood the gospel, it wasn’t until her mid-teens that Sarah fully grasped the depth of grace when she came face to face with the depth of her own sin. It was easy to deceive herself and others into believing she was a, “good Christian girl”, while ignoring sins of the heart. It was during this time that God penetrated her heart with the fullness of the gospel, grace and her need for repentance. In 2006, Sarah followed God’s calling to move to Detroit and enter full-time ministry among urban youth in Highland Park.
Sarah and I initially met at the church I was attending at the time. While dating, we heard about Restore Church. We decided to visit and were immediately drawn in by the solid Biblical teaching as well as the mission of the church to glorify God in the community by living out the gospel through discipleship. God used Restore to grow our relationship with Him as well as strengthen our relationship with each other as we walked it out in community. It also gave us opportunity to grow in ministry together. In fall of 2013, we were married at the post office (or the empty lot next door to be more exact ☺). We currently live about two miles from the church building and feel God calling us to make a long term investment in Detroit.
I look forward to what the Lord will reveal through the apprenticeship training. I believe it will be a fruitful process of training, discipleship and seeking the Lord’s direction.

Suffering: God’s Discipline

Posted: January 27, 2015 by Nick in Uncategorized

Just as a loving parent disciplines a child, our Heavenly Father may allow us to suffer. Also, there may be things in our lives, not necessarily bad things, that must be taken away, for it is hindering our race, our walk with God, and our life with others. There may be sin which entangles us. In this grueling race, we may grow weary, and there may seem to be no end. However, we have the perfect example who was given a race, and finished that race. The pioneer of our faith, Jesus Christ. He finished his race in suffering, dying on the cross, so that he could finish our race. Through Hebrew 12:1-11 we saw how God uses suffering in our life. Suffering is used by God for correction, for teaching, and for prevention. Our suffering is God’s discipline that legitimizes our faith. He uses the correction and chastening for our good and with a clear purpose behind it, as we saw with Jacob. Also, through the suffering, we learn more about ourselves, and ultimately about God. Suffering may come our way in order that we may avoid greater suffering, maybe even eternal suffering. God uses suffering to show us his love, not only as we grow closer to him, but through the greatest suffering made known to us in the humiliating death of his beloved Son. Let us not lose heart in the times of suffering. Discipline is not meant to be comfortable; it is meant to hurt. However, we are to remember that our God is for, and not against, his legitimate children. Is he restoring you? Do you believe that God is preparing you for eternity? You can hear this message on Hebrew 12:1-11 by Pastor Clete HERE!

Thank you again to our brothers and sisters from Findlay Evangelical Free Church, for blessing us with your gift. We are so grateful for your partnership with us and prayers for us. Our prayer is that God continues to use us to expand his Kingdom and to make his name known in Findlay, OH and Detroit, MI!