False teachers outside the church and faction creators inside the church are those who stir up division by leading people falsely with what they believe and how they are to live. A church without a strong qualified leadership is similar to a body without a functioning immune system. Elders are to be the immune system for the church. One of the reasons to the calling of a godly eldership is because of the proliferation of hairetikon, those who divide. They are many outside and inside the body that do damage to the church. They are deceivers who are unwilling to submit to God, God’s word, or to God’s leaders, while distorting the gospel by adding to it. These people might do damage from a pulpit, but the biggest damage they inflict is in the private places where families are turned over and led astray. They teach for shameful gain, being more interested in money, reputation, position and power than serving God’s people and His church, and they often reflect the sins from the culture that they come from, rather than fighting against it. They profess to know God but deny him with their works. So what is the necessary response from the leadership? These people must be silenced, their platform to infect the body removed, and sharply rebuked, all which come from a heart of a broken father who protects his family. You can listen to this message by Pastor Mike on Titus 1:10-16 HERE!
As Restore Church continues to grow, we thank God for the ways that He has used our church to preach the gospel, make disciples, and reach our community. But as we’ve outgrown the living rooms that we were first meeting in, we also need to grow our capacity to meet the needs of our church. To help meet some of these needs, particularly in the area of administration, Heather Fitzgerald will be joining our team in a part-time role. We are grateful for Heather’s clear gifting, her experience at The Summit Church in North Carolina, and her deep love for the community. Aside from being a Penn State football fan, she is a perfect fit for our team and will be a “force multiplier” for us. God has been very kind to send Heather our way! For those of you who don’t know her, here is a quick introduction:
I moved from Durham, NC to Detroit a little over a year ago because I felt God leading me here to minister to women who are engaged in street-based prostitution. I had no idea what that meant a year ago, and let’s be honest, I’m still trying to figure out what that looks like! What I did know, however, was that I needed to find a church. I moved to Detroit on a Friday, found Restore that Sunday, visited a D group on Wednesday, and knew pretty much immediately that I had found my home at Restore Church.
I say “y’all.” A lot. I love North Carolina BBQ and BigTen football (preferably together). I also love seeing Jesus redeem and restore what is lost and broken. I spent a long time resisting the fact that “administration” is actually a spiritual gift and, even worse, that it is my spiritual gift. I wanted to be gifted in a way that was more, well…spiritual. Eventually I gave up fighting it and recognized that I could pout about not having the gift of miracles (because don’t we all wish we had that gift?!), or I could actually use the gift that God gave me to honor Him and to serve His church.
So that’s what I’ve been trying to do ever since. Prior to moving to Detroit, I spent 5 years working as part of the administrative team at my church in North Carolina, and I hope that experience will be valuable to our church family as I serve Restore in this role!
Godly character, healthy family relationships, and faithfulness to scripture is for all mature Christians. Titus 1:5-9 speaks on how an elder must live a life worth following. Character trumps charisma, giftedness, and leadership ability. Men that lead in God’s church must have Teflon character. In other words, no character accusations can stick because his character is pristine. His integrity cannot be in question. If someone accused you of loving your leisure time, sports, and rest more than ministry, would those accusations stick? All theological talk but no serving walk? Charged with being a doctrinal beast but a fairy in discipleship? Desiring the stage but not sacrifice? Would you be found guilty and would these accusations stick? This does not mean the elders are perfect. There was only one perfect elder and his name was Jesus Christ, but despite being a man who sins, an elder must model and practice genuine repentance to remain qualified to lead God’s people. What does this look like? One must be above reproach domestically, ecclesiastically, and doctrinally. He must faithfully serve and sacrifice for his wife and pour into his children spiritually that they be obedient and submissive. Before pastoring God’s flock, one must pastor his own flock well. He must not be arrogant, quick-tempered, drunkard, violent, or greedy for gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, a lover of God, upright, holy, and self-controlled. Are we busy doing nothing, in fruitless endeavors? We have to be disciplined be about our Father’s business. There is much work to do with very little time. An elder must be able to teach and preach the gospel, and correct and rebuke those who do not, holding firm and guarding the trust worthy word of God. We are to hold tight and fast to the gospel of Jesus Christ. While so many declare the watered down message, we are to stand on the 100% proof gospel, the only agent of true life-changing transformation, following after the one and only elder who was truly above reproach. You can listen to this message on Titus 1:5-9 by Pastor Tyler HERE!
How easy is it for us get our thinking and our actions twisted? The book of Titus gives us a picture of how we are to believe rightly and live practically in this world. We are all in the cell of sin, rightly convicted of treason against God. Yet God the Father sends his Son on a rescue mission to open our cells, setting us on the shore to live for His glory. God knows who are his, those who calls upon the name of the Lord, and he comes to rescue us from the jail cell of sin. Have you been deceived by drawing a picture of the beach and sweeping up the cob webs of sin but still in the cell or have we been rescued out of the cell and taken to the shore of God’s love? You can listen to this introductory message of our sermon series from the book of Titus by Pastor Clete HERE! Also, if you missed last week’s message by Pastor Mike on the church of Laodicea, how Jesus desires for us to be a church that is effective in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, you can listen to it HERE!
Interested in learning, connecting, and praying with others about kingdom advancement in Detroit & beyond? You can REGISTER FOR FREE for the third PlantMidwest session, where K. Edward Copeland will be speaking on prayer and the mission! It will take place at the PO (also known as Restore Church; 2701 Joy Rd. Detroit, MI 48206), next Tuesday (August 18th) from 9am to 1pm. And yes, lunch is provided!
What kind of church really pumps Jesus up? What is Jesus’ favorite church? Is it an attractional church? Missional church? Rural? Urban? Jesus says that the church of Philadelphia kept his word, did not deny his name, and kept his word about faithful perseverance. It’s faithfulness, not perfection. There is no perfect church. Do we keep our commitments to Christ? To his church? To his people and to the community that he loves? We can delusionally mask our half-hearted faithfulness. The church of Philadelphia took advantage of the evangelistic opportunities while focusing on the open doors that God provided. The absence of obstacles is not the clear indication of open doors. Faithfulness focuses on the opportunity more than the obstacles. It focuses on loyalty to God over being liked by everyone around. The more we treasure our loyalty to God over being liked by others the more we can love people the way God loves them. Faithfulness focuses on the eternal over the temporary. Jesus is coming soon and he calls the church to faithfulness by telling them to hold on to the eternal realities. You can listen to this message on the church of Philadelphia by Pastor Mike HERE!
Are you more swag than substance? Are you sleepy in your faith? Are you half-hearted; all duty with no delight? Are you aware that the first step to losing your faith is losing your fire? In His great kindness Jesus both awakens sleepy Christians and makes alive those who are still dead. Listen HERE to His call from Revelation 3:1-6 for us to WAKE UP!
With the help of 40 teens from BUMP, we are holding a VBS Monday through Friday 10AM – 1PM at the Post Office. Bring some kids and come on down to help out. Please pray for lasting fruit from this week’s effort.
Huge shoutout to Pastor Clete for leading multiple teams hauling off multiple tons of debris in last week’s demolition project on a building next door that we recently purchased. Check out the pictures and video below. A lot was accomplished! Also, thanks to Peter Ashmore we now have a ladies room on the first floor! This “luxury” was quite timely as the BUMP team pushed attendance over 200. More projects coming soon in our renovation process!