Sunday marked the two year anniversary of Restore holding weekly services. Ironically, that did not even occur to me until Clete texted me in the morning. (You can read his text in the pics below.) We launched weekly services Easter 2012 not because church planting pundits recommend launching on Easter or because having Sunday services would somehow make us a real church. We launched weekly services that day simply because initial benchmarks for local traction and missional commitment had been reached, and we had just finished an eight week bible study called The Story the week earlier. So without much fanfare or advertising we simply decided to start holding weekly worship services the next week. Here is what I wrote about our “launch” in our blogpost of April 6, 2012.

Worship services are not the whole church pie, but they sure are a sweet slice of healthy body life. For that reason we are really pumped for the launch of weekly worship services this Resurrection Sunday. Launching weekly worship services was not the next “step” on some planning timeline. It’s the result of what God has been doing in our Discipleship Groups, THE Story study, and our community. I have no idea what is going to happen, but I know Jesus will be lifted up!

With no special anniversary celebration yesterday, other than “hey, we started gathering weekly 2 years ago!”, it was encouraging to gather with over 150 people, with about a 50/50 mix between ethnic minorities & whites. YES, we make a big deal of that. It’s huge because our desire is to plant a church that is truly a Nehemiah kind of partnership between long-term & new-term Detroiters. We long to increasingly reflect, for God’s glory & through the gospel, the diversity of God’s eternal family — Revelation 7:9! While there is a lot more ground to cover, we praise God for what has been done!

What we did celebrate was this, Christ is risen! With a burden to genuinely love people, by not creating false professions of faith or by coddling people who may nonchalantly affirm Jesus is alive but continue to live as if He is dead, I chose a “non-traditional” Easter passage. From Revelation 1:9-20 we saw that Jesus, the real Jesus, is more dangerous than we ever imagined, & more loving than we ever dreamed. Some people need to repent of “their Jesus” & come to the real Jesus. I put it down like this, Jesus will either be your conquering judge or your comforting savior. You can listen HERE.

Please pray for God to save & transform many many people for His everlasting glory & our increasing joy. And following the 48 hour prayer chain, please pray for us as we seek to weave a desperate prayer ethic into the ongoing cadence of Restore life. Finally, congratulations to Nick & Tina on your engagement! Another Restore wedding is coming!

Unity: A Worthy Response

Posted: April 14, 2014 by mikehanafee in Uncategorized

Living in unity on mission is a proper response to the gospel. Pastor Shannon Nielson of Mosaic Church in Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor addressed this theme as he preached from Ephesians 4:1-6 in our Ephesians series. In this message Shannon walks the text and answers 3 critical questions. 1. Why is unity important? 2. How does Satan fight against unity in the church? 3. How do we fight for unity? You can listen to Shannon’s sermon HERE. Thank you Mosaic for letting Shannon come and serve Restore Church. We are thankful for your partnership! We can’t wait for for this fall’s men’s retreat!

Sunday at 12AM Restore Church began a social media (so no Restore peeps are reading this;) and others things fast so that we can spend more time praying to God and pursuing others as we move through the Passion Week. The week will conclude with a 48 hour prayer chain from 11AM Friday to 11AM Sunday. Thank you Tina Oh for your servant leadership as we move to deepen our prayer rhythms as a church family for the sake of God’s glory in the nations and the neighborhoods! Please pray many people come to genuine faith in Jesus this Easter!

Praying big to a Big God

Posted: April 7, 2014 by mikehanafee in Uncategorized

As we move into the warm weather season we can not even imagine what God can do through the church in the city for His glory. Ephesians 3:20-21 shouts out we serve a big God who can do far more & does it for His glory! Therefore, we should pray big. You can listen to this sermon HERE. You’ll also hear the testimonies of what drew two different families to Restore – Randy & Tamara Wimbley, who started rolling with Restore last fall, and John & Emily Decker, who were the very first to jump aboard way back in 2011! (Their testimonies are at the 6 to 14 minute mark.)

In Sunday’s service Pastor Clete lead the best baby dedication I’ve ever heard as we dedicated beautiful baby Copeland to the Lord, and the Ashmores and the entire Restore fam to raising this beautiful baby girl for the Lord. Also, Tina Oh, our prayer coordinator, challenged the church to a social media fast during easter week and announced our 48 hour prayer chain from 11am Good Friday to 11am Easter Sunday. Restore peeps, contact Tina if you’d like to sign up for a slot!

About ten men are heading to the Together for the Gospel conference in Louisville this week. Please pray this will be an impactful time for the men that bears much fruit in the life of Restore church at large. Next Sunday, Shannon Nielson of Mosaic Church will be preaching at Restore’s corporate worship service as I preach at Mosaic. Please pray each church will be challenged and that our partnership in the gospel will grow. We deeply appreciate Mosaic Church! Shannon, we are looking forward to the fall 2014 men’s conference, and perhaps the football game that goes along with it;)

Bologna Sandwiches or Steak & Tilapia?

Posted: March 31, 2014 by mikehanafee in Uncategorized

While some make an idol out of feeling, turning God into a holy dimebag that is smoked in the pipe of empty religious emotionalism, make no mistake about it, God wants us to experience Him deep down in our sou! Theologically knowing Jesus is better is not the same as experiencing Jesus AS better. Tasting God is the expulsive power that turns us from the bologna sandwiches of the world to Him who eternally satisfies. If you are interested in knowing Christ intimately, feeling Christ’s love massively, & being satisfied with God fully, you can listen to this sermon from Ephesians 3:14-19 HERE.

Thanks MMA men for clearing out more space at the PO at Saturday’s work project. Also, as Sarah Bovan announced Sunday, we have the opportunity to give a voice to the unborn, through the Walk for Life May 10 & and Saturday’s 4pm parking lot prayer meeting at the first Care Net center in Detroit (13864 Grand River), opening mid summer.

The cosmos is watching!

Posted: March 23, 2014 by mikehanafee in Uncategorized

Eric Russ of Mack Avenue Community Church on Detroit’s east side preached a powerful message from Ephesians 3:1-13 on the gospel as the key to not losing hope during affliction. Reaching and loving across lines is not an optional luxury but a gospel necessity. When suffering comes in doing so, you must let the gospel have the final say! You can listen HERE.

The next 2 Sundays we will be looking expressly at the primacy of prayer from Ephesians 3:14-21. Please take time to marinate in that text. Also, it is not too early to begin praying for our 4 summer outdoor worship services at Gordon Park – the schedule is below. Finally, MMA will be leading a Saturday cleanup at the PO. Contact Matt Golden for information.

Willie Stargell, Sister Sledge, & Ephesians 2:19-22

Posted: March 17, 2014 by mikehanafee in Uncategorized

A cut & paste, contract job Jesus, OR a cornerstone Jesus? The former forms a religious institution that reflects the sins of the surrounding culture with a few nice religious rituals and traditions veneered on top like cheap formica. The latter forms a family built on Jesus indwelt by the Spirit that previews eternity and speaks prophetically into the present.
We are Family!♫♬♪ You can check out this message from Ephesians 2:19-22 HERE.

Jesus: The Wall Breaker

Posted: March 9, 2014 by mikehanafee in Uncategorized

God’s family, the body of Christ, has serious racial, class, and economic divisions in it. Walls, walls, walls and more walls. To experience horizontal reconciliation, we must understand what was accomplished in vertical reconciliation. The power for two directional reconciliation is found in Jesus’ wall demolishing blood. Jesus breaks down the wall that separates us from God and each other! You can listen to this message from Ephesians 2:14-18 HERE.

A big shout out to the Mosaic mission team for another great mission week. Your hard work and fellowship mean a lot to us and have made a huge difference! Don’t forget we want to help you with a project this spring in Ypsilanti!

Thank you Peter Ashmore and Randy Wimbley for a great movie night with The Butler and the following panel discussion on the gospel, race, prejudice, and racism! Fruitful, messy, and beautiful. Let’s do this again soon!