Sanctification is not a spectator sport. We are called to get off the bench and pursue transformation. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit does the heavy lifting as we are increasingly changed into the image of Christ. Check out God Changing Us (Part 1) in our WHO IS HE? series to see how the Holy Spirit transforms us. You might be surprised! Part 2 is 5/26.
Archive for the ‘worship’ Category
It was a blast kicking off our new series on the Holy Spirit yesterday! In this message I give four reasons why we need this series. To avoid unbiblical extremes of strange fire & no fire. To be biblical – reformed & always being reformed. To pursue gospel-centrality – being Jesus-centered versus Spirit-led is a false dichotomy. The Holy Spirit is the gift of the Gospel poured out by Jesus according to the promise of the Father. Because being on mission makes us desperate. A church that discovers it’s all about Jesus (salvation & sanctification) makes the Devil say, “Oh no, now they are going to grow in the gospel.” A church that discovers that Jesus gives His people the Spirit makes the devil quake, “Oh no, now they are going to go with the gospel!.” We began the series by looking at how the Holy Spirit is not a sanctified purple haze but a Powerful Person of the Godhead. He is a Workhorse, a Beast (urban dictionary definition – check out the message for details;). We are on an exciting journey & invite you along! Next Sunday we will be dialing in on how the Holy Spirit indwells Christians. How does that happen? What does it mean? Strong stuff!
I spend the first 12 minutes before the sermon talking about the church putting violent crime in our area on blast. I discuss how both crime investigation & media coverage of violent crimes vary according to race. Please pray for us and provide input on how we can make a difference! The sermon actually begins at about the 11:50 mark of the audio. (The video does not include that discussion.)
Blown away. That’s how we feel about what God is doing by His grace for His glory at Restore Church in our community. Though we forgot to announce it (imagine that!), yesterday marked our one year anniversary of weekly worship services. No doubt due to the Easter surge, it was nonetheless fun, exciting & encouraging to have over 140 pack the PO. The need for more worship space is driving a revision of our building layout, that’s for sure. Please pray for that that as we move deeper into renovations. Saturday we also had the privilege of helping Mosaic Church canvass Ypsilanti for their Easter Egg Hunt. We are thankful for a deepening relationship with Mosaic Church!
Here are a few other prayer points as well:
• For our Dgroups as they create plans for showing & telling Jesus on the block as we move toward the summer.
• For Clete as he preaches at Restore on Sunday & for me as I preach at the Unplugged Conference in Baltimore.
• For clarity with the gospel and conversion in several people we are walking with.
We concluded our WEEK series with a look at the Empty Tomb from Mark 16. The resurrection calls us to 4 specific responses. You can hear what these are below.
Nooses for chandeliers…you’ll have to listen to the intro to understand this line. Mark 15:21-39 is the shocking story of an execution that has a surprising ending. The video is only 30 minutes long, not because I set a personal record for brevity but because of technical difficulties. If you can read my chicken scratch notes you can fill in the rest.
We had a blast Saturday with our Easter Egg Hunt and had some new visitors Sunday because of it, as well as more people wanting to check out Dgroups. Great job Wadsworth! Saturday 1PM in Ypsilanti we have the privilege of helping Mosaic Church canvass for their Sunday Easter Egg Hunt. Come help us serve a church who has served us so well!
As we grow it’s been so encouraging to see gifted people step up to the plate to serve the church & our community. Please pray for our teen ministry leaders John & Emily Decker, for our financial adminisrator Jason Vinson, and for our Children’s Summer Children’s Program Director Annie Kopena.
Easter Sunday marks the one year anniversary of doing weekly worship services! Hope to see you at the PO!
If you care about reaching your city, your time will not be wasted in watching this message by Michael Crawford of Freedom Church in Baltimore. If I had a bishop, it would be Mike! I love this brother’s gospel fueled passion for making disciples in the urban core. Something really special went down this weekend! Restore Church looks forward to learning from and walking with Freedom Church as we seek to make disciple making disciples and plant church planting churches. In this message Mike shares 5 recommendations for Restore Church. And perhaps yours.
Please pray for our upcoming series in Mark, our first week long mission team coming in to help prep for building renovation and the far bigger goal of building relationships, and for a massive Easter Egg Hunt we are planning.
“These premises shall not be occupied by a negro or colored person” reads the original deed to our building. Our history as a nation is drenched in racism and every one of our stories, whether you realize or not, has been shaped by racism. Yesterday, we began our ONE series by looking at how the truth of Imago Dei dismantles the very basis of racism. From conception, every human of every color is made in the image of God – therefore, every human is valuable, beautiful, & equal. But there is also something else we all are, sinful. Sin has marred our Imago Dei like graffiti. And we have all been tagged in two ways – by the sin of others, & by our own sin. Thankfully Jesus came as the perfect Imago Dei. He was not marred by sin but for sin, in our place. He suffered at the hands of men the injustice many have experienced and then suffered at the hand of God for the sins all of us have committed. He redeems His people, gathers us into His eternal family by His blood, & begins a life of transforming us so that our Imago Dei can increasingly show off & show out His glory!
The room was way too hot and the sermon the longest I have ever preached (I’m going to stewy away from that record in the future!) but the Spirit really seemed to show up. And during communion several people stood and bore bold, broken, public repentance. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed in 43 years of life, 17 years as a Christian. We feel as if we are being swept up in something much bigger than us. What is certain is that what is happening is something only God can do. Only God. We tremble at His grace & power. I invite you to listen in on a topic that we are passionate about and that leads right to the heart of God in the gospel.
With about 115 in attendance on Sunday we are pretty close to being maxed out in the upper room. Moving the nursery downstairs has created a little bit of space but we need to get the building renovated as quickly as possible. Would you come for lunch on Feb 26 at The PO to hear a bit of our story and how you might be able to renovate the building with us? You can reference the information card below.
We are launching our 4th Dgroup the first week of February on Lawrence St (across from Central High on Linwood) under the leadership of Clete & Ruth. Also, the very first couple who committed to Restore, 2 years ago when we weren’t much more than a dream, will now serve as apprentice Dgroup leaders. I’m thrilled about this! We need to launch 2 more Dgroups in the near future, so please pray for wisdom & provision.
What makes the birth of Jesus so special is who He has always been long before he ever hit the swaddling clothes. And getting a bigger view of Jesus is what carries the day when tragedy hits us and we are tempted to tap out and turn back. In Hebrews 1 we are taken to the staggering heights of Christ’s eternal resume. Check it out and see how He is better than everything! As the choir sang (video below) He is the Prince of Peace. And you don’t want to miss the video announcing some “church growth” in the Restore fam;) Congrats Paul & Annabelle!
Flyer baby. Those people have lost their mind! Not stepping over people who are not black. Laying down your life for your neighbor. Beauty to ashes. All this & more, with a good dose of humor & a lot of encouragement, in this testimony by long term Detroiter, Jesus lover, & Restore family member Renee Gunn in today’s Neighborhood Welcome Service.
Saturday from noon to 2pm we are canvassing our neighborhood for Sunday’s Neighborhood Welcome Service. We’ll meet at The PO at 11:45AM. We have a few thousand flyers to deliver so we’d love your help!
Friday night 7:30PM the men will gather at The PO for Monthly Manhood Academy, as Christ follower & firefighter Randy Kandt leads us in an open discussion in what it means to be a R.E.A.L. man. At 7:30 the ladies will gather at a home for Females For Fighting for Christ. Contact me for details.
Manliness is a bloody Man on a cross taking responsibility for the brokenness around Him.
Several of us spent time today at The PO with an architectural design team. It was a great day interacting with Steve Fridsma, Patricia Dudley, & Ethan Sims, as they prepare a layout proposal for our building. In February we’ll host an afternoon for friends & churches interested in learning about ways they might partner with us in renovating The PO.
Finally, please pray for wisdom for us as we see the need to start at least one more Dgroup sooner than we anticipated.
Acts 29! While I love my church planting network, I’m actually referring to this age in which Jesus continues to build His church. In the concluding message to our series through the book of Acts we see 3 reasons why The Unstoppable Advance Continues. The Gospel is for all peoples! Busting out of the cocoon of the Old Covenant to the New Covenant was messy business for the early church. And busting out of our cocoons is messy for us too if we want to reach all peoples. Messy. But beautiful! The Gospel advances through suffering. The Gospel is not bound by suffering, it bursts forward through it. Oh, that we would understand this! The Gospel is God’s Story. When we repent & put our full trust in Jesus, our story is corrected & completed by God’s story. He takes our trashy, nasty, cheap paperback novel of a life and makes it part of a brilliantly written story that will show out & show off His glory forever. As if that is not enough, God puts you on his writing team in this Acts 29 age! Not that He needs you to get it done – He could make the rocks cry out in praise to Him – but to show His power & shower you with joy! Where are you in The Story? Check out the video below to find out (as well as to learn how not to pronounce cocoon;)