Acts 29 application excerpts

So you can learn more about our call to plant Restore Church I thought it would be helpful to share a few excerpts from my Acts29 application.

While my journey toward church-planting began at my new birth, a series I preached through the book of Acts a few years back greatly accelerated my burden to plant & dramatically challenged me to reevaluate my understanding of the role of the church. I have subsequently done much research. I have read several books & articles on church-planting—Keller, Stetzer, Driscoll, Thomas, Hirsch, & others. I have listened to many sermons on church-planting—Acts 29 bootcamps online, Driscoll, Vanderstelt, Patrick, Mahaney, Lauterbauch, Piper, Mason, Storms, Carson, & others.  I have begun connecting with those who have planted in a  similar context to Detroit—Craig Brown of City Church of East Nashville, Brian Dye of Vision Nehemiah, Cole Brown of Emmaus PDX, Eric Russ of Mack Avenue Community Church, Jason Janz of Providence Bible Church & others. I am also in communication with churches & ministries in the rust belt desirous of supporting urban church planting—Vision 360, Riverview Church, Infinity Alliance, & Central Detroit Community Development Association.

Detroit may well be the last, or even lost, frontier of American urbanity. It is a city of immense physical blight, visually depictive of a far greater spiritual blight. Just yesterday I shared various facts about Detroit with a friend. He responded, “If Jesus was making a list of places to visit, Detroit would be on his short list.” Well said. Why me?  The short answer is the bone deep conviction that God has called me to Detroit (Acts 16:9-10, 18:9-10). I believe he has providentially prepared me for this call.  Because 2 of my 3 sisters became heavily involved in the drug culture, fearing I would follow suite, my grandmother sent me to a private high school that recruited athletes from Detroit. Through sports I became good friends with many from the city & spend considerable time with them inside Detroit.  College sports (baseball) connected me to a greater diversity of people, as well as my time as an infantry commander in the USMC.  Managing a production line in Kentucky furthered my experience with the marginalized & diverse populations. Even ministering in suburbia I have often connected most with those who are not from a neat & tidy church background. I have also participated in ministry for the homeless in downtown Portland called Bridgetown. In his grace I believe God has gifted me with the ability to communicate strong God-centered truth to those of different backgrounds.

The vision of Restore Church is to bring physical, racial, & spiritual restoration to central Detroit, greater Detroit, Michigan, & the nations through the gospel of Jesus Christ. The mission is to display & declare the gospel to every man, woman, boy, & girl in the 48202 & the 48206 zip codes & outward. Restore Church exists as a gospel-centered, incarnational-orientated, missional-structured multiplying kingdom movement for all people, including the the marginalized & non-evangelized.

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1 Comment

  1. Paula Jade Hoke says:

    wow! Love what you wrote and the pictures. It is awesome that you are doing the Lords work and will. I remember the Acts series your talking about and I could tell it was doing something to you, it bothered many people and they left GTBC. You keep doing what the Lord tells you and Restore is going to be the bomb of church’s in Detroit…because the Lord will be there! Love you and your family brother, God bless!

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