Through the unwavering grace of God, we’ve come a long way as a church since Fall 2012, when we gathered twice a month to proclaim the Gospel out of a living room. Since that simple beginning, more has happened then we could even imagine. We are overwhelmed by the multitudes of ways Christ has displayed His grace and extended His kingdom!
This Sunday’s service looked a little different than normal for us as we reflected on the incredible work to which God has called us here in central Detroit and the way He has provided the post office for us as a place to meet as a church family and worship Him. Thanks to Restore families and volunteer groups from across the country, we have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars on renovation costs over the past five years.
Yet nine weeks ago we were prompted to take a bold step in finishing the interior renovation. We received a call from Steve Englund of Redeemer Church in Midland, Michigan offering $20,000 to a specific project for Restore. At that week’s staff meeting, our leadership team unanimously agreed to put the money toward a general contractor that would direct our remaining interior renovation projects: finishing electrical, plumbing, and HVAC work; putting down new flooring, completing ceiling work; installing drywall; finishing the upstairs, including the bathrooms; completing the downstairs bathrooms, kitchen, nursery, and worship area; and painting and finishing every space inside of the post office.
On June 12, we will hand the keys to the general contractor for eight weeks as he draws this extensive list to completion. We’ve managed to reduce the $350,000 total renovation estimate to $223,000. We’ve saved $140,000 thanks to outside support and Restore giving and will receive $20,000 from Redeemer Church, leaving us to raise $63,000 in three weeks.
It’s an ambitious goal but one that, through a special offering and our trust in God’s sovereignty, we will faithfully strive to meet. Throughout this process, we are following the model set by David in I Chronicles 29, in which he calls the people to give to the building of the temple. The people responded in four key ways that we as a body hope to emulate:
- They gave generously. In fact, I Chronicles 29:7-8 tells us just how generously: five thousands talents and 10 thousand darics of gold, 10 thousand darics of silver, 18,000 talents of bronze, 100,000 talents of iron, and precious stones from all of those who had them. In the same way, we have the opportunity to give generously: just as Christ became poor that we might become rich (II Corinthians 8:9), we can offer what He has given us for His work.
- They gave willingly. Led by their leaders, the people of Israel gave freely. We, too, can give willingly in response to our relationship with God and to Jesus’s word in Matthew 6:21: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
- They gave to God. As David writes, God is great! He is powerful and glorious, victorious and majestic! He owns it all and reigns over all. The people of Israel gave to God because of who He is, and we can do the same through our giving.
- They gave from God. It’s worth remembering that since every good thing is a gift from the Lord, all that we have to offer Him belongs to Him to begin with. God’s grace frees us to give these gifts back to Him just as we have surrendered our lives wholly to Him.
On June 4, we will take a special offering toward this goal of $63,000. Instead of hiring a professional fundraiser or seeking significant outside donations, we are choosing to rally the church family. We ask that each of you, regardless of age or means, ask prayerfully and sacrificially what the Lord might ask of you to complete this work and prepare Restore for the ministry that lies ahead long after this summer is over.
And we hope that in this process, you will respond as the people of Israel did, remembering David’s words as he marveled at God’s work in I Chronicles 19:14:
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have give you only what comes from your hand.”
To hear the full message from this Sunday, click here.