The leadership of Restoration has been working hard to listen to God and articulate to each other the direction and plans that our church should pursue over the next five years. It has been a deeply satisfying process. On Pentecost Sunday, June 8, we will present these plans to the congregation and invite us all to respond with renewed faithfulness and joyful expectation. I hope you can be there.
In order to prepare your heart and mind, here is an invitation to dream, to pray, and to imagine what God might do through us in the next five years.
Restoration 2019: 2000 disciples
We believe that the most effective way to make disciples is to create and strengthen the local church. It is through the church that people who are far from God enter a reconciled relationship with their Father, through trust in his Son Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is through the church that men and women of all ages are able to “grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). It is through the church that we proclaim the Gospel, “warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ” (Colossians 1:27).
This conviction about the effectiveness of the church compels us to focus our resources on maturing disciples at Restoration and planting churches that proclaim the Gospel and invite people to follow Jesus. During our first five years we focused on planting this one church. Over the next five years, and dependent on God’s grace and power, Restoration’s goal is to see 2000 disciples of Jesus as a direct result of Restoration’s ministry. We want to shepherd 1000 of these disciples in our facility on Quincy Street. The other 1000 will find their home in the five or more new churches that Restoration will launch. The next five years will be about maturing disciples at home and planting Gospel-proclaiming churches in our community and beyond.
Imagine. Imagine if Restoration had a clear core curriculum that helped move you deeper into your relationship with Jesus. Imagine a small group track that provided an overview of the Bible and the core convictions of the Apostles’ Creed. Imagine being nurtured in your life of prayer, moving beyond giving a list of requests to God and into a holy conversation. Imagine having access to parenting resources for every stage of your child’s life. Imagine a series of small groups that helped you think Biblically about your vocation, that provided responses to some of the tough questions you get at work, and connected you with other people who are in your field. Imagine having experiences that put you in close proximity with the poor, with kids who need mentoring, with people who have no idea that God loves them. Imagine being formed into a mature disciple through Restoration’s easily-accessed teaching and lived experiences that together help you follow Jesus with all of who you are.
Imagine. Imagine if Restoration launched churches that exist to make their neighborhoods better places to live. Imagine if five more communities—in the DC area and beyond—had churches that were uniquely framed for their contexts and needs. Imagine the new disciples that might follow after Jesus because a team of people planted the most effective disciple-making tool there is: the local church. Creating these churches would provide more and more opportunities for people to use their gifts and talents, and Restoration would intentionally develop hundreds of servant leaders. Imagine the men, women, and children whose lives would be changed because Restoration deliberately, sacrificially, and generously aimed its resources at creating Gospel-proclaiming churches.
Over the next five years, we will create many opportunities for these dreams to become reality. No two disciples are just alike, and no one path of discipleship and service is right for everyone. We want to provide many ways for people to engage with God and to be transformed for lives of worship and service. Our expectation is that everyone will choose something, and no one will choose everything. We can’t wait to help you choose a path to connect and grow.
Imagine if everyone at Restoration gave one more part of their life to Jesus’ leadership, found one more answer to a question that has been perplexing, spent a little more time with those who are most vulnerable, and rejoiced with great heartiness because of all the folks who found their way home to their loving, heavenly Father. Imagine what Restoration will be like in 2019.