Building a Community on Restorative Grace

Blog Post 2-11-18

Last weekend we hosted a special couple at our launch team gathering, Pastor Rob and his wife Bridgett from Rock of Our Salvation Church in Chicago. We had an opportunity to hear about their ministry in the Austin neighborhood, how the gospel is restoring lives, and the potential for community renewal that is on the horizon. Our team asked great questions, learned more about Austin, and prayed for our growing relationship.

“Restorative grace” best describes our heart for this bridge-building effort. Grace is best defined as the unmerited favor of God towards his creation. We haven’t earned his favor, but he freely offers it according to his will. When two very different communities and two different races come together under one banner, one purpose, and one calling in the name of Jesus, it’s a glorious picture of the restorative work that Christ is actively doing in our world today (see Galatians 3:26-29). Only by God’s grace can we sit together, learn together, pray together, and dream together for the Kingdom through his restorative grace.

Jesus Restores Sinners

Last month I had the privilege to guest speak at one of our partner churches, LifeSpring Community Church in Spring Grove, IL. I taught from Mark 2:1-17 with the central message that “Jesus restores sinners.” The Spirit was working in us that morning and many lives were touched, inspired, and motivated to strengthen their faith and trust in Jesus who redeems, forgives, and restores.

A few days later I received an email from one of the members of the church. With her permission, I wanted to share what she wrote.

My most favorite way to worship is to have a pencil in my hand with my journaling Bible while listening to a powerful message. I had the pleasure to be able to worship well while you preached and I thought you might enjoy seeing the completed journal entry.

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Little moments such as these are great reminders that God is alive and at work by the power of his Spirit through the preaching of his Word. By the way, did you catch how she incorporated the Restoration Church logo in her journal entry? So awesome! You can watch this sermon here.

Prayer Requests

Here’s some specific ways that you can be praying this week for our family and Restoration Church.

  • Our team is growing, Praise the Lord! With that comes the need for a centralized, public accessible meeting place. Please join us in prayer as we consider our options this month.
  • I’m guest speaking at our “sending” church, Village Church of Barrington this coming weekend at all four of their weekend services. This is the best opportunity I have to share the vision of Restoration Church to this church body. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to move among us this weekend and to inspire those who the Lord might call to join us in our church planting efforts.
  • Our family was hit with the flu and a host of other illnesses through the month of January. Thankfully we’ve been feeling much better. Please pray for on-going good health for the rest of the winter season.

By the Cross. For the Kingdom.
Pastor Matt