This past Sunday was the culmination of an intentional and growing relationship with a Kingdom-minded partner for the Gospel in an unlikely place – the Austin neighborhood on the west side of Chicago. Austin is not known for its eclectic coffee shops, high-end restaurants, vibrant night life, or even the likes of a reliable chain grocery store that you would commonly find across northern Illinois. Instead, this is a community known for it’s high crime, astronomical unemployment rate, and deep rooted segregation from “white flight” of the 60’s that continued through the 80’s and 90’s.
Missional Experiences Cultivate Missional Living
Restoration Church seeks to live on purpose and on mission as transformed people in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That transformation, when shared with and embraced by every person, leads to a restored community, society, and world. This may sound overly idealistic and wishful thinking, but it’s God’s promise and vision to his children in Jesus Christ who are born again in the Holy Spirit! (cf. Psalm 102:18-22; 2 Corinthians 5:17-19; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 1:18-22; Revelation 21:1-7) It’s for this very reason that Jesus commissions his disciples to bring the gospel to everyone, everywhere (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). This wasn’t a one-time, historical event or command. It’s for every disciple, every devoted follower, every redeemed person in Christ for the last 2,000 years (and counting)!
This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.
(Colossians 1:6, NLT)
The Heart of the Gospel
Pastor Robert Stevenson and Rock Church (a member of the Evangelical Free Church) are doing good, gospel-centered, Kingdom-minded work in the Austin neighborhood. Even today as I write this, they are hosting a ground-breaking ceremony on a building renovation project in conjunction with Circle Urban Ministries and Circle Rock, a chartered K-12 public school, to better serve their community. On Sunday, we had the privilege to prepare and serve breakfast for those attending a morning bible study. Afterwards, we took a tour of their facility and future construction site, and joined them in worship. Not only were we well received, but together, we were blessed by the opportunity to break down the walls of segregation and pursue the very heart of God and the Gospel: restoration.
Be Part of our Movement
Restoration Church meets this Sunday, April 22 at 3:00pm in the gymnasium at Alpine Chapel in Lake Zurich. Join us as we learn to grow in the transformational Gospel of Jesus Christ.
By the Cross. For the Kingdom.
– Pastor Matt