As cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) begin to rise across the globe, governments are instituting travel restrictions, encouraging social distancing, canceling major community and social events, establishing quarantines, and in some cases imposing large-scale lockdowns. Such disruptive measures to daily life in the free world are naturally upsetting and worrisome. Anxiety is already high for many. In the days of social media, fake news, polarized politics, and ideological tribalism, it’s hard to know who or what is trustworthy. One thing is for certain, COVID-19 is here, and governments are taking unprecedented action not seen in generations.Continue reading “Dear Church, This is Our Moment”
What is community? Is the church still relevant today? And what sort of imagination will be required by those who follow Jesus for the future?
Hear the answers to these questions and the evolving story of Restoration Church in a message given to First Missionary Church in Fort Wayne, IN on September 22, 2019.
Follow the entire series on “Defining Community: Restoring Life with God and Others” on the Restoration Church Podcast. http://restorationlz.org/podcast/
Mary tucked the colored eggs away in preparation for some morning fun with the kids and I got the first pot of coffee started. In just a few hours our house would soon be transformed from a quiet sanctuary to a bustling gathering filled with food, conversation, music, and prayer. It was Easter Sunday and the body of Christ was preparing to meet, as we do every Sunday morning, in a simple and purposeful setting.
One of the unexpected gifts of church planting is the often-forced opportunity to think critically and prayerfully over the most basic functions and purposes of the church. At every turn we have the opportunity to search the Scriptures and evaluate our cultural context to make informed, gospel-centered decisions. Continue reading “Four Essential Functions of the Church”
I have to admit it’s often easier to be pessimistic, critical and negative than an optimistic contributor when it comes to how I feel about living in the Chicago suburbs sometimes. After all, there is plenty to choose to complain about: high taxes, corrupt government, and bitterly cold winters. I frequently desire to move south where the summers are twice as a long, property values are more affordable, and the people are friendlier (or so they tell me). At the heart, my complaint is a dissatisfaction for where I am today. I want to be anywhere else but here. I want the better life. I want what’s easier. Continue reading “For the City, State & Nation”
If there is one thing that I’ve learned over the years, it’s that we were made for community. We need others to laugh with, cry with, complain with, bond with and just to be with. However, it’s true when they say “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Who we live with often determines the person we become.
The role of a gospel-preaching church is to encourage and equip others to live in a vibrant community that is centered on the very message of hope and the pursuit of holiness that can only be found in Jesus Christ. We need communities that are committed, loving, gracious, truth-telling and redemptive. We need communities that are focused on the gospel.