Sunday, October 13, 2019

17th ANNIVERSARY SERVICE


17th ANNIVERSARY SERVICE
October 13, 2019

I want to just talk to you out of my heart today.

I have no doubt that God purposed Restoration Fellowship.

A firm conviction I could not ignore...  
A huge need: unchurched people...  
A miraculous provision...  

Significant changes

1st Phase: Build the church

As we started our effort was to get enough people to pay the bills! We were building an organization, setting into motion the foundation and structure that would serve us in years to come.

2nd Phase: Build the people

I can remember the day it changed. I had all the men come to the front and stand with me. God spoke to me to make a commitment to them that I would no longer concentrate on building a church, but to focus on building the people.

3rd Phase: Build the Kingdom

I now sense another a change. It has been in the works for a few years but is now always before me. We now need to move from building the people in our church and minister to the people outside of our church. In the years to come we must focus on building the Kingdom of God!

What is the Kingdom of God like?

In Matthew 13 Jesus tells several stories, parables, that give some vivid insight into the Kingdom of God. These are often called “The Parables of the Kingdom”.

The Parable of the Sower
Our job is to share the Gospel.

The Parable of the Wheat and Tares
Let God sort ’em out.

The Parable of the Mustard Seed
Great things often start small.

The Parable of the Leaven
It doesn’t take much to make a difference.

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure
People are the treasure we seek.

The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price
Jesus is worth everything.

The Parable of the Dragnet
We catch ’em; God cleans ’em!

How do we Build the Kingdom?

By fulfilling our vision: Restoring, Refreshing, Rebuilding

Restoring the fallen.  
Rebuilding the broken.  
Refreshing the weary.  

By fulfilling our mission: Helping people find hope in a spiritual family.
  
Offering hope to people in dark places.  

This is my prayer for us in the years to come…

Isaiah 58:12 (NKJV) Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in!

Sunday, October 6, 2019

THE FOUR Ws


THE FOUR Ws:
RF Core Ministries

17 years ago, we had our first service as a new church. We had no idea what we were doing or what the future would hold, but we had a call and a dream and a purpose. That morning I spoke about our vision and our mission. That vision is still the same and we have tweaked our mission to reflect who we really are. I’ll speak more about that next week.

That morning I also laid out some foundational ministries that would form the skeleton of the body that would grow from this unlikely plant. Today, I want to revisit those ministries with some insights from the birth of the church in the book of Acts.

TEXT Acts 2

Background When Jesus ascended to heaven, He commanded His followers to wait in Jerusalem until the power of the Holy Spirit came upon them.

Let’s look at what happened.

Acts 2:1-2 (NKJV) When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

The were filled with the Spirit and spoke in the languages of all the people gathered in Jerusalem. They were giving God glory and proclaiming the good news of Jesus. The listeners were confused because they heard them speak in their languages.

Peter took the opportunity to preach to them. Then he invited them to repent and believe.

Acts 2:38-40 (NKJV) Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.”

What happened?

Acts 2:41-42 (NKJV) Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

These four activities mark the NT church. Amazing things happened.

Acts 2:43-47 (NKJV) Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.


In speaking of this passage, the Nelson Open Bible lists seven benefits of participating in the local church: “instruction, fellowship, observance of the ordinances, corporate prayer, effective outreach, common cause, and mutual assistance.  Participation in the local church is not optional for the child of God.  It is imperative and yields eternal benefits!”

When we started Restoration, we encapsulated these four principles into four words: Word, Worship, Witness, and Work. They were not original with me; I had heard a mentor of mine use them years before and they fit perfectly with what we wanted to do. These four words are the ‘how’ to our ‘what’: Restore the fallen; Rebuild the broken; and Refresh the weary. They give purpose to our ‘why’: helping people find hope in a spiritual family.  

You may have never heard them. Let me unpack them again.

1.    The Ministry of the Word

2.    The Ministry of Worship

3.    The Ministry of Witness

4.    The Ministry of Work

This is the rubric we use to discern faithfulness and success.

When we first used this, we looked at Prayer as a part of worship. That has changed for me. Prayer is the essential glue that binds everything together and gives it power. Without prayer, the four ministries are impotent. They lack the focus and unity to be effective.

So now the question: How are we doing?

You may be asking this morning, “What does this have to do with me?” The exciting thing is that you can use the same matrix to order and establish your life.  If you practice these four things, you will grow in the Lord and be more effective as a believer.  You will have order and passion in your life.

So, how are you doing?  Are you in the Word on a regular basis?  Is worship a part of your expression of love to God?  Do you share your faith with others?  Are you helping those inside and outside the church in practical ways?

Let’s covenant together today that we will practice these things in our life so that the power of the early church will flow in our midst every day!