Why For The City?
What would it look like for a church to exist not for itself, but for others? What would the city that church is planted in look like? This is our vision at Restoration Church. We want to be a church that exists for others, not ourselves. At Restoration Church we are committed to God’s greatest commandment: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
We often say, “We are a church that exists for the glory of God and the good of our city and world.” This phrase that we drop so often is rooted in the greatest commandment of God. This is who we are as a church. Serving the city is not a program we do sporadically throughout the year, it’s a lifestyle and culture we are attempting to create. Our For The City initiative serves as a means to achieve that end. It’s a time where we come together, as a body, to display the gospel of Jesus in both word and deed to our city.
In order for us to create this culture in our church there are 4 things that I believe we will need to embrace:
- A Generous Spirit: If we are going to be serious about being a church that “exists for the glory of God and the good of the city and world” we must embrace a generous spirit. There are only two options when it comes to giving: greed and generosity. Either we keep and hoard for ourselves (greed), which does not lead to becoming a church that exists for others, or we give sacrificially (generosity), not out of the excess of what we have, but in a way that communicates both to ourselves and others a generous spirit.
- A Spiritual Fervor: Romans 12:11 says, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” Those who are zealous and passionate about the things of God are those that serve Him. The truth is that we are either growing in our passion and zeal for the Lord or we are digressing in our zeal and passion for the Lord. Growth and Spiritual Fervor in the Lord is evidenced in our service to Him.
- A Gospel Foundation: Perhaps this should be number one? The gospel teaches us that “Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Jesus has accomplished the unthinkable for us. Jesus endured the unimaginable for us. Jesus came to serve us. If Jesus has served you, you have therefore been commissioned to serve other people.
- A Denial of Self: Why do you think most of us would rather be served than serve others? None of us typically complain when people try to serve us. Instead, we complain when their service doesn’t meet our expectations. This is rooted in sin and self. A life of service requires a denial of self. Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” We must be willing to deny ourselves and follow the way of the Master – Grace. Mercy. Forgiveness. Love. Service. He’s our teacher. He’s our model. He’s our LORD.
This is what we are after as a church. This is the culture we are trying to create. It begins with each individual making the church, and its ministries, a priority in our lives. Imagine with me what Wake Forest would look like if each of us would do this? Over the next two weeks I plan to elaborate more on a few of these points. Please stay tuned as these posts go live.
We would love to have you sign up and serve the city with us this summer. More details can be found here: For The City.