Who we are:
Restoration church is a family of believers that are committed to going and growing together as we encourage each other through life as disciples.
We are going into our city as teams pursing the lost and committed to sharing the Gospel and love of Jesus with our neighbors, co-workers, family, and friends through the development of authentic and loving relationships.
We are growing in deeper intimacy with Jesus and one another through mutual discipleship. We call this depth groups. We believe that disciples are best formed in the context of real, authentic relationships. As we demonstrate the love of Jesus in each other’s life, study the Bible in small groups of men or women, pray for one another, and confess our sins to each other so that we can be healed, we believe both our knowledge and our relationship with Jesus will deepen. This deepening will lead to greater obedience and obedience to mission.
But the most important part of who we are is in the together part. We don’t believe that discipleship or missions is a solo event. Jesus sent his disciples to do ministry together in teams of two or more. Jesus discipled in large groups, in a group of 12, and more intentionally in a group of 4. Following his example, we strive to live as a family on mission in this city.
Where we’re going:
Restoration Church has always worked to be a “sent” church. From our humble beginnings, we’ve had a “We are missionaries in Durham” mindset and have sought to teach the people of our church to see themselves as sent by God to various professions and areas of the city that our paid staff and pastors couldn’t go. We developed missional communities and depth groups and encouraged everyone to be a part of one. But life is busy and being a church with missional teams usually tends to give way to the pull of the Sunday Morning gatherings. While our family has grown when it comes to Sunday morning worship, our missional participation hasn’t grown equally.
The idea of being the church is biblically inseparable from the idea of being on mission. Jesus sent his church into the world to share the Gospel….that is our primary commission. Therefore, as church leaders, we had to ask ourselves this, “Are we ok with growing in numbers and personally as disciples, but not as missional movement in the city of Durham and across the globe?” After prayer and reading the scriptures, we were compelled to answer, “NO.” For our church to grow complacent in the mission of sharing the Gospel, demonstrating God’s love for the broken, and fighting for justice in areas of injustice, would be directly disobedient to the call of Jesus for his followers. So we had to think about making a shift and we started praying again.
After months of discussing the vision God had laid on our elder’s heart, talking with other church leaders in the area, and evaluating the context of Durham, NC, we understood the Lord to be leading us to form a different structure to go and grow together….a network of Missional House Churches.
We would transition from a “come and see” model to a “go and be” model. Our passion is to become a missional movement in the city of Durham and it’s surrounding communities that see the lost saved and the people of God living in obedience and discipleship with one another. We would become a Church of missional churches….instead of a church with missional groups.
The missionary dimension of the local churches life manifests itself, among other ways, when it is truly a worshiping community; it is able to welcome outsiders and make them feel at home; it is a church in which the pastor does not have the monopoly and the members are not merely objects of pastoral care; its members are equipped for their calling in society; it is structurally pliable and innovative; and it does not defend the privileges of a select group.
However, the churches missionary dimension invokes intentional, that is direct involvement in society; it actually moves beyond the walls of the church and engages in missionary “points of concentration” such as evangelism and work for justice and peace.
Understanding this has lead us to purse a model of a network of house churches instead of seeking to build a building and gather believers from across the city in one place every week.
“But why Missional House Churches?” you may be asking.
Here are several reasons that we have chosen to pursue a house church model as our primary “church experience” in the city of Durham.
MHC closely models the way that the first century church made disciples as seen in the book of Acts, The oikos (extended family of God) on mission together.
MHC can promote the multigenerational functions of the body of Christ easier.
MHC promotes the development and use of everyone’s spiritual gifts and not just the platform leaders of the church.
MHC takes the large city mission and makes it more local to where people live, work, and play.
MHC is more appealing to a person that is intimidated or turned off by the traditional church model for various reasons (you might say that the couch is a better gospel catalyst than the congregation).
MHC makes “observational Christianity” (Come and listen, absorb information, pray, pay, and plop, but do little in the mission) more difficult and promotes active participatory discipleship and missions.
The upkeep of a missional house church is less of a financial burden on the church body than that of a brick and mortar building….therefore more of our financial resources, energy, and time can be placed in reaching the lost than maintaining our facilities and programs.
Because after prayer and reflection we believe God is leading us to follow Him in this model.
How you can join us:
There are several ways that you can be a part of the mission with Restoration Church.
Pray about joining us and being an active part of a local missional house church. Discover your spiritual gifts and then use them to help an oikos love those who are not currently living for or with Jesus. There is also room to rest for those disciples that are burned out, but that should be for a season. Time is like a vapor and there’s work to be done in reaching and serving our broken and hurting community.
Join our vision and bring your house church, or established church into our network. We can do so much more together than we can competing. IF your church is looking for vision and your community is willing to sacrifice all your “sacred cows” to reach the loss, then come join us. We have big dreams of churches collaborating together to flip this city upside down for the Kingdom of God.
Take on a leadership roll and help us expand our reach by starting a new house church in Durham. If you’re willing, we’ll provide the training and encouragement needed to get started.
Join us for Sunday morning celebrations and encourage the body of Christ with your worship and testimonies.
Pray for this vision to become a reality. Our enemy is not flesh and blood, resources, or cultural traditions….our enemy is spiritual and we need people to go to battle with us in that realm.
Give to support this vision financially. If you would like to hear more of the plan and details about our transition and then feel led to give to support us, we promise stewardship for the mission.