When you’re young every birthday is monumental. As you get older there are gaps between the important ones. 100, 90, 80, 75, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 21, (set, hike!)18, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and of course 1
Now, I’m not sure why the first birthday is so monumental. I don’t even remember mine.
But, every birthday is an important celebration, not just to say we survived another year, but to look at how we thrived within it.
See, survival was never the goal, it was the necessity. Thriving was the goal, it was what survival was for.
It was one year ago – May 8th to be exact – when Restoration Church officially met for the very first time. We signed a short lease with the Trinity Meeting Center. We barely had a sound system. We didn’t have any signs. We had no actual teams. All of our kids were crowded into a small break room.
But, we had a group of people who were absolutely willing to do whatever it took to show their community what the Kingdom of Heaven really looks like.
It’s remarkable that we’re here – one year later – and we’ve not only survived, but we’ve thrived.
Before we began this venture I was assured by many people that we would see growth. And we have and we continue to grow every.
But, some of the best advice I received was to make sure in the midst of growth, we continue to make sure we’re still accomplishing the vision we were called to.
I’m happy to say, one year later we’re still accomplishing that vision.
- We’re a community who is willing to go toward our culture, not wait for them to come to us.
- We’re a gathering who is radically inclusive, making community a key ingredient in everything we do.
- We’re a place where people who are far Christ can come to know him without the rigors of religion or the fear of condemnation hindering them.
I’m happy to say, the above statements are still true.
This year has been a whirlwind. It has been a rollercoaster. And it has been absolutely amazing.
But, birthdays aren’t just to look at the year past, they are to gaze into the year ahead.
Being completely honest…
I’m even more excited about year two. Can’t you just feel it?! What’s to come is even greater than what has been. While I can’t wait to see what’s next, I’m grateful for what’s been. If you have attended, served, helped, joined, or contributed in any way to this first year; thank you. I know it’s a risk, but it’s also an adventure. Thank you for being a part of that adventure and for playing the important part of laying the foundation upon which this church can continue to grow and thrive.
If you have been a part of this since day one; thank you. I am overwhelmed by your wholehearted investment to see this church and it’s community thrive.
If you’ve partnered with us somewhere within this first year; thank you. It’s an absolute privilege that you would choose to make this community your own and that you’d commit to its growth.
If you’ve joined us just recently; thank you. You’re here at just the right time. This community is getting more beautiful by the day because people like you are calling it home.
I’ll see you Sunday as we begin our second year together! Let’s pray that over this next year, we would see this gathering, this community, this church not just survive, but absolutely thrive.
KEVIN STAMPER | LEAD PASTOR | @KEVINSTAMPER