What is your spiriutal position in relation to God?
Which group do you most desire to live Jesus’ mission with?
We-R-Safe is the program Restore Community Church uses to make sure all volunteers have been properly screened and trained on the topic of child abuse prevention. We require it before our volunteers are allowed to be in the presence of children or lead one of our student ministry activities.
While many churches have implemented guidelines and policy to address this matter, most are done via manual processes using paper forms and email. Experience has shown that unless we can accurately track and enforce such policies it places our church at risk.
We-R-Safe is different; it is an easy-to-use online system which automatically tracks the status of each of our volunteers. It also allows our church administrators to more easily manage each step in the processes including:
We were able to customize the training to meet our specific needs, but perhaps the best feature however is the price, only $30 per-user. This is the price per-user, per year and is all-inclusive, meaning it includes the background check, the training, testing, and the certification; and the entire system needed to run it!
Again, just wanted to share with you what we found to be a very simple solution to what can be a difficult problem. If you’d like more information here is the web site: http://www.wersafe.com/
This is from Stefani’s journal on October 25, 2009. It recaps our story so well, I feel it worthy of posting here…
At some point yesterday, I wondered if I had climbed a mountain – my feet were tired, my muscles ached, I was tired from head to toe. Yes, I had climbed a mountain. Today, I have spent time remembering what led to the climb. Here are some snapshots from my memories…
It was some time in 1998 – we were returning from a church leadership conference, Bill Hybles was speaking – Ron asked that scary question, “Did God say anything to you tonight?” I wanted to answer, but I wanted to hear from him first, “Yeah, but what did he say to you?” He wouldn’t go, I wouldn’t go, finally we both said, “God told me that one of these days, we’re going to start one of those churches that becomes the ‘Hope of the World’.” Looking at each other with bewilderment, we had no idea what that meant or when that time would come. Together we shared ideas of what that would look like – a church beyond walls, in the community, uniting people in generosity, sharing the extravagant love of God.
Flash forward to October 2006 – we were standing on a mountain in the Eastern Sierra – a beautiful place, full of majesty and splendor, focusing on the awesome creation of God. I looked at Ron and said, “God’s about to do something different with us, isn’t He.” We both knew – we just had no idea what ‘it’ was. Standing on the top of that mountain we knew there was a bigger one ahead of us – one we would climb – one we would probably have no trail map for –one that would require big steps out of our little feet.
Flash forward to August 2007 – we were again on top of a hill somewhere in TN that we had never heard of, somewhere that we never thought we would be – getting ready to go through the ringer at the Church Planting Assessment Center. Could this be the time that God had forecast so many years ago? Were we ready for this mountain? A resounding yes – in the form of affirmation from so many, including those who head CPAC. Only one question remained, “where?”
Flash forward to January 2008 – a moving van makes its way south along the I-95 corridor from PA to Northern Virginia. A place not known, A people not familiar with, A mountain with no map, A job with no income…
Who knew that the next 20 months would involve so many big steps – in raising funds, in building relationships, in establishing credibility, in unleashing generosity. Who knew that time could move so quickly.
October 25, 2009 Restore Community Church held the Grand Opening Celebration for Sunday Morning Services. And yet, the Church began long before that. And while most people see Church as this Sunday Morning thing, Restore is so much more – lived out daily in the community, as one person invests in another, as generosity is extended, as the extravagant love of Jesus is shared. Something tells me that the biggest steps are yet to be taken.
There comes a time in the pursuit of every dream that all that can be done has been done. A point in time that the outcome is pre-determined before it is realized. A point in time that the painted canvas is complete, but not yet revealed.
At this point, the outcome can no longer be controlled, manipulated, or improved. It will be what it will be. For the leader only a couple questions matter… “Was I obedient to God’s leadership? Did I fully and faithfully steward the time, money, resources, and people God provided to accomplish His vision?” Freedom comes through faithfulness. At this point, the outcome is determined by God. For the canvas was painted by God and His servant provided the paint.
In four days, the image of Jesus’ bride the church will be revealed. She will be beautiful. God formed her. And gave her life. God grows His church – not me. I have been obedient and faithful. But the outcome of my labor is not my responsibility, it is God’s. I now sit back, having done all I can do and wait in exciting anticipation for God to reveal the work of His hands. The canvas is painted in heaven and in a few days will be revealed on earth.
Help is available to every Sterling family that needs help getting their kids back to school this year.
Sterling, VA – Through the collaborative efforts of Restore Community Church, Enrich NOVA::Generosity Can, Kids R First, and generous community members, every child in Sterling that comes from a family in need can receive necessary school supplies to return to school.
On August 23, Restore Community Church unleashed a downpour of generosity by renting out Downpour Water Park at Algonkian Regional Park and providing a FREE Family Day at the Water Park to the community. Over 1000 people and 267 families participated in this event. Each family gave one or more backpacks to help children get back to school. In all, 425 packs were collected. This overflow of generosity and love is changing children’s lives and changing the Sterling community.
It is time for the church to leave the building and actively share Jesus’ love in practical ways by meeting people’s needs in the community. And this is what Restore does.
In less than a year, Restore has distributed 932 pounds of food to area food pantries, served over a week of meals to over 100 under resourced families, moved a single mom from a hostile situation to a safe environment, helped a family start a new business, and provided $2500 of daily necessities to families coming out of homelessness.
On Sunday, October 25, Restore has its’ grand opening at the Countryside Regal Cinema in Sterling. In Restore Community Church, generosity is a way of life. People interested in learning more about Restore Community Church can visit the church’s website at www.restorenova.com.
Restore Community Church (www.restorenova.com) is sponsoring a FREE FAMILY ADMITTANCE to Downpour Water Park at Algonkian Regional Park with donation of one new back-to-school backback. The backpacks will be donated to Kids R First to help families in need get their kids back to school!
Family Fun Activities…
* Free Downpour Water Park!
* Free Miniature Golf!
* Free Moon Bounce!
* Free New iPhone Give-away! Register online now!
Sunday, August 23; 11am – 7pm
47001 Fairway Drive, Sterling, VA 20165
(off Cascades Pkwy. by Potomac River)
Park info & map: www.nvrpa.org/parks/downpour
Here is how it works:
1) Your family donates at least one backpack
2) Backpacks are donated to Kids R First
3) Kids in need get a boost returning to school
4) Your family gets a day at Downpour Water Park
5) …and you could win a FREE iPhone! Register online now…
Register for a FREE iPhone at www.restoringcommunity.com (must register for the iPhone between 8/6 – 8/23)
Join us for A GREAT DAY of summer FUN and GENEROSITY!
Invite your neighbors and friends to join you!
Doug Foltz goes over goes over the top in articulating our conversation on missional verses attractional churches. Let’s start living a “both / and” model of church.
Here is Doug’s blog. It says it all.
I love all the chatter in the blog world about missional churches and attractional churches. A good healthy debate is always fun. My opinion is it takes both to reach different types of people. But what would happen if a missional church and an attractional church came together and started having kids (planting churches). I had a conversation with Ron Klabunde a couple of weeks ago that birthed this idea.
1. Small groups would become house churches. Small groups would become more than just home group bible studies. They would evolve into missional communities. These missional communities would live the Christian life together and would focus spreading the gospel of Christ by serving their neighbors and living their faith out loud where they live. Missional church gatherings would be the core experience of the church rather than large group corporate worship on Sundays.
2. There would still be large group worship on Sundays. The attractional DNA would kick in to recognize that the best way to engage pre-Christians is through the Sunday morning worship experience. This large group gathering would be a non-threatening place to bring your friends to church. After all its a bit awkward to invite your pre-Christian friends to your home church. Seems a little intimidating to culture at large. Those who called the church home would come to serve on Sunday. The target audience of the Sunday corporate gathering would be pre-Christians and those not yet connected to a missional community. Thus as the church grows, it is completely feasible to be a church of 2000 connected in missional communities with only 200-300 in attendance at weekend services. It would also be likely that once a month or so the entire church would gather for a large corporate gathering of all the believers where the focus of the service was on Christians.
3. Less building and staff would be needed to run this church, thus allowing the church to unleash more people and money on serving community needs, planting more churches and worldwide missions.
I walked away from this conversation thinking that maybe missional and attractional churches should stop debate each other and begin starting churches together. I could get really excited about that. How about you?
Our ability to establish new relationships is directly proportional to our ability to impact the community with God’s love. Through the ongoing development of new relationships, we are afforded new opportunities to share Jesus’ message. And these new relationships are essential in creating a strong environment of spiritual transformation.
Because relationships are core to Restore Community Church and to creating effective ministry, we are hiring Aaron Box as Restore’s Networking Pastor. In this role, he will be establishing Restore’s spiritual transformation model while networking people into discipling relationships that promote spiritual transformation. He will be working with both pre-Christians who we meet through Enrich NOVA (www.enrichnova.com) and Christians who are part of Restore (www.restorenova.com) while helping to equip leaders in their relationships, passions, and gifts.
I am extremely excited for Aaron to join Restore’s pastoral team, and his family (Jen, Elizabeth – 5, and Charlie – 3) to become part of Restore’s family. I look forward to all God is going to do to change pre-Christians’ and Christians’ lives through the Box family.
Because Restore is a new church that goes public September 20, 2009, Aaron is needing to raise 50% of his salary this year and 75% of his salary next year.
Please join with us in supporting them both prayerfully and financially in fulfilling God’s mission. For more information on this contact Aaron at email@example.com.
“If Restore isn’t going to have permanent church building, then what are you going to do with all the extra money?” This question was possed by an influential community member and friend. I imagine others may be wondering too.
It’s simple. By not investing in a building, we afford ourselves the opportunity to unleash kindness by meeting peoples needs in real and tangible ways. The Bible says in Romans chapter 2, verse 4 that the kindness of God leads people to repentance. This just makes sense. God’s love is expressed through our generosity and kindness. And leads people to a right relationship with God. We believe it is more important to put our faith in action by loving people, than by building buildings.
By not investing money in a building, we avail ourselves to invest in what is eternal – people. On one occasion, Jesus’ “‘disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God.’ But Jesus said, “‘As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down’” (Luke 21:5,6 NIV). We believe there is greater value investing in what is relational, spiritual, and eternal than in what is material.
God’s resources are to be used to meet the needs of the people He loves. And through His love, we live His mission by working with Jesus to restore people to a right relationship with God and others.
Now for my disclaimer. Some churches have mastered how to shout out Jesus’ and His love through the use of their building. I applaud these churches.
On Saturday, a caring team of people from Restore Community Church and Enrich NOVA joined together to physically move Mary - a single mom in crisis to a place of peace in a new apartment.
This is what it means to be the church and live God’s love.
The next day, she and her daughter joined us at church and then to one of our launch team member’s homes for lunch.
Here is what Mary wrote about this expression of love…
I want to extend a heartfelt thank you for all of your help with Olivia and my move. I am very grateful that you took time from all of your busy schedules to facilitate us in our need for support. You all worked so hard and we so very much appreciate the amazing job you did. You have all helped us to restore our lives to a peaceful, loving, and warm home that will serve as a refuge to grow in faith and love. Please understand that I am overwhelmed in my heart and my spirit is uplifted with all you all have done under such difficult times with this situation. Again Thank you all so very much.