Why start another church in the city of Wilmington? This is one of the first and most frequent questions we are asked about starting Restoration Church. A quick story from my family should help set the stage for me to answer that question.
My Grandpa Ray ran a hardware store in the town where I grew up, Sawmills, North Carolina. The store, aptly named Sawmills Hardware is still in business today. This may seem rather uneventful to most but I’ve always been struck by the following reality of Paw Ray, as we called him, running this store. On each end of what is now US HWY 321-A, in the small towns of Granite Falls and Hudson, my Grandpa Ray’s twin brothers, Boyd and Floyd, owned and operated Granite Hardware and Hudson Hardware. This meant that in roughly five miles of highway three brothers were in the same business, selling hardware. To the best of my knowledge this never led to competition, discord, or jealousy between the brothers. It was possible for three distinct hardware stores to exist within such a short span of road because there were three distinct communities to serve. At this time Hudson Hardware is no longer in business. However, Granite Hardware and Sawmills Hardware continue to thrive as hardware suppliers to individuals and businesses alike.
The story of my grandfather and his brothers being in the same business helps answer the question of why we started another church in Wilmington. We have come here to launch Restoration Church, not in a spirit of competition, nor are we looking to sow discord or jealousy between existing churches and ourselves. To the contrary, we are pursuing planting Restoration Church to provide another avenue or opportunity for people to be engaged with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We believe that as Wilmington continues to grow there will be an increased need for new churches to help meet the growing needs of the city. We look forward to joining in and being part of the work God is already doing through various churches and ministries.
Our aim, as we prepare to open our doors on March 12, 2017, is to be a church that loves Jesus and our neighbors in the city well. We feel we can best accomplish this goal by having our church be characterized by the following statements, drawn from Acts 2:42-47:
We want to be a church that gathers regularly to sing, pray, and preach the Scriptures. We also want to be a church where our people are genuinely excited to see and fellowship with one another.
Weekly we will take Communion to examine our lives, confess our sins, and rejoice in the finished work of Christ on our behalf. We also want to be a church that is serious about prayer during our time together. As we take the Lord’s Supper and lift our voices in prayer in response to the preaching of the Word of God we are expectant of what the Lord will do in our church family.
Also, we realize we are not a social club that gathers weekly. By God’s grace and the finished work of Jesus we are part of a new family. We desire to model gospel generosity not only through our giving but also through being available to our brothers and sisters to help out in their lives as needed. How beautiful it is to the watching world to see followers of Jesus love and care for one another.
As we worship together on Sunday evenings and then in community through the week, we are praying that God would give us favor with our coworkers, neighbors, friends, and city for the sake of the gospel. Having small groups meet through the week gives us a chance to share meals, griefs, joys, sorrows, and victories together. We want to not only gather to celebrate what God is doing in our lives, but we also desire to serve and care for those in the neighborhoods where we meet. Our communities should benefit from the fact that the church is present there through the week.
What greater joy is there than to see someone go from death to life, from darkness to light, from enemy to son/daughter of God through Jesus Christ. Not only do we pray and anticipate this for Restoration but we pray and anticipate this for the other churches and ministries in our city. Praise God for the work He is doing in Wilmington!