People often ask what we are about. Our go to answer is : Restore Church exists to foster Authentic Faith, Diverse Community, and Radical Generosity.
We sum it up: believe connect serve.
Today I'd like to discuss Authentic Faith. What is faith? Why is authenticity emphasized at Restore?
We believe that everything starts with faith around here. That's why it's the first part of our vision. We don't gather because we all hold the same political views, have similar backgrounds or even like the same type of music. We gather because we have faith in common. In Hebrews 11 Faith is defined as the essence of what we hope for, but cannot see. I'm never going to try to prove God to you. That's the opposite of faith. I'd rather challenge you to believe in what we can't see.
Recently we discussed this in greater detail at Restore. Here's a clip of the service.
Our goal is for everyone to believe and have a deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Belief (according to Hebrews 11) deals with future and past. The hope it refers to is our longing for an eternity in a place free of war, pain, death, sin, etc. Every human has this longing. We long for a different world. That's a desire placed inside us by our Creator. We long to be where He is.
Faith also deals with the past. The unseen mentioned in the passage emphasizes that the individuals reading that passage had never seen Jesus. They came around years after His death, burial and resurrection. We also can't see Jesus, but that's where faith comes in. Faith changes everything. That's why everything starts with faith around here.
Let me close by saying this: faith isn't the absence of doubt! Some of Jesus early followers struggled with doubt. Doubt is natural. This is where we get authentic and honest with one another. As a pastor I must confess that my faith isn't always the faith to move mountains. I struggle with doubt in different areas often. I'm not saying I question God, heaven or anything major. I do however struggle with depending on Him. I have doubts arise when I see people hurting or in need. We must get used to dealing with doubt without letting it turn into unbelief. Unbelief is the rejection of faith, Jesus, everything. Doubt can lead to unbelief, or it can lead to deeper faith. It depends on what you do with your doubt. Will you deal with it by asking questions, seeking out community, digging deeper into what is truth and what isn't, or will you just hope it goes away? I hope you'll deal with it. let me know if we can help in any way.