Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What Does A Restoration Church Look Like?

My husband and his partner in ministry were on the radio this week. The host interviewed them about A Restoration Church on WordFM 101.5 in Pittsburgh. They talked about the fact that one of our core values as a church is to intentionally target families affected by disability to invite and include in A Restoration Church. One of the hosts asked, "What does it look like at A Restoration Church on a typical Sunday?"

The answer: "Surprisingly normal." The answer is spot on. A Restoration Church is surprisingly normal! Are there people there with disabilities? You betcha! 100% of those there on any given Sunday are disabled in one way or another. Do we all sit in wheelchairs or talk differently or have difficulty hearing or seeing? No, but the fact remains that we are all disabled no matter how many or who is there!

The dirty little secret is that since Adam and Eve made a very bad choice in a perfect garden a very long time ago - actually at the very beginning of time - we are all broken spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. This brokenness is pre-natal, genetic and terminal! It's bone and soul deep! Some brokenness and disability is easily seen - as when a person has no legs or sits in a chair with wheels or walks with a walker or uses a white cane or has a twisted hand. Other brokenness is less apparent on first inspection but equally broken/disabled.

Not all of us think as clearly as others. Some of us need assistance to walk or hear or see. For example, there are a number of people who wear glasses. No one was ever born wearing glasses. Glasses were invented to correct some visual disability or other.

This past Sunday our keyboard player played pretty flawlessly, but today she is having another lazer procedure on her left eye because she doesn't see well out of that eye. Another person sat there looking perfect and beautiful, but she is blind in one eye. No one would know at first glance, however. More than one person there lives with chronic pain. And the list goes on and on ... Not all of us can stand, but we all can rise with our hearts in worship whether we rise with our feet or not.

One more beautiful thing about A Restoration Church: learning where each of us is challenged gives us opportunity to serve each other just like God says the "body of Christ" or church should and must! Starting from the core values of loving God, loving others and serving each other at any particular point of need is God's way to "do church" ALL THE TIME!

In a word, A Restoration Church looks just like YOU! Come gather with us!

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