One of the things that I appreciate about Restoration is the diversity.
Round Rock is, generally speaking, pretty diverse anyway, but what I mean is that we seem to connect with a pretty wide demographic. We have many different cultural and ethnic expressions in our church as well as a wide age range. And the multi-generational thing is what impresses me.
How are we able to connect with such a wide spectrum of people seeking to Know God’s Story?
Restoration is receiving people in their young 20’s and we have a number of friends in their 70’s and even 80’s. Recently, a new couple has started connecting and they are expecting their first child. I’m so excited about babies in general and have been so proud to see how Restoration friends have responded when someone has a baby. There’s a lot of celebration in prayer and great meals brought in for weeks. My wife and I have had two children since we’ve been here and I can attest to the quality and care of the meals! (It almost is a good enough reason to have another!)
Also, there’s been a more mature man who has been attending regularly since December. He’s sort of like me—an older dad of younger kids. On Christmas eve, he brought his dad to our candlelight service. I was excited to meet this man who is deep into his 80’s, just like my dad who lives up north. The older man, I call him respectfully “Senor,” is a hulking figure with broad shoulders and jet black hair. He uses a walker and has some trouble tracking along in a conversation because of dementia.
This week, El Senor came and I was thrilled to have him, his wife and the son worshipping with us. Our worship is lit and we had a 4 piece band rocking pretty strong but inviting worship. I spoke on the story of Zacchaeus and how because of his extra effort, he received the blessing of friendship with Jesus (“I must come and stay at your house!”) I challenged all of us to give some extra effort this year and see how much God overwhelms us with his favor.
I should mention too that pulled out a 6-ft ladder and climbed up to illustrate Zacchaeus climbing the tree. It was a little goofy, but the point was made that Zacchaeus risked looking pretty goofy himself climbing a tree in front of the whole town.
I found out afterwards as I was talking to the son and El Senor that early that morning, the older man had fallen pretty hard in the morning. I looked and could see his face had a fresh nasty bruise on it. The son said, “We told him, ‘I guess we’re not going to church!’ but he wouldn’t stop. He got up and said, ‘we’re going! The devil isn’t knocking me down today.'” So they came. During our Response In Worship time, I saw him walk over and get hands laid on in our Prayer Space.
The son goes on to tell me that his dad was former golden gloves boxer and I imagined how many times he’s been knocked down (not many, I bet though… Dude’s pretty big!) but he got back up off the mat and keep fighting.
It reminds me of how often we can get knocked off my worship be little things. I know I can get discouraged pretty easily (it’s a curse). Will you let the devil lay you out today or get up off the mat and fight the good fight?