It’s hard to say when it truly began. God seems to be busy behind the scenes of people’s lives even before they know it. I am Rob Jacobson, lead pastor at Restoration, and here’s part of my story.
I was on a mission trip in Honduras in 2009 serving among the poorest of the poor (at least financially). It was day six. I was on the hillside trying to dig a ditch for clean water, praying for strength for me and for the people of this village. At that moment, God spoke. I don’t hesitant to say “spoke” because God speaks all the time, sometimes audibly, sometimes through people, circumstances, the Bible and sometimes deep within our souls. This time it was deep within my soul when I read Jeremiah 29 just an hour later.
This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will restore you. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes.” (v. 10-14)
What I heard God say was that he was calling me to lead a community of people to tell and show others what it means to live life in Christ: life restored. So many people in the suburbs live complex, complicated and compartmentalized lives. My heart aches for people who put their hope in possessions, other people, houses, spouses, jobs, you name it. They put their hope in everything but Jesus. These friends have equated Jesus with religion. They haven’t really thought that religion or church could offer anything better. Some of them have even been burned by religion. I lay awake at night thinking of people like this, people who have walked away from church because it was boring or irrelevant. It seems like churches are afraid to listen to the questions people are truly asking about God, the Bible and the world.
After much discussion and prayer with my home church, Faith Covenant Church, they agreed that this was God’s leading. So I began preparing, praying, planning and gathering people to this new adventure.
My hope is that people see Restoration as a place of acceptance, authenticity and hope…a place where all of us can admit we are a little broken…a place where we can find restoration…and a place where we can join God’s restoration mission in the world. I pray we are people that are known not for being religious, but for having faith and sharing the love of Jesus with anyone and everyone.