The One Thing I’d Like to See Restored in the Restoration Movement

I love the Churches of Christ. I have so many great relationships from being in this fellowship. I’m thankful for the many ways I’ve been shaped by the restoration movement. My roots go deep, to the earliest days of the Churches of Christ in Arkansas.

My great, great grandfather, J.A. Copeland, was a farming preacher in rural Arkansas back in the day when all the great preachers went by their initials.

But, there’s more to my love for the restoration movement than relational connections. I love what we stand for…

I love that we have such a high view of God’s word.

I love that we’re a unity movement.

I love that we’re a restoration movement…going back to a movement God has already started.

But, as a lifelong member of the restoration movement, I’d love to see the missionary spirit of the New Testament church restored.

There’s a passage from Acts that comes to mind…

In Acts 16, Paul, Luke, and some other traveling companions are looking for a place to preach. God’s spirit keeps them from preaching in Asia so they try to go into Bithynia but the Spirit denies them again. Finally, Paul has a vision one night of a Macedonian man asking for help.

So, Paul, Luke, and the others determine that God wants them to go to Macedonia.

I’m puzzled by how they knew the Spirit didn’t want them to go into Asia or Bithynia. But, I love the fact that they were going somewhere. For them, going nowhere wasn’t an option. They were going somewhere to share the good news with someone. Eventually, they end up in Macedonia.

That’s the missionary spirit that needs to be restored today. Going nowhere shouldn’t be an option. We’ll knock until we find an open door to share the Good News.

Restoring the Missionary Spirit.001

For Paul, anywhere he went would have been a gospel frontier, a place with no gospel presence. There are at least three reasons why I believe the university campus is the new gospel frontier, making it the ideal place to go as we restore the missionary zeal of the NT church…

1. There is a great need. 

Within the Churches of Christ, there are only 125 campus ministries in the nation. With thousands of universities in the U.S., it’s clear there’s a great need. Besides, the university campus is a very strategic place to do ministry. I believe what Bill Bright said with all my heart…

“If we can win the university today, we can win the world tomorrow.”

2. All the world comes to us.

During the 2013-14 school year, 886,052 international students came to the U.S. for undergraduate or graduate studies. This presents an incredible opportunity. We’re called to “go into all the world.” But, the whole world comes to our college campuses every year!

We could conceivably reach the world — literally — without leaving the country.

3. College presents an open window into the soul.

As my good friend Chris Buxton said in the interview I posted last week, the college years present an “unprecedented window of openness.” College students are in the most moldable season of their lives. They’re more open to the gospel than almost any other demographic of people.


What aspect of the NT church would you love to see restored? I’d love to hear from you!

  1 comment for “The One Thing I’d Like to See Restored in the Restoration Movement

  1. Charlie Richards
    December 18, 2015 at 9:02 am

    My prayer for Westside, that brothers and sisters , would sell possessions that distract them from serving God in a more effective way. We are suppose to do this . I speak for myself , but also for the 24 homeless, that I visit with every week. I’m going through the roughest time of my life, losing my car and having to move to a low income apartment . I’ve gone a week without eating and I’ve struggled to find a way to pay rent. It’s hard going through these things alone. Most people say, I’ll pray about this for you and that’s as far as it goes. It’s too the point, to where I want to say, no thanks. The heart is missing. It’s a choice that we make, to have our wives go out and work. That’s where the problem started. We want COMFORT, and that’s a huge distraction. Our families miss out . We are way too busy and satan uses that against our immediate family and our Church family. Our priorities are so far off, we don’t even realize it. I wish we would go back to a more simple way of life, where accumulating stuff, wasn’t important anymore, but taking care of the church family and our community was the most important thing to us.

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