What is RestoreOKC?
RestoreOKC is an outreach arm of ministries connected to City Pres. RestoreOKC seeks to draw the entire body of Christ in Oklahoma City together to use the human, financial and spiritual resources of many churches, students, and businesses from the area to manifest his love to the poor and oppressed in our city and see the Kingdom of God established.
RestoreOKC exists to connect the people of God with opportunities to manifest his love in Oklahoma City, by:
- seeking justice on behalf of the poor, oppressed, widow and fatherless as God’s people – the church;
- freely expressing his mercy by sharing our lives and resources to seek restoration alongside our brothers and sisters in some of OKC’s poorest neighborhoods.
- humbly acknowledging the complexities of injustice, the roles we play in it, and its systemic effect so that we can build relationships of true reconciliation.
What We Believe
The core of our faith is the Cross of Christ and the gift of forgiveness and righteousness he freely purchased for us. The benefit of his work is the confident promise of the Holy Spirit’s anointing and power on our lives and the freedom to be in a relationship of grace with God as our Father. As children of God, now filled with His Spirit we have not only been set free from our sin but also set free for a incredible purpose that we might become the display of God’s Kingdom on earth. His grace allows us to be free as we enter into this humbly and learn to be in relationship with one another and give freely of our gifts, selves, time, resources in relationship to seek first His Kingdom together. We also believe that as we embrace this together and “seek first his Kingdom” even when it is costly to us what we actually find is life. It is in giving ourselves away that we find his inexhaustible grace and Spirit filling us in ways that we cannot have imagined.
Philosophy of Ministry
God has always invited his people to be a living counterculture [Kingdom culture] demonstration of the shalom that he intended for his creation and will ultimately restore when we returns. We also believe that he has been consistent throughout the entire story of Scripture in demonstrating what that looks like on this earth. From the very beginning, God called his people to be a blessing in all the earth, and specifically [and repeatedly] to the poor, the widow, the orphan, the alien, and the oppressed. This was at the heart of the law which is summed up in Micah 6:8 as “doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God.” Countless scriptures point to it, but Isaiah 58 and 61 are scriptures elaborate on what it looked like to “do righteousness” [the doing of justice and mercy] and are the very passages that Jesus used as he introduced Himself in Luke 4. Jesus’ life was the fulfillment of the law and the visible demonstration of the Kingdom of God on earth. He came as the son of God, in perfect weakness, as the child of poor political refugees fleeing from an unjust ruler, to be trained as a carpenter before gathering a team of outcasts to disciple as he began his ministry which is marked by His commitment to the poor, the outcast, and the oppressed. While we do not believe that means that all of God’s people are called to sell everything and move into the inner city, we do believe that we are to be a people who are marked by sacrificial concern for and faithful family presence among these people. For us as we embrace this calling at RestoreOKC, this practically this means that we make a commitment to move and live alongside people who belong to these groups of people for whom God calls us to be especially concerned in hopes of being a relational bridge across our city’s “dividing line”. We do this not to “rescue” anyone, but to love and seek the Kingdom together as many, many, many of our brothers and sisters who have lived here forever have “practical theology” lessons that we desperately need as “majority culture” folks. We truly mutually NEED one another. Here are some philosophy bullet points on “how” we hope to do that and a link to fantastic resources that elaborate on them if you’d like more info:
- The Kingdom of God: Justice and Mercy -Matthew 5
- The Promises of God – Exodus 3-6
- Reconciliation: Bringing together of All Nations – Genesis 17
- Humility and Humble Circumstances – Micah 6:8
- Trials – James 1:2
- Team Ministry – Romans 12:3-6
Where We Will Work [and Why?]
We believe that God intends for his church to be a display of His commitment to reconcile all things to Himself in a culture that does the opposite. We believe that the majority culture church was not only historically complicit with oppressing our African American brothers and sisters, but has also failed to consistently stand alongside our brothers and sisters in minority communities when unity and support was most needed. The repercussions of these failures are evident and far-reaching.
Our desire is to make a practical, humble, demonstrated commitment to walk in repentance and seek justice and mercy together. We believe that God can and deeply desires to bring healing and justice and make His righteousness flow through places that have been marked by devastation and pain. We also believe that we truly need to serve humbly alongside one another as “family” and be present with each other to see this happen and are therefore committed to living in NE OKC.
The NE OKC area is marked by high percentages of discrimination, poverty, and the multitude of issues that come along with that. A few statistics for the community in which we will be based include:
- More than 80% of the zip code is comprised of single-parent households.
- Median household income is less than $25,000.
- More than 60% of children live below the poverty rate.
- Low high school graduation rate and failing schools.
- High crime and violence [homicide rate 8 times the city average].
- Significant percentages of drug and alcohol abuse and addictions, youth and adult.