Everything has a beginning.
Every human life begins at the fertilization of an egg at conception. Every large, looming tree begins as a little, fledgling seed. Every book begins with a word on a page, then a sentence, then paragraphs after paragraphs. Every painting begins with a stroke. Every business begins with an idea (and a minuscule budget). Every building begins with a floor plan. Every faith journey begins with a moment when they realized they needed God.
Everything has a beginning. The only being who doesn’t have a beginning is God himself. And although every beginning looks drastically different, depending on exactly what it is that’s being build, one thing is true of every beginning:
It always starts small.
Even the largest of animals, businesses, movements, and constructions all have to start small. Nothing ever begins large. In fact, the entire premise of a “beginning” is so that very thing that has begun can grow beyond what it currently is.
If this is true of everything that exists, it’s also true for churches’ beginnings.
People tend to be perplexed, even deeply intrigued, when we share that we’re starting a new church. If we said we were starting a business instead, most people would say, “Oh, cool!” and move on. The idea of starting a new business isn’t new at all. It’s how capitalism and the free markets system works that’s so deeply engrained into our American society.
Yet people are intrigued by the idea of starting a new church. We tend to not think twice about how established churches in our communities got there. People drive by church buildings all the time, and perhaps don’t realize that every single one of those churches had to start somewhere.
Every church, no matter its current size or age, had a beginning.
As I’ve mentioned in our previous updates, starting a new church heavily involves 2 things:
- Learning the community
- Building relationships
That’s it! And we have been going ham with those two things. Kasey’s loving her job working with the school district, and meeting kiddos and their families. I’ve been attending weekly community updates hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, getting plugged into the community’s Young Professionals network, hanging out on campus, connecting with USD’s Campus Crusade, and, of course, camping out at the local coffee shop a lot… And so far, the Lord has been blowing our minds with what he’s already doing in this community. We absolutely love Vermillion. So much of the culture of this vibrant town resonates with how God has wired Kasey and I to be. Furthermore, the reception to a new church coming to Vermillion has been very positive, and the friendships we’ve been making have been incredible.
But the coolest part is that over these last few months, the Lord has already given us over 30 people who have expressed an interest in this new church plant! That’s crazy! So Kasey and I have felt compelled to go ahead and start shepherding this community of people the Lord has given us. As of Sunday, September 19th, we held our first house church gathering at our town home’s community room, and then held our second gathering at the Vermillion Public Library! We’ve had an average of 15-16 in attendance for both weeks, split between 25 different individuals total. Check out these photos of our humble beginnings!
Every church has to start somewhere. And I am so excited for how we’ve begun.
But I’m also stoked out of my mind that this is only the beginning.
Updates & Prayer Requests
- I don’t think it’s a coincidence that a few months ago, the prayer request I sent out to our support team was that the Lord would give us people to shepherd and be bought in to the mission of the church… And we’ve been blown away by his provision. Thank you so much for your prayers! We couldn’t do this without you going to the Lord on our behalf!
- With that, continue to pray for these Sunday evening gatherings: That this can be a place for people to find community, worship the Lord, grow in their faith, and hear the vision for the church we’re planting.
- I got to meet the superintendent of the Vermillion School District last week, and we connected really, really well. Pray for a great partnership with the school district to develop; that we can discern how we can help meet the needs of the schools in town, and for their continued work in teaching the next generation.
- We continue to have more people express an interest in joining our Core Team to help get this thing launched next Fall! That’s a huge praise! Continue to pray for those whom the Lord may be nudging to join our team.
- Pray for Kasey and I. This has all been incredibly exciting, but it’s also a lot of work. Pray that we can find rest in the Lord, and that we can keep our family time sacred and sabbath well!
You are an amazing shepherd!