Pictured above: Vermillion’s Community Christmas Tree Lighting at the annual Standstill Parade of Lights.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Not only because it’s Christmas, but also because we surpassed another milestone in our church planting journey….
We’ve Completed Phase II!!!
To catch everyone up to speed, we divided our church planting journey into four phases leading up to our public launch on August 28, 2022. Phase I took place from when we moved to Vermillion on June 1st through the end of September. Phase I focused on initial community engagement (learning about Vermillion, attending community events, building relationships) and vision formation (solidifying our church name, vision, and values, and having early interest conversations).
Phase II, then, took place between October through December. Phase II was all about Building Foundations, which included 4 primary objectives: Hosting house church gatherings, building our Core Team, setting church infrastructure, and support raising. And I’m so thrilled to report the status of what God has done through these 3 objectives of Phase II!
- House Church Gatherings. We started weekly Sunday night house church gatherings in the Vermillion Public Library. These were for anyone interested in getting an early taste of Resilient Church and hear about our vision as we were engaging in early conversations. After 10 weeks of gathering, we averaged a weekly attendance of 15, and have seen over 40 different faces join us!
- Core Team Building. Our house church gatherings allowed us, then, to start having conversations with those who were deeply interested to join our Core Team—the group of people committed to building Resilient Church. As of this week, we currently have 25 people signed on our Core Team—which is a fantastic start for this early in the game!
- Church Infrastructure. This is all of the administrative stuff that happens behind the scenes to launching a church. During this phase, we’ve setup our bank account, solidified money handling processes and procedures, finalized our working budget, created followup processes for new guests and Core Team members, and developed marketing materials!
- Support Raising: To date, we have raised $57,131.76! This is an incredible place to start! But that’s not all. With our current pledges from our Core Team, Individual Supporters, and other Partnerships, we are projected to raise over $400,000 by 2025! The Lord’s hand is so in this, and has been blessing this thing profusely. Praise be to God!
There is certainly so much to thank God for his faithfulness to us in Phase II. With that, Kasey and I will be taking a much needed vacation over Christmas break to celebrate the end of this season! But once we get after the New Year, we are so stoked to get started on Phase III!
So how about a sneak peak on what’s coming next?
Phase III: What’s Coming Next
Phase III will run from January through May, 2022, and the focus is on Creating Culture & Sparking Interest. We’ll chase this focus through the following 3 objectives:
- Core Team Meetings. Our Sunday nights at the public library are going to shift from hosting a house church gathering to every other week Core Team Meetings. On the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month, our team will gather together to grow in community, create culture, and discuss strategy for where we’re heading as a church. We’re going to read the book Faith For Exiles by David Kinnaman as a primer for the type of church culture we want to create to raise resilient disciples. Further, we’ll discuss various strategic decisions, such as what type of serving events we want to do in Vermillion, sermon series topics, and building ministry teams for launch.
- Worship Nights. Our Core Team is also going to host a monthly worship night at the public library. This will be a chance for our Core Team to be built up and poured into over worship and a message, but it’s also a perfect event to invite friends to get a taste of Resilient Church and learn how to get involved if they’re interested. These will typically take place on the 2nd Sunday of every month.
- Interest Parties & Serving Events. Finally, we’re going to host a series of Interest Parties at various locations in Vermillion. These are fun, laid-back events to invite people to meet our Core Team, eat some good food, hear about the vision of Resilient Church, and learn how to get involved. We’ll also find some various ways for us to serve the community through non-profits or other serving events. Interest Parties will typically take place on the 4th Sunday of every month, with serving events sprinkled in between.
Those are our 3 primary objectives for Phase III, as they are crucial for us creating Resilient Church’s culture and sparking interest into the community at large through parties and serving. Additionally, Phase III will also seek to accomplish the following tasks:
- Continued support raising
- Continued Core Team recruitment
- Partner Church visits
- Creating a strong social media presence & launch website
- Solidifying a gathering space for launch
- Selecting & ordering equipment for launch
- Plan Phase IV: Summer serving events & pre-launch goals
As for prayer requests go, just revisit the list outlined above in Phase III! These next steps are so so so vital. Experts say that what you do and emphasize in your first year leading up to launch are pivotal to crafting your church’s culture and DNA.
As always, I can’t thank you enough for your love, prayers, and support. We couldn’t do this without you and the Spirit who gives us renewed strength everyday.
Here’s to what’s next!