“This church is the exact place for me.”
I’m still astounded by these words a student shared with me after visiting one of our Core Team meetings this month. Shelby had visited several churches in Vermillion, and couldn’t quite seem to find a church that felt like home.
Then one evening, one of her friends, who’s a part of our Core Team, invited her to check us out. And there’s nothing flashy about we do at these meetings. We take time to celebrate what God is doing in our community, go over some announcements, talk some strategy, discuss a book in small groups, and then come back together to hear some vision casting. But after that Core Team meeting, she told me, “This is the church I’ve been searching for.” She’s a junior in college. This is her third year here.
Perhaps it was our discussion that night, or our mission statement, or the amazing people we have on our team that helped Shelby feel like this was home. I don’t fully know. But I’m praising the Lord that Resilient can be a church that students, young adults, and young families can call home in Vermillion.
And here’s the craziest part—Shelby is one of several who have expressed a similar sentiment.
I’ve been astounded by the momentum the Lord has provided us. We are 9 months in to our Chuch planting journey, and already, we have seen over 40 people attend both public worship nights we’ve hosted so far, and our Core Team has grown to 36 people—over 75% of which are college students and young adults. The outcry of these young people on our team has been consistent: “At last, there’s a church home for us.”
I get this image that we’re becoming a church for nomads, or a new pasture for wandering sheep. We’re becoming a place where followers of Jesus can find refuge in a church home while they’re navigating the terrain of a new community and season of life. And this is so important. If there isn’t immediately a place where young Christians can connect with when they enter college, then it becomes all the easier for church, and faith altogether, to fall to the wayside—whether they wanted to or not.
This isn’t to say that we are to be the only church for students and young adults in Vermillion. We can’t be. There are 18 churches in our community that will reach the people that we can’t—and we celebrate that! But our vision is that we can help close the gap of the unreached and unchurched that are still in our community. But like our fellow churches, there are also certain people that only we are uniquely designed and appointed by God to reach. That’s the whole goal of church planting.
Perhaps we can be a church for God to call some of more his wandering followers home, and those who’ve never met him to find him for the first time.
On to updates!
Our Second Worship Night
February was another really fun month. We hosted our second public worship night, and we discussed the topic of depending on God as the foundation for our identities. We had over 40 in attendance, 11 of which who had never attended a Resilient event before. This is incredible, considering it was a 3-day weekend! Our team continues to blow me away with their advocacy and inviting friends to experience God through his church.
Food Drive Dash!
I wish I had gotten pictures of this event! One Wednesday evening, 6 members of our team met at Walmart to purchase a bunch of items to deliver to Vermillion’s local food pantry, with a focus on providing items they had a particular need for. It was a fun, simple way for us to bless our community!
We also had three different opportunities to represent Resilient at a few of our partner churches. Our teams got to share our vision and connect with several people who are excited about what we’re doing. The number 1 takeaway for our team when they table at these churches is hearing the common thread of people who were once in Vermillion who wished they had a church like the one we’re planting. (See? There’s that common theme again.)
Check out these photos from our visit with these churches!
Ransom Church • Sioux Falls, SD • Feb 6, 2022
Living Hope Wesleyan Church • Madison, SD • February 13, 2022
Linwood Wesleyan Church • Sioux Falls, SD • February 20, 2022
We Became a Chamber Member!
Finally, Resilient Church is officially a member of Vermillion’s Chamber of Commerce! We are so excited for this partnership. We’ve developed a wonderful relationship with Vermillion’s Chamber, which does an incredible job of investing into the community and bringing people together for a variety of events. We are the only church in Vermillion who’s a member of the chamber, and have already had some neat opportunities open up because of our membership that we otherwise wouldn’t have had.
Last, but certainly not least, our prayer requests for our month of March:
- Pray for continued outreach in our community, and conversations about faith and Jesus with our peers.
- I’m traveling to Orlando in March for a church planter’s conference. Pray for safe travels, as well as discernment for what the Lord may have for Resilient coming out of this conference.
- We are in the final stages of locking in a location for us to gather come August! Pray for all those logistics to come together as we finalize a lease!
- Pray that we can continue to be a church for people to call home. That the Lord can cultivate a welcoming church culture in us, and that we can do our due diligence to learn people’s names and help them feel like they belong. This is so important, as belonging leads to further belief in Jesus, and further belief in Jesus leads to becoming more like Jesus. It all starts with belonging.
That’s it for this month’s update! Thanks for your continued support, prayers, and advocacy!