I think God wants to bring a revival to Vermillion.
The month of March for Resilient Church began in the balmy humidity of Orlando, Florida. I had the opportunity to attend the National Exponential Conference, the largest annual church planting and multiplication conference in the world. I got to connect with fellow church planters, eat good food, get only a minor tan, and receive a ton of inspiration for what God is doing through church planting.
During the conference, the theme the Lord kept bringing to my attention was “revival.” Every time “revival” was mentioned, I’d get the Holy Spirit chills. There have been many points throughout history, and particularly here in America, when the Spirit of God stirs things up in his church and awakens hearts to the new thing he wants to do. These revivals often contained two essential ingredients.
The first ingredient is that, historically, revivals often involved the empowerment of the next generation. It was through teenagers and young adults who not only beckoned God to do a new thing, but were willing and respondent to do the new thing. As I look at the makeup of our Core Team, it is apparent that the Lord is raising up an army of young people who want to see God do this new thing in Vermillion. So we definitely check that box as our church community continues to form.
The second ingredient of revivals that was mentioned was people praying this common prayer:
“God, we want you here.”
That simple prayer reveals the yearning of a soul to see God actively present in their community and region. The ironic beauty of God’s sovereignty is he won’t force it upon us. He is a dynamic, relational God, interacting with the yearnings of his people. That’s why he tends to show up in the hearts of communities who seek him, and fades away in the hearts of communities who neglect him.
Coming out of that conference, I was convicted about neglecting the importance of that second ingredient. Yes, we obviously have been praying for God to change lives through Resilient Church. And yes, we obviously want God present through every step of the process. In fact, we are where we are solely because God has been present every step of the way. But where was that desperation? That yearning for God to make himself known here? To wreck us with his Spirit? To present the things about our community that break our hearts to the Lord, asking him to heal them and redeem them? If these things break our hearts, how much more do they break God’s?
I shared all this with our Core Team at our March 20th Core Team meeting: That I firmly believe God wants to revive Vermillion. Ever since Kasey and I took our prayer trip to Vermillion in October 2020, I always had this feeling that Vermillion was a “sleeping giant” that God wanted to awaken and leverage for his kingdom. I have no idea what all that fully entails and what it requires of us at Resilient Church. But what I do know, is if there is anyone who can awaken giants, it’s the Lord Almighty. And it begins with us praying, over and over again, from the bottom of our hearts:
“God, we want you here.”
“God, we want you here.”
“God, we want you here…”
Since then, we’ve pivoted our priority to begin every Core Team meeting with prayer, specifically around God reviving Vermillion: That he will see his desires for our community through, and that we can be the willing vessels to respond accordingly. So if you’re looking for something new to pray on our behalf, I’d say this is a pretty good one.
On to other updates from this month!
Our Core Team Meetings
As I mentioned, our Core Team continues to meet every other Sunday night in the Vermillion Public Library. We focus on prayer and discussing vision and strategy, as we continue to work towards our August 28 launch date. I haven’t always done the best job of including photos of our Core Team in these monthly updates, so enjoy these! 😊
Worship Night #3
Our March Worship Night was the best one to date! We had 60 people total in attendance—the first night when our Core Team was in the minority of those present. Blake, one of our friends from Ransom Church in Sioux Falls, came down to lead us in worship; Raigan, one of our student leaders, gave the welcome and announcements; and our team did an amazing job inviting friends and connecting with everyone.
One of my favorite moments was this group of 5th graders (you can see them in the front row) who live across the street stopped by the library while we were setting up for the night. They wanted to come in and get some of our free snacks, but they not only helped us set up for the evening, but they stayed for 3/4’s of the service!
Probably the most powerful moment, though, happened after our sound system went ballistic at the end of the service during our response time. After unplugging the speakers (and saving our ear drums), all we could hear was each other’s voices, which prompted a really sweet, Spirit-filled moment of prayer for God to make his presence here and revive Vermillion. It was truly an incredible night!
Vermillion School District “Thank You” Notes
I wish I had gotten photos, but we also did a small service project for our school district this month! We wrote “thank you” cards to every employee in our school district, and delivered them to each school’s offices with 2 dozen donuts. This was just to show our love and appreciation for everything our school district does to love on our kids.
Finally…. We Have A Gathering Space!!
I’m also so excited to announce we have a gathering space for when we launch in August!! However, we aren’t quite ready to release all the details just yet. We’re still waiting on the lease to be finished, and to go through all those details with a fine tooth comb before we can sign it and make it official. But for those anxiously waiting to know if we have a space, the answer is a resounding “YES!!” And praise God!! We seriously couldn’t be more excited for this space and partnership.
But for those who really really really want to know where it’s at, you’ll have to hold out just a little bit longer. 😊 We are hoping to have everything finalized before the end of April!
For all my prayer warriors, here’s this month’s worth of prayer requests:
- Praise God for all the incredible thing’s he is already doing in Vermillion through Resilient Church. Each month gets better and better!
- Pray for the Lord to move at our next worship night. We’re hosting it at the Pizza Ranch Event Center in town, and are anticipating it to be our best turnout yet.
- Pray for us as we wrap up Phase III of our launch plan in May, and begin turning towards Phase IV. We will be finalizing our plans for the summer over the next month. Pray for God to help us tune our ears to the things he wants us to do to serve our community, and prepare for launch day.
- We are continuing to recruit people to join our team, as we start to fill our serving teams in preparation for Launch Day. Pray for God to keep bringing us those people who believe in this, and want to dedicate their Sunday mornings to serving his church so we can reach Vermillion.
- In a similar vein, we are still looking for a Worship Pastor / Director. Pray for the Lord to bring us the perfect person to fill this role, as worship is an incredibly important value for us.
- Last, and most importantly, pray for the Lord to awaken this sleeping giant that is Vermillion’s church. That Resilient Church can be on the front wave of this new movement of the Spirit, and that we will be obedient to whatever he wants for us.
That’s everything! Thanks for your continued prayers and support!