As I mentioned in our December update, January marked the beginning of Phase III of a 4-phase launch plan to plant Resilient Church this August. Already, we have been blown away by what the Lord is doing in this next phase! Here are all the updates.

Core Team Meetings

The first and third Sundays of every month are our Core Team Meetings. This is a time for those committed to building this church can gather, build relationships, create our church culture, and discuss strategy as we move closer to our launch date. 

And let me tell you—these meetings have been electric. 

Last semester, we hosted some casual Sunday evening gatherings just for those who wanted to check us out could hear what we’re about and meet others interested in this church. But now, these Sunday night meetings are filled with people who gathered with a common mission: We all want to see this church planted in Vermillion. That camaraderie unites all of us on a whole other level. 

We’re also working through the book, Faith For Exiles, as a Core Team. This is a book that was foundational for my discernment process for what the Lord wanted this church to be about. Literally—the entire concept of raising resilient disciples as the basis for our church mission (and our church name, for that matter) came from this book. This has been a great way for all of us to get on the same page for the realities of the church in our time and culture, and what it means for us here in Vermillion, SD.

I wish I had pictures of our Core Team meetings. We just dive right in and I’m too stoked to remember to take any.

Our First Worship Night

Sandwiched between our Core Team Meetings are two other events: Worship Nights and Interest Parties. We hosted our first worship night on January 16th, and it was absolutely incredible. To put it simply…

We had church.

It was a wonderful time of worshiping the Lord and hearing from his word about what it means to be resilient in the midst of our most unblessed moments. The Spirit was so present. And it gave all of us just a taste of the work the Lord is doing here in Vermillion!

United College Ministry & Sunnybrook Community Church Partnership

Another exciting update is that we now have a partnership with Sunnybrook Community Church in Sioux City, Iowa, a vibrant church just 40 minutes south-east of us. One of the aspects of our partnership is getting to participate in United, Sunnybrook’s monthly college ministry. United has small groups established at many of the colleges within an hour radius of Sioux City, and then everyone gathers together on the last Tuesday of every month for worship, a message, community, and (of course) free food. 

Because we’re in the early stages of our church plant, it’s crucial that we stay simple and lean in our ministry focus. This means Resilient’s “college ministry” only consists of our Sunday morning worship services and small groups after we launch. It could be a couple years before we have the capacity to host a monthly worship night just for this demographic. But why reinvent the wheel when we can join a college ministry that’s already doing incredible things? So once a month, our students will carpool together to participate in this movement of the Spirit that the Lord is doing within hundreds of young people in our area. The image above is from our first trip on January 25th!

Our First Interest Party

Prayer Requests & What’s Next

Needless to say, we have been stoked out of our minds for the incredible things the Lord’s already been doing! Here’s what y’all can be praying for as we approach everything coming up next:

  • Continue to pray for our Core Team and our meetings. Our team is already at 30 members, and growing! Pray that the Lord can guide our time, and anoint our conversation, as we seek his face for what he wants to do here in Vermillion and USD.
  • Pray for our upcoming events in February: 
    • A Super Bowl Party on February 13th to meet new people and introduce them to Resilient and the love of Jesus.
    • Our second worship night on February 20th
  • We’re getting closer on officially nailing down a gathering space for when we launch! Pray for those conversations as we make final decisions, write up leases, and order equipment. These are all very administrative heavy tasks that crucial for us to be a place where people can encounter the Spirit of Christ.
  • Continue to pray for our season of fundraising; that the Lord will supply the resources we need to adequately reach our community and be sustained for decades to come.
  • Finally, and most importantly, keep praying for our ministry. That we can engage in conversations with people looking for community, purpose, and the love of God—whether they realize that’s what they’re yearning for or not. That our focus will remain on those who are far from God, that we can be a light to all those around us, and can lovingly, and courageously, engage in those conversations as we share our faith in the hope of Jesus.

That’s everything for this month! We can’t thank you enough for your prayers!