Our church plant would be nothing without our team. We’ve been so blessed by the people God’s given us early to help make this vision a reality.

On the general level is our Core Team. These are the 30+ individuals who’ve committed to showing up to events, discussing vision and strategy, and will serve as our main pool of volunteers for our serving team when we launch in August. They’ve truly been incredible. I wish I had a photo with all of them at once, but here are a couple shots of us together!

Our Leadership Team

In addition to our Core Team is our Leadership Team. These are the team members who are responsible for ministry teams and “departments” of Resilient Church. I’d love to introduce you to them!

Kasey Thurston: Administration Lead

I’ve got to start with the most beautiful of the bunch! My wife, Kasey, is our Administrative Lead. She loves all things behind the scenes! So she’ll be overseeing all our internal systems and processes, office-y type work, and becoming a master of our church database and management software so she can aid our other ministry leads in that area.

Mason Buth: Worship + Media Pastor

Mason is our Worship + Media Pastor! I met Mason when he was a student at IWU in the Kern Ministry Program that I was the assistant director for between Fall 2019 and Spring 2021. Mason and I served in a number of different initiatives at IWU, and grew really close during the process. Mason is an incredibly gifted musician, an anointed worship leader, and has a sharp eye for all things media production.

Kellen Hackett: Compassion Pastor

The man with the greatest beard I’ve ever seen! Kellen and I hit off our friendship when we were on staff at The Ransom Church together. Kellen has a huge heart for compassion ministry, which includes everything from community development, local outreach, serving projects, nonprofit partnerships, and global mission trips. He and his family have spent time in Boise, Idaho and Seattle, Washington for some other church planting efforts, and we are so stoked for the Hackett’s to moving back to our area and to have Kellen serving in this Compassion ministry role for us to love on Vermillion!

Nathan Schroeder: Executive Assistant

I had the amazing opportunity to baptize Nathan one Sunday when I was pastoring at The Ransom Church, entered into a discipleship relationship afterwards, and hit it off ever since! Nathan is an auditor with a degree in accounting, so finances is his jam (and praise God for that!). In that vein, Nathan is keeping our books and advising Resilient’s finances.

Justine Schroeder: Guest Services Director

Justine, Nathan’s wife, is another great friendship that formed during my time at The Ransom! Justine is a recent graduate of USD’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy program, so she naturally has a huge heart for reaching USD and Vermillion as a graduate. Justine is overseeing our Guest Services ministry, which focuses on creating a warm, welcoming culture for members to easily discover belonging at Resilient. Justine is one of the most welcoming people you can meet, so I couldn’t think of a better person to serve in this role!

Damian Kardas: Resilient Kids Director

Damian Kardas: Resilient Kids Director

Damian’s one of the first people I ever met when I moved to Sioux Falls in 2016, and has become one of my best friends since then. Damian currently serves as a deputy for the city of Hartford, South Dakota, but has always had a special calling to Kids Ministry. Damian served as a lead for Ransom’s Kids’ Ministry back in the day, and will be bringing all that experience and passion for the next generation in spearheading our Resilient Kids Ministry!

Alan Perry: Sunday Operations Director

Alaaaaaann! I got to know Alan and his family during my time at The Ransom, as well. The Perry’s are one of the most service-oriented families I’ve ever met! Alan works as the director for the Lennox Ambulance department, and will be serving as Resilient’s Sunday Operations Director, which oversees our Sunday Setup and Tear Down process and our Security Team.

Meghan Jouwstra & Raigan Schmidt: Resilient Students Directors

Last but certainly not least is our co-directors for our college ministry, Meghan and Raigan! Meghan is a junior Health Services Administration major, and Raigan is a junior Occupational Therapy major. I connected randomly with Meghan over Facebook after some other random connections, but it turned out to be such a God thing. Meghan and Raigan were both seeking a new Christian community to be a part of their junior year, after being highly involved in a small group on campus their first 2 years of college. So when I shared about the vision for our church plant, they were in from the very beginning!

As things progressed over the year, the opportunity presented itself for us to launch our own campus ministry to USD, and Meghan and Raigan both stepped up to the plate of creating our official Resilient Students organization on campus! They will oversee our student leaders, college-based small groups, and organizing other events on campus.

Launch Resilient! Giving Campaign: Update

In other news, we are 22 days in to our summer Launch Resilient! Giving Campaign, with the goal to raise $75k In 75 Days to cover our launch expenses, and to be generous towards our community by giving away 10% of whatever we raise.

As of today, we have raised just over $30,000! We’re already over a third of the way to our goal, and we’re not even a third of the way through our campaign. The Lord’s been too good to us!

With that, I ask for your continued prayers for the Lord’s provision in this way, and that we can steward the time, talent, and treasure of our people and supporters to the best of our ability.

If you’d like to read more about the Giving Campaign, check out May’s update here.


Prayer Requests

  • The summer is slow. But it’s a nice change of pace. Continue praying for our team as they travel, adjust to summer rhythms, and can find rest as we enter into our launch season in less than 2 months!
  • Speaking of that, Kasey and I are off for vacation next week. Pray for us as we travel, and can find some much needed rejuvenation for our souls!
  • Continue praying for our giving campaign, that the Lord will provide us with the finances to launch Resilient well, and to in turn bless our community.
  • We have a number of events coming up in July, including a community outreach event, another worship night, and our training weekend for learning how to setup and tear down our equipment.
  • Pray for all the behind the scenes work that needs to happen this summer, to ensure that we can meet our new church members with best ministry we can possibly provide for them.
  • And most importantly, continue praying for the Lord to bring revival to our community, university, and region. I’m so convicted that he’s up to something new here. May we be ready to respond with whatever he brings.

That’s it for this month’s update! Thanks everyone!