Another month has gone by at Resilient Church! There’s so much to celebrate with how the Lord’s moving in our fledgling church community. But before we get to the updates, here’s how I’d describe this current season of Resilient Church:

We’re in this funny “getting to know you” stage with our church family.

I compare it to the dating stage of a relationship. You and the other person are simply taking time to hang out and see where the relationship is going to make sure it’s a good fit. As crazy as it sounds, something I wasn’t anticipating in planting a church was actually getting to know our newly forming church community! We were so focused on building our team and getting to launch Sunday, I didn’t even think about how we would get to know our new church members, and, that our new church members are getting to know us.

We have seen dozens of new faces over these last two months who are getting to know us, and we’re getting to know them. It’s been so, so fun. And our prayer is that we steward every person who walks through our doors, love on ’em with Christ’s love, and strive to create a church culture of belonging to the best of our ability.

Here’s a glimpse at all the cool things God’s been up to this month!

Sunday Services

One of our rituals after we’re done setting up all our equipment is to huddle up, pray, and then put all our hands in the middle of the circle and say, “Best day of the week!” Because there’s truly something special about a day dedicated to worshiping the Lord together and be formed by his Word.

Sunday services continue to be an immense highlight. We’re averaging around 50 in attendance, consistently seeing new people join us each week. We’ve been journeying through a 9-week series we’re calling The Core, as we journey through our “core” beliefs outlined by the Apostles’ Creed. It’s been a powerful series already!

But what’s been just as powerful is seeing our church become a community. Guests are returning for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th time. People are sticking around to hang out a bit after service. We’re getting people plugged in to serving and groups. Above all, relationships are starting to form. That’s what makes a church.

Resilient Students Worship Night

Our Resilient Students campus ministry also hosted their first-ever worship night! Fifteen of our students gathered in the Danforth Chapel on USD’s campus for 2 hours of worship, prayer, and community. Our students quickly expressed that we need to do this again! We’re stoked to host our next one in November, and are expecting the Lord to continue using these worship nights for huge things on campus. This is only the beginning!

Small Groups

Our small groups are half way through their first semester! The image above is a picture of the small group that meets in my home currently, but we have another 2 college-based groups that meet during the week, as well. These have been rich discussions of diving deeply into Scripture, wrestling with complex questions, and dreaming about how its truths apply to our lives. We’re gradually seeing groups grow, and are anticipating adding 1, possibly 2, new groups starting in January!

Calling & Vocation Workshop

Our core values are Worship, Words, and Work. Worship is done through our Sunday worship services, and Words is all about learning God’s wisdom in small groups. On October 29th, we hosted our first ever WORKshop that discusses how God can leverage our vocations to minister to our world. Eight of us gathered in the upper room of our local coffee shop, and discussed what it means to be “called” by God, and to be used for his mission right where we are as if we are working for the Lord. (And of course, free coffee and pastries were provided.)

$5,000 Match Grant Opportunity!

And in case this month couldn’t get any better, we also have a $5,000 matching grant opportunity made available to us from one of our supporters! Here are the conditions for the matching grant:

  • All donations must occur outside of Sunday tithes, Resilient congregants’ tithes, & active recurring gifts from outside supporters
  • Donations under $100 are matched 100%
  • Donations between $100-$1000 are matched 50% (e.g., a $300 gift is matched at $150)
  • Donations over $1000 are matched 25% (e.g., a $1000 is matched at $250)
  • Once match percentages add up to $5,000, our $5,000 grant is unlocked

As of today, we currently have $1350 raised towards the grant! We’re so grateful for this opportunity. Since we are still in our early stages as a church, and are thus still creating a culture of generosity in our attenders, these additional fundraising opportunities are immensely helpful in sustaining this ministry to Vermillion and USD. However you are willing to give and support is hugely appreciated!

Prayer Requests

For all my prayer warriors, here are our requests for this month:

  • Pray for our Leadership Team, as we’re wrestling with what it means for Resilient Church to become a church that lasts. Our focus for this year is all about stability. Pray for the Lord to give us discernment on the next steps we need to chase to dig our roots deep this year, so we can be a church that lasts for decades.
  • With that, in our pursuit for stability, be praying for the Lord to keep bringing us Team Members for our Sunday serving teams. This way we can begin having a regular rotation of Team Members to promote healthy, consistent, and stable serving & worship rhythms.
  • Pray for our students. Anxiety is high. It’s crunch time for the semester. Pray for the Lord to move in them, and give them peace.
  • Continue praying for our student organization, Resilient Students, as they cultivate relationships, plan these worship nights, and disciple their peers. Also be praying for the conversations coming up about raising up student leaders for next year
  • Lots of our people are sick right now, or just enduring other personal struggles and grievances. Pray for the Lord to comfort and heal.
  • Finally, as always, pray that Vermillion can “taste and see” that the Lord is good. That we can be a beacon of hope to our community and region. And that we can be obedient to whatever the Lord has in store for us next.

That’s it for this month! Thanks so much for your continued prayers and support. We couldn’t do this without you!

– Pastor Jake Thurston