Does (fill in the name of your town here) really need another church? I can’t answer that question for every community in the world today, but if you live anywhere in rural America I’m going to say that most likely, YES! your community is in need of a church…a healthy one that is!
Ten years ago, God called me to leave a career as a firefighter and plant The RESCUE Church in Flandreau, SD…a rural community probably very similar to many throughout the Midwest. Over the past decade my eyes have been opened to the spiritual darkness that overshadows so much of rural America. It’s not easy to spot it at first glance because it hides right out in the open…behind steeples and stained glass! Take a road trip through just about any Smalltown, USA and you’ll be hard pressed to find one that doesn’t have at least one (if not multiple) church buildings from pretty much all the major religious denominations and affiliations. On the surface you might quickly conclude that rural America is being serviced quite well in the church department and the last thing that is needed in most small “Mayberry-like” towns is another church.
But after ten years of ministry in rural America I can tell you that when you begin to look behind the religious facade of many communities what you’ll find is very unhealthy:
- Churches that lack strong leadership and are struggling to keep their doors open.
- Churches that have no vision to see God’s kingdom grow.
- Churches that haven’t seen anyone come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ in years.
- Churches where the gospel message is seldom heard.
- Churches that do not preach the truth of God’s Word with authority and conviction.
- Churches that are not reaching out.
- Churches that make zero impact in their communities.
- Churches that are very threatened by a healthy, growing church!
In 2009 God gave me a very clear vision to lead our church into many rural communities across South Dakota (and beyond!) by becoming “one church in multiple locations” through the use of technology. At the time, I had never heard of multi-site church planting, I had no idea how this would even work, our church didn’t have any equipment necessary to accomplish this vision, we had very limited resources, and the list of excuses could go on and on why this was an impossible task God was calling us to! But when God shows up NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! So in late 2009 our church set out to be obedient to the vision God had set before us.
Today we still have very limited resources, I still have no idea what I’m doing, and the list of reasons could go on and on why The RESCUE Church should never be used by God to accomplish great things for His Kingdom. And yet…here we are on the eve of seeing that vision become a reality tomorrow as we open the doors to our first (of many to come!) campus in Colman, SD! We are waiting with great anticipation and expectation to see what God is going to do tomorrow and in the days ahead through this new outpost of our church! I’ll keep you posted.
So does your community really need another church? Probably! And we’d be happy to bring one to you! If you’re interested in leading a campus of The RESCUE Church in your community let’s talk! I invite you to be a part of an amazing story that God is in the process of writing.