I’m still in awe of what God did this past Sunday at Renovation Church. I had the incredible honor of preaching from John 3 and explaining why our church would be rooted & sustained by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My prayer is that we would not lift up Renovation Church but rather Jesus Christ and unite with other churches in the area to help people know Jesus and make Him known.
Here are a few highlights of this past Sunday!
Attendance: We had over 80 people in attendance for the service. We actually had to add 5 extra rows of chairs than what we normally have for Sunday mornings!
First Time Guests: We had 6 first time guests who had never attended one of our services as The Rescue Church.
Meal: After the service we had an incredible team of volunteers provide a great lunch for everyone who came. The vast majority of people were able to stay after the service and enjoy the food. We even got the Vikings v. Packers game on for the football fans!
Generosity: I am still amazed at God’s generosity through His people this past Sunday. Our offering was FOUR TIMES our weekly expenses. In other words, through one Sunday we covered all of our expenses for the month of October. To give some context, we become “Renovation Church” on Monday, October 9th with exactly $0.00 in our bank account. I was extremely stressed and plagued with doubt leading up to our first Sunday – could we even afford to be our own church? I can testify that God is truly a provider for His people.
More than anything, we were faithful to what God called us to do. My goal is not to grow a large church or gain a personal platform. I pray that our church can have the same attitude as John the Baptist – that Jesus must increase while we decrease (John 3:30). As He continues to provide for our church we are planning on releasing many of our people to plant churches throughout the area – especially in rural communities. Our goal is plant our first autonomous church by 2022.
We are just a bunch of nobodies trying to tell everybody about Somebody. Let’s make Jesus famous!
P.S. – If you live in the Garretson/Sioux Falls/Pipestone/Luverne area we would love to have you as our guest. We meet on Sundays at 10am at the Garretson school. For more information, head to our website – www.renovationchurchsd.com
On Thursday, May 11th two families lost their homes to a horrible fire. Thankfully, no people were hurt but pets were lost in the blaze. For one of these families – the Ellis family – this was the second time in two years that they lost their home. The first time happened in a windstorm that destroyed parts of Garretson a few years ago.
The Rescue Church in Garretson – where I currently pastor – wanted to respond in a radical way. We firmly believe that Christians should be the most generous people on the face of the earth. We should practice sacrificial, extravagant, self-denying, foolish-looking generosity!
So we gave away 100% of our offering this past Sunday! It will be split 50/50 between the two families.
Truthfully, we are only playing a small role. It was been incredible seeing the community of Garretson rally around the victims of this tragedy. Multiple businesses, churches, organizations, and individuals have contributed time, talent, and money to provide relief for these families.
Here are a few stories by the local news media about how the community is responding:
If you would like to help these families you can do so in multiple ways:
1. There are two funds set-up at First Bank & Trust in Garretson. The names of the funds are “Zion Lutheran Church for the Benefit of the Ellis Family” & “Zion Lutheran Church for the Benefit of the Eide Family.”
2. There is a GoFundMe set-up for the Ellis family so you can give online.
3. There is a Target registry set up for the Ellis family. This registry will be updated by the family when they have the opportunity to do so.
4. Vince Eide – the owner of the other house that was lost – is an avid shopper at Campbell’s Supply and Ace Hardware. He has requested gift cards to these stores. These cards can be sent to the following address:
P.O. Box 135
Garretson, SD 57030
Part of this effort is our EMTs (Extreme Ministry Team). The purpose of our EMTs is to serve people in practical ways in order to display the love of Jesus Christ. One of the major functions of our EMTs is to assist in areas that have been crippled by severe weather.
Monday evening, we had a team of over 25 people that came together last minute, equipped with heavy machinery, to serve the community! I was in awe as more and more people, with a strong desire to serve, continued to arrive from The Rescue Church.
Below are a few photos of the work day:
Our Garretson Campus received minor damage from the storm. One of our large windows on the lobby side was blown out as a result of the pressure inside of the building. We also had some tiles and insulation pulled down from the ceiling. There were a few things knocked over inside but nothing major. (You will notice that somehow our yarn design stayed intact but the window busted!)
Our first stop was at Tucker’s Walk (A vineyard outside of Garretson) that received heavy tree damage. The new tasting room, which was built only recently, had some shattered glass but the structure as a whole was okay. We had a team of people complete with chainsaws, four wheelers, and a skid loader to help with the clean up process. After this, we headed into town and helped a few residents clean their yards.
If you are interested in helping the clean up process, the City of Garretson will be posting updates on their Facebook page. I will also be in Garretson this evening and tomorrow to help. Feel free to e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions!