Seven years ago, Resonate gatherings consisted of a voice, an acoustic guitar, a djembe, and just around fifty people in attendance. But since then, we have seen that God has a vastly different plan for the future of Resonate Church. As Resonate has grown on the Palouse, we have gathered at several different venues around the cities of Moscow and Pullman.
Last year was our first experience planting a church on a college campus, gathering and worshipping in a lecture hall at Washington State University. This year, it was time to add yet another service, as the existing venues began to overflow and our hearts for multiplication grew. Starting a fourth site would not only provide more space, but would also offer additional opportunities for leadership development and an overall greater influence in the Palouse.
Craig Lovelace, a recent graduate of the University of Idaho, felt called to lead the newest on-campus venue in the student union building as the site pastor. Beginning a fourth venue certainly brought its challenges. Logistically, our lead pastor would not be able to preach live at all four sites, leading to the decision to establish the UI site as a video venue, filming and streaming the sermon from an earlier service each week. But this decision was strategic - the concept of a video venue prepares Resonate for further multiplication as we plant new churches outside of the Palouse. The team at the University of Idaho started the year full force, meeting with students, praying fervently, and running around campus all day with the vision that God had great things in store for Moscow. Craig knew the year would be full of obstacles for his team.
“This is a church plant; we are missionaries. Even if the Sunday gathering does not show growth, what we wanted to see this year is movement on campus that will eventually reflect growth on Sundays. We fought hard for unity.”
The team of staff and volunteers who made the Sunday gatherings happen was made up of some new leaders, new churchgoers, and many new to the college scene, as this site reaches primarily freshmen and Greek students. This made consistency and commitment a hard foundation to build. But through the faithfulness of the team and by God’s grace, the second semester started with a bang.
“God started blowing stuff up; it was crazy,” Craig remembers. In the first two months back at school, twenty students chose to put their trust in Jesus and start a new life through Him. “I think it was the Lord saying, ‘Your team and the church has come to a place where you’re ready to see the fruit of the work done all year.’”
That was a huge moment of encouragement and excitement for Resonate Church, witnessing movement on the UI campus that we had never seen before. The UI site has been blessed with a relentlessly dedicated team, who daily fight for the vision of students meeting Jesus and seeing a campus-wide culture change in favor of God’s kingdom.
We are humbled that God would let us witness such a sweet year of growth and change, and that He would choose to use us as His instruments though we remain imperfect and in desperate need of His love. As a site, as Resonate church, and as the global body of Christ, we praise God and celebrate what He has done in this campus this year, and we hope you are joining in.
Here is a glimpse of how we gather on a college campus as the body of Christ:
Our goal through the UI site this year has been to refine the process of church planting while God reaches and brings in more and more students to our congregation. As the site grows, our staff and volunteers are praying and planning to eventually plant in Missoula, Montana.
God has given us a passion for college students and how much He loves them. We desire nothing more than to see young adults and the community around them live for Jesus in community with one another, and then go share that love with the rest of the world.