He did it again! (an update)

Hey friends!

For those of you who are following our journey, you know that God called us to start churches in St. Louis.  This October will be the 2-year anniversary of our church’s launch.

Last year we were asking God for a building and standing on His promises to meet the financial needs of our ministry.  We were crying out for direction and provision and we were working hard to continually reach more people through outreach.  We were asking very specifically about a building: location, size, parking, favor with owner, look, kids area, etc.  In April, we found the place, with everything we asked for.  In May, we started preparing to move in July 1.  We again asked God specifically for the finances to come in for this move–we needed $10,000 by July 1 and $10,000 for renovations by end of August.   We declared we would be in the building by July 1 despite all kinds of logistical hurdles–permits, finances, insurance, etc.  There were so many elements out of my control.

Yet Jesus has taught us: “Ask what you DESIRE and it shall be done FOR you” and “if two of you AGREE on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done FOR them by My Father in heaven.”  We caught this!  That when we came together and asked for strategy, He gave it.  That when we agreed on our goals and dates, led by the Spirit, and asked our Lord, that He started moving on our behalf.  That when we worked hard, He put His hand with ours to make the impossible a reality.  

And so July 1 we got in the building, just like we agreed and asked!  July 1 people gave $10,000, just like we asked!  August 26 $10,000 more came in, just like we asked!  We started with two services and have been growing since.  We have seen people come to Jesus, healed physically, find their home, hear God, and so much more…just like we are asking!  Praise God!

This is just a set up!  I see God setting us up for a move of His Spirit.  I see He is preparing us for miracles.  Last year, at this time, God spoke to me about hosting a conference (a weekend set aside to worship God and hear His voice). I thought it sounded silly.  We did not have a building and we were just a small church plant team leading a newly born church.  And yet, here we are, a year later: we have a new building, we are growing, and anticipation is rising for breakthrough…just like God said.

Why does God speak in advance?  To prepare us, get us in alignment, and to get glory when it happens.  We hear God and walk it out, depending on His power and provision.  We ask and He moves.  God has provided every resource, every team member, and every dollar.  He has answered every prayer.  He has led us every step of the way.  He is fulfilling the vision.  He did it again.  And He will do it again.  

I remember declaring these things before we ever launched our church.  I could see the vision then.  I remember declaring we would reach people, be a multi-cultural, diverse, Spirit-filled church in the heart of the St. Louis metro area.  I remember us crying out for people to come to Jesus.  God is so faithful.  The vision is coming to pass.

If He did it for us, He will do it for you.  If He did it then, He will do it again.  God who called you is faithful and He will DO it.  So look to Him, ask Him for strategy, come into agreement with your team, ask for His help specifically, walk it out, and watch Him move.  He will do it…again!

Thank you to all who have prayed and given to us, especially in this recent season.  I am overwhelmed by the generosity and support.  If you are in the St. Louis area, join us for our first Rock Conference and our 2nd anniversary this coming October 5-7. We would love for you to be a part of our community and mission.

 

A Long Overdue Update

Hey friends and family!

It has been way too long since I have sent out an official update. I know some of you follow our podcast or Facebook posts, but here is an attempt to summarize a whirlwind two-years (and if you just want the bottom line: our new church is moving to a new building).

If you just want the bottom line:

our new church is moving to a new building!

For those who don’t know about our journey, let me back up a bit.

4 years ago I was enjoying pastoring NewCommunity Church in Glendora, CA with amazing leaders and community.  I loved our church (still do love the people!).  I was blessed and content. Then Jesus spoke to me in a dream.  He took my wife and I to St. Louis, under the arch, and said, “This is your city”.  The compassion of Jesus overwhelmed me as I began to weep and declare God’s unfailing love over my city.  I awoke and the Lord continued to speak to me and show me what He envisioned to do through this ministry.  We passed NewCommunity to amazing leaders and it is thriving (visit Thrive Glendora).

2 years ago we left SoCal, close friends and family, comfort-zones, In-N-Out, the suburbs, and the beach.  We have been stretched in our faith, in our emotions, in our energy.  I feel like we stepped out on water and are still out of the boat every day!

In October 2016, we started the church with a team of 12 adults in the heart of the city of St. Louis.  We are a campus of The Rock (a multi-campus church originating in Anaheim, CA under Pastors Jerry and Kimberly Dirmann).  We are so humbled and thankful for the covering, support, wisdom, and partnership of The Rock.

Our church has grown (little by little) just like Jesus told me.  The church is diverse just like Jesus told me.  After a few months, one leader noted to me, “Our church is made up of people from almost every continent!”.  Well, not Antartica or Australia, but we are moving in the right direction.   We are seeing people return to the Lord, grow in faith, and be healed.  I love it!  It has been slow and trying many times (especially during ice storms), but it is always worth it to obey Jesus and love people.

We were born for adventure.

Our kids long for the danger of doing something eternal.

I currently work during the day for a Commercial General Contractor as a project Accountant.  In all my years of ministry and non-profit work I have never done finance!  It is funny to me how the Lord has provided such a good job with a great company.  A year ago I didn’t every know what “accounts payable” meant and now I am assisting the CFO to build systems and manage the financials of the company.  I can relate a little more to the Apostle Paul who worked so he would not be a burden to the churches he was starting.

God has provided every need of our church and my family thus far.  A friend recently asked me, “What is the best thing about the church plant?”  Among all the testimonies and all the new members I adore, my family is still the greatest highlight.  I have watched Michele blossom in her leadership, my kids witness the hand of God, and the Lord unite our hearts in a deeper way.  So many christians play it safe and insulate their children (really hide from their calling behind their children).  But we were born for adventure; our kids long for the danger of doing something eternal.

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And now we are moving to our own building in July!  Once again, the Lord has answered prayer.  He has directed our steps to the right location for us at this time.  We are in the process of securing a lease and preparing to move to our new building, where we will start with two services (9&11am).  Our team is super excited, full of expectation, focused on the vision, and moved with compassion for people.  My greatest joy is serving people with a team of like-mind leaders full of faith, love, humility, passion, and devotion.  The Lord has provided this team and the resources we need thus far.  After our strategic planning meeting a month ago, a shout of praise and roar of intercession exploded spontaneously from the team-I was thrilled by their faith!  Our goal is to move in July 1 and we will update everyone has the dates become solidified.

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This is the first floor of the new building!  This will be the main sanctuary. 

We are also believing God for $20,000 for our new building.  We need to purchase chairs, new signs and fliers, renovations for the sanctuary stage and kids classrooms, additional sound and lighting equipment, and such.  As you can image, it adds up.

If the Lord stirs your heart, we would be so grateful.

Would you consider partnering with us in prayer and giving?  Our diverse, urban church is stretching out to reach more people and make an impact in St. Louis.  I am convinced the vision Jesus showed me 4 years ago will continue to unfold and come to pass.  We could use your support to bump us into this next phase.  If the Lord stirs your heart, we would be so grateful.

Here is how you can join us in reaching our goal:

PRAYING with us in faith for all of the resources we need; for hundreds to be reached; and for the glory of the Lord to fill our church.

GIVING FINANCIALLY.  Give now.  This link will bring you to our church’s online giving portal powered by Secure Give.  Be sure to choose our campus, St. Louis English, and to donate to “Heart for the Harvest”, which goes directly to our specific facility and outreach goals in this season.

Thank you!

Pastor David

The Rock St. Louis is One Year Old!

Friends,

The Rock St. Louis is one year old! It is hard to imagine that we are celebrating our one-year anniversary this Sunday.  In this short period of time God has drawn people to Himself and formed a diverse community full of faith, hope, and love. He has caused us to grow little by little all year.  We have invited thousands of people, walked hundreds of streets, blessed scores of people.  And this is just the beginning!

We have witness God save, heal, and supernaturally promote His people.  We have been a bridge for people far from God and disconnected from church to find their way back home.  It is such a privilege to shepherd God’s precious, beloved people. It is such an honor and a joy to be in the Lord’s ministry.  And this is just the beginning!

We are being light in darkness, carrying the Cure to broken people, offering hope to the lost, revealing Jesus to our city; we have authority to declare life and blessing; we have the message that will set people free, restore their destiny, and release their calling. We are full of love for St. Louis—and this is just the beginning!

The church Jesus is building is the hope of the world!  What the world needs, what the world craves, is found in Christ, the Desire of Nations.

I am so grateful to all of you who have prayed, given, supported, encouraged, or served.   God knows what you have sown into this ministry and He will reward. God has provided everything we have needed. We have testimonies of God’s gracious intervention for our gathering place, funds for outreach, our ministry team, and so much more.  God’s favor has been upon us; we have lacked no good thing.  He has guided us every step.  He is our “Ebenezer” (check out 1 Samuel 7).  And this is just the beginning!

I want to invite you to celebrate our one year anniversary with us THIS Sunday, October 15 at 10am, 2017 Chouteau Ave. We are going to celebrate what God has done and what He will do. This Sunday is going to be full of vision and joy! We are also going to celebrate with dessert and a special gift for everyone. We have invited a powerful guest, Pastor Carl, to minister the word to us.  If you cannot be with us physically, celebrate with us in spirit.  We appreciate your prayers, encouragement and every gift you give to this ministry.  If you want to give financially, click here.

 

With much love,

-Pastor David

 

God is moving in St. Louis! (an update)

God is moving in St. Louis!

The first two weeks of October we held our Grand Opening services for The Rock.  We have met lots of new friends that God drew by His Spirit.  Over those two weeks we had over 30 visitors.  We could sense the presence and power of God, hearts were impact with His word, and we could visibly see a glimpse of the vision God has given us.  There is nothing like being in the center of God’s will and experiencing His hand upon your work.  He gets all the glory!

I remember the sorrow I felt 2 years ago as I stepped down from pastoring in Glendora, CA.  It was, without question, the hardest decision I have ever made.  And yet, now there is a new church in St. Louis working to fill this city with the word of God and great joy.  The sacrifice that our church, my family, and I made was worth it.  I know there is (and will be) greater fruitfulness in Glendora and St. Louis because Jesus is the Head of His church.

A big THANK YOU to those of you who sent us, who believed God with us, prayed for us, and supported us–keep it up!  We need it. 

Much of our walk with God and our partnering with Him to serve others is done by faith.  We don’t get to see the results first.  We have to believe first and then we see the results.  This requires that we add patience (joy-filled, thankful, perseverance) to our faith.  We are just at the beginning of this work of God in St. Louis.  When I say, “we saw a glimpse”, its like seeing the tiny green shoot of a giant oak tree beginning to grow. We have to continue to walk by faith.

The Lord has shown us what the next step in the strategy is as we continue to do outreach and prepare for a great Christmas harvest.  I choose everyday to believe that God has led us, provide for us, and empowered us up to this point and He will continue to do so.  I am convinced He will continue to cause us to increase–not for us but for others and for His glory.

I remember what God told Habakkuk:

Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry (2:2-3).

I encourage you to add patience to your faith.  Whatever God has called you to do, He has promised all of Himself and His resources to help you.  The Lord is with you. His word will not return to Him void.  He will perfect what concerns you.  So don’t give up.  In the end the vision (what He has spoken/shown you) will speak.

St. Louis is a beautiful city full of amazing people–people Jesus loves, purchased with His blood and wants to receive their full inheritance.  So many, however, have not experienced His great love for them nor ever understood the full gospel.  So many have been hurt by religion and turned off from church.  God wants to reveal and restore His purpose for the people and city of St. Louis.

God is using us to convince people of His love and promises; His power and their purpose.  He is using us to bring unity through a diverse, grace-filled community that shows value for every person.  He is using us to tear down spiritual strongholds keeping people from Him and their purpose.  The Lord has called us, along with other churches, to fill St. Louis with the word and with great joy.  We see God multiplying leaders and churches so that every neighborhood has a witness of Christ-light shining in darkness, blessing lifting up the city. In the end the vision will speak!

Please pray for our church and for the people and city of St. Louis.  We are especially seeking God and working hard to reach many during the coming Christmas season.  Among other outreaches, we are collecting presents to give to kids.  Please pray for the strategy, resources and favor we need.  And pray for God to draw people by His Spirit.

If you want to give a present or money towards us purchasing presents, here is some information.  We are seeking presents that are about $10-15 for elementary and high school kids.

1. Online: http://www.gototherock.com

  • Click on “give”
  • Choose “St. Louis English” from the drop down menu
  • Give through “heart for the harvest” (H4TH) to support our Christmas outreach.

2. By mail: send presents or offerings to 7109 Field Ave. St. Louis MO 63116.  Make checks payable to “the rock”. Write “St. Louis H4TH” in the memo to support our Christmas Outreach.

Thank you for your prayers and support!

Our Church Granding Opening Is October 2&9

God is faithful!  

A couple weeks ago we were able to secure an amazing venue to rent for our church services at an affordable price. God did that. The scripture says “The horse is made ready for the day of battle but the victory comes from God.” We prayed and searched but God provided.  

In the process I ran into a lot of obstacles and discovered a lot about myself. I am thankful that the Lord tests my faith and uses situations to refine my character. The Lord has a way of leading us into things that push us to our limit, exposing areas He wants to work on (like fear, offense, selfishness–to name a few). He has a way of making us honest. Before we had a breakthrough with the venue, I had a breakthrough in my heart. The Lord led me to confess my lack and His faithfulness. As a team, we continued to move forward in faith rather than changing our minds or goals based in sight. The day we secured the facility the Lord led me to 1 Samuel 17 where David declared to the giant, “THIS DAY the Lord will deliver you into my hand….” Faith rose in my heart and I declared, “This day the Lord will give us a place.” Hours later everything came together. Our testimony is: “They got the venue BY FAITH!” And that will continue to be our testimony because He who called us and promised is faithful.

Our Grand Opening
Our Grand Opening is October 2 and 9 at 10am at Moulin (2017 Chouteau Ave. in St. Louis). We are preparing everything now: praying, inviting people, buying lots of equipment, making sure we are ready for kids and adults. We are ensuring that the presence of God is welcomed, people are loved, kids are blessed, the word is preached with anointing, and people are impacted. We are preparing and the Lord will give the victory!

Please pray
Please pray with us for the hearts of men and woman, young and old, to be impacted by the Lord, to come to our Grand Opening, and to come to Jesus, enter discipleship, and be transformed. This is the beginning of a work that will bring restoration to St. Louis. Along with many other amazing churches and ministries, the Lord has called us to start a church that is fruitful and multiplies-that impacts people and empowers them to bring life to others, that fills St. Louis with the word, with discipleship, with many small groups and churches. I see God’s people rising in faith and love to take authority in the spiritual realm and to serve people. Help us prepare by ‘preparing the way of the Lord’ through prayer.  

Spread the word on social media 
If you know anyone who lives in the St. Louis metro area, please let them know about this awesome opportunity to grow and to serve. Invite them to our Grand Opening.  You can also go to http://www.facebook.com/therockstl.  Then like our page and share our Grand Opening post to help spread the word. 

Missions trip to St. Louis 
We have a few friends coming out to help us invite people (by passing out fliers and door hangers on homes) and launch services the first weekend of October. If you are interested in going on a missions trip to St. Louis, please contact us at saintlouis@solidlives.com. 

Thank you for your prayers and support!

  

Walking By Faith (an update)

“Go…make disciples….” –Matthew 28:19

Hi friends,

If you want to live completely out of your comfort zone, utterly dependent on God’s power, in order to see other people come to Jesus, learn His ways, and be transformed, then I recommend starting a church…in a city…. Or join us!

One day there will be many small groups, church services and discipleship classes happening all over St. Louis where hundreds and even thousands will be set free, healed, delivered, filled with the Spirit, and equipped to impact their neighborhood. Right now, we are laying the foundation, we are planting the seed, for that to happen.  If we don’t, there are countless who will remain in the bondage of the devil and go to hell.  But if we believe God and do His work, lives will be saved, restored, and made solid.  This city will be lifted up and blessed.

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”—Galatians 6:9

Right now we are working hard in faith and love:

  • Building lots of relationships.  We are meeting people every week, praying for them, and inviting them.  God is giving  us His genuine love and compassion for people, who really matter to God, created for a future and a hope.  Jesus rightly described people as sheep without a shepherd.  He has sent us to bring His word–His truth to set free, His hope, His power for their lives.
  • Offering 2 bible camps for kids this summer to reach out to neighborhood kids.  It’s totally free with lots of games, crafts, a raffle (bikes and cool stuff), prizes and the simple and power truth from God’s word to kids (if you are in the area its at Carondelet Park in south city on June 25 and July 23 5:30-7pm).
  • Strategizing for our Grand Opening of services this Fall. Our strategic planning meeting is Saturday, July 9.
  • Praying for (and recruiting) 75 team members before the Grand Opening, to have 6 weekly bible studies full of people, to network with thousands of people, and launch church services with over 200 people.

This is impossible! And that is why God has sent us to do it in His power and not our own.  He is looking to show Himself strong on behalf of those who rely on His wisdom, guidance, and favor. He is looking for those who will do what His Spirit is leading them to do.  It may be impossible without God, but with Him and through faith in Him, we can do whatever He has called us to do.  I am more convinced than ever that we are being led by the Lord.  And my faith is being tested at a whole new level.  Praise God He leads us in victory!

And whatever God has called you to do, He promises to be with you and to supply you with all His wisdom, power, favor, anointing, and grace.  Trust the Lord.  Strengthen your faith by flooding your heart with God’s promises from His word.

 

Lastly, would you consider supporting us?

PRAY: We ask that you stand in faith with us, praying for this great city and this church. Pray for laborers, for the word to spread about the church, for kids to come to the bible camps, for people to be drawn to our bible studies and onto our team.  Please pray for God to give us courage, favor, anointing, compassion, wisdom, open doors.

SERVE: If you are called to join us in this ministry, contact us at saintlouis@solidlives.com or 314-332-2454 or come to one of our meetings.

GIVE: If you are called to partner with us through giving, you can give online at www.gototherock.com (click on “Give” and choose our campus, St. Louis). Or you can write a check to “The Rock” and mail it to 6425 Myrlette Ct.; St. Louis, MO 63116. Your gift will help spread the word about the Grand Opening of services this Fall and help us reach and bless more people.

Love and pray for you all!

 

 

 

 

 

We made it to St. Louis! An update

Hey friends, family, and prayer warriors: 

Now that we are getting settled in St. Louis and moving forward I thought an update is long over due.  

In April: we crammed (almost) everything in a truck, took a 5 day road trip, visited the Grand Canyon for the first time, played lots of games and watched lots of movies, unloaded the truck.

In May: we started meeting with our team, gave roses to moms at the park on Mother’s Day; we are getting to know people, inviting people to church, starting small groups, and exploring the city–the arch, the cardinals, free world class zoo, city museum (it’s a crazy fun place), great parks, free science center, and the best ice cream at Ted Drewes.

Loving it!
The kids are doing well.  They are happy and have met a couple kids.  Their biggest desire is more friends.

God has brought an amazing team to St. Louis to partner with us. We have 8 adults and at least 4 more coming. It’s been fun strategizing, praying and working with like-minded Christ followers who have laid it down for the work of advancing God’s kingdom in this city. God is providing jobs and places to live for the team, giving us favor, and leading us in building relationships.  

Thank you for praying. Like Paul, I (and each team member) ask you to pray “that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.” ( Colossians 4:3-4).

We need open doors of opportunity, we need boldness, we need words from God to fill our mouth, we need favor, we need the power of the Spirit.
Jesus has sent us here because people need Jesus. We were created for a great purpose. And yet that purpose can only be discovered when connected to our Maker. How do you know how to use something? The owner manual. How do you get it to work? Trouble shooting question #1: is it plugged in? We need to hear from our Maker, through his word-the bible-and we need to be connected to Him in order to operate in our God-designed purpose. People need hope, people need joy, people need purpose, people need love…and all of this is only found in Jesus. He is the source of life. So we want to bless people with the truth that they really do matter to God and were created on purpose. 

We want to let people know the truth about God’s love that shed blood to bring us back to Himself. We want to empower people to live at the level they were created to live at.  That is why we are starting a church this Fall that will bring people to Jesus, disciple them in the powerful truths of God’s word, and connect them in life giving community. 

So this summer we are inviting people to a few small group bible studies (Rock Groups), Sunday house gatherings, and a discipleship class-Operation Solid Lives. We are also preparing for our church’s Grand Opening this Fall.  
If you want to support this work of God, you can give by going to The Rock’s website, www.gototherock.com.  Click on “GIVE”, log in, and choose the St. Louis campus.

If you want to help us invite people you may know in St. Louis to one of our small groups, you can find out information and spread the word on our webpage, www.gototherock.com/STL or on Facebook.  Visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/therockstl

In late September or early October we will host a “missions” team from all over the US to help us invite people before the grand opening.  If you are interested in coming to St. Louis for a few days, please contact us: saintlouis@solidlives.com.