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Last updated May 11.

May 16, 2011 issue

Evidence of resurrection

By Shel Boese Mery Church, Sioux Falls, S.D.

On Palm Sunday, for special ser­vices we brought in Don Bierle of FaithSearch.org, who shared information on the historical reliability of the Scriptures and evidence for the resurrection. Many people reported this helped them in their faith journey. Several were moved to cross the line of faith in Jesus.

Compared to last year’s spring average, the church has grown by 33 percent through conversions, non-Christian and transfer growth. We are now larger than we’ve ever been in the history of the two previous churches that merged to make Mercy Church. We are rejoicing in how the vision of our church is touching lives, causing us to “go and tell” as well as drawing people into the spiritual community.

We have taken a great leap of faith based on our growth and vision by calling full-time associate pastor Nate Larson. He and his wife, Brittny, will start July 1, focusing on youth, inreach and other responsibilities. Nate was a youth pastor at Sunny Crest United Methodist Church in Sioux Falls and has an evangelical background.

We continue discussion about how to add or find more space for classrooms. Some of our leaders have been working through Ten Most Common Mistakes Made by New Church Starts by Bill Easum and Jim Griffith. We have a goal to plant another Mercy Church in Sioux Falls once our average attendance in worship gatherings and growth groups is around 300, which means overall adherents in the 500 range.

Mercy Church hosts an Amharic-language congregation, which we helped start as a sister church, and have just completed our first year hosting a Spanish-language congregation as well.

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