Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pastor Bill Kinnan & Linwood Wesleyan on the Edge!

Church Planting is What Linwood Does (article online at www.wesleyan.org)

Jun. 1, 2009

"Church planting is not something we've done. It's what we do."

The words of Bill Kinnan, senior pastor at Linwood Wesleyan Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, are still true today, ten years after their first church plant.

Celebrate Church was launched in 1999 and is now one of the fastest growing in The Wesleyan Church. In March 2009, Linwood planted another church in Sioux Falls and in just two months, average attendance at The Ransom is over 100.

Phil Wiseman left his position as Linwood worship arts pastor because he felt led to find a secular job and serve as a volunteer at The Ransom.

"When Phill [Tague] and [his wife] Stephani came to Linwood with the intentions of planting a new church, I was taken back to the excitement and passion I felt when I was first called into the ministry," says Phil. "My desire to see the broken and forgotten of the world reached with the gospel resurfaced in a really cool way, and I felt this desire to go help this church plant in whatever way I can."

After praying for several weeks about going, Phil and his wife Natalie made the move. Phil works part-time in a secular job and also serves part-time at the church alongside Lead Pastor Tague (see photo).

Even in a short time, Pastor Tague has seen God move mightily in the brief time The Ransom has been established.

"We are seeing the un-churched come to Christ and the churched recommit their lives to Christ," says Pastor Tague. "God is also sending us many who come from broken backgrounds, like those who are struggling to overcome addictions. Our vision is setting captives free, and we are seeing God do this not only on the spiritual level but on the physical and emotional too."

The church's name stems from the vision God gave Phill and Stephani. As they began to pray for a name that would fit, song lyrics from a well-known worship song seemed ideal: "My chains are gone, I've been set free; my God, My Savior has ransomed me." The Tagues then knew the church would be called The Ransom.

So far at The Ransom, close to a dozen individuals have prayed and received Christ.

Linwood "gets it honest" when it comes to church planting. The church itself is a plant that began in 1966, and today average attendance totals more than 500. The church also sets aside money each year in the annual budget that goes specifically toward church planting.