Veritas is part of a family of churches called The Salt Network. Our vision as a network is to plant churches that intentionally reach college and university students at every major university in North America - over 400 in all! By God’s grace, we’re aiming to accomplish this in the next 20 years. More than that, we’re targeting 100 strategic cities globally to send teams to in order to reach college and university students with the gospel and foster local church planting movements.
You may have never heard of the Salt Network, but your involvement in Veritas has been part of this mission moving forward. In fact, as a church we’ve already sent key staff members to be part of church plants: first in 2016 when we sent our Salt Company Director, Luke Hettinger, to help plant Anthem Church in Columbia, Missouri, at Mizzou, and then in 2019 when we sent Ryan Hill, one of our lead pastors, to help plant Salt Church in Gainesville, Florida, at the University of Florida.
At The Salt Company Conference Feb 21-23, 3000 college students from across America were invited to have a holy ambition. It was a call to personal holiness in response to God, and to have a bigger ambition for their lives - a kingdom-sized ambition. This might look like joining an upcoming church plant as a core team member. This might also look like going overseas for two years as a global resident. For everyone there it looks like glorifying God in their occupation, and being vitally involved in local churches as together we tell people the good news of who Jesus is.
In addition, during the conference lead pastors and staff at our churches got together to talk about this vision, pray, and hear updates from ongoing plants. This spring we’ve “adopted” some churches in to this movement who are like-minded, similar in culture, and aligned theologically: the Citylight family of churches out of Omaha, Nebraska, and Hillcity Church in Springfield, Missouri. As we looked at church planting targets, we met people who were leading the exact kind of church we would want to plant already at those places. After lots of prayer and conversion, we decided it would be better to move forward together toward our vision. Their college ministries are now Salt Company on their campus, and they will be partnering with ongoing planting.
This coming fall, 2020, one church plant is heading to Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. That team will be led by Christ "Critter" Cook. Next year, a team is heading to Ohio State to plant a church, led by Luke Peterson, and there is another planting team being formed out of Candeo Church, our sister church in Cedar Falls, led by Ernie Bonnoitt.
Veritas, please be praying for these upcoming plants, their core teams, and the places they’re heading. Please also be praying for us as a church, that we would have a holy ambition that is bigger than ourselves. We want to see God move in God-sized ways among the next generation. It will never be enough to grow a marginally bigger church here in Cedar Rapids and call it a day, but praise God he is inviting us into so much more!
If you want to learn more, check out the network website.