David Kinnan: Finding the Divine Agenda

David Kinnan Lead Pastor
Fountain Springs Community Church Rapid City, S.D.
A 2013 Outreach 100 Church


Easy. We moved to South Dakota five years ago from Manhattan, Kan., and I’m a fourth-generation pastor, and so it was my first time being a senior pastor. I thought, OK, I know what to do, I know how to do it, so we went to South Dakota. Over the first three months, the church shrunk from about 170 people to 140. I went home that Sunday and told Katy, my wife, I quit. I’m horrible at this. I must be no good. People are leaving. People are mad. I was in our bedroom, and I just fell on the bed and was kind of yelling at God in my mind, and I said, I’m done with this. He and I had a pretty dynamic conversation, where I felt like he asked me, What are you willing to do for me? I said, Obviously I moved up to South Dakota. But that wasn’t what he was asking. He said, How obedient are you willing to be? And so I made the promise then that I would never run the church based on my own agenda or opinions or wants or desires, that I would simply just listen to him, do exactly what he wanted us to do, never question it. We would just do it. From that very Sunday, we have grown non-stop, from 140 to about 2,500 people now. I can show you statistically, from the Sunday I handed the church back to God and quit trying to do my own thing, that was a major turning point in the church, in my whole life. That was the major defining point. And it’s easy to remember that day. Labor Day, Sunday, 2008, was the day I quit, but in a good way. We’ve been there now five years.


It’s all based in the person. We have three core practices. We reach people, teach people the truth of the Bible and release them to raise up Christ followers themselves. As we’re discipling each person, we’re looking at how they’re reaching people, how they’re teaching people the truth of the Bible and how they’re released and releasing other people. So we literally look at them individually to see how they’re doing that. When someone is doing all three, that’s success to us. It’s tough. It’s exhausting, but in a good way. When we’re able to get people initially engaged and reached, that’s where we have to progressively look at them. Staff evaluates stuff constantly. Quarterly they look at who’s doing what, how are they doing it. It’s pretty exhaustive.


I try to create rhythms, some of it being predictable, but just rhythms. That’s why right now I’m looking at Glacier National Park. I’m on a motorcycle ride. There are different rhythms that help me be successful. It’s called a consistency ratio, where I figure out how long I can stay consistent at doing good sermon prep, good leadership development, good vision casting. I work best when I vacation really well. I know that sounds weird, and it may just be because of where I am right now, but I work best when I’m rested, and so I’ve had to create rhythms where there are different times of the year where I go off and do different things. My wife and I have a time away. My family and I have a time away. I personally have a time away. And then I have some predictable rhythms. There are certain things that happen every single week on the dot. They don’t change unless there’s an emergency. That removes stress, which allows for creativity.

Website: FountainSpringsChurch.com
Twitter: @DKinnan
Founded: 1982
Affiliation: Wesleyan
Locations: 1
Attendance: 1,816
Growth in 2012: +526 (41%)
Fastest-Growing: 27


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