July 22, 2012~ “Don’t Go to the Default”
In July of 2012, just after our weekly prayer meeting transitioned into a house church, I preached a message entitled “Don’t Go To the Default”. My husband Douglas, who holds the apostolic role in the fivefold leadership at Wellspring at the Cross, is the one who does almost all of the preaching. On this particular week, however, I felt the Lord pressing me to speak about a series of dreams that I had been having. The first dream in the series was in 2003 and they continued until 2008. In 2008, I posted an article on my blog and preached a sermon on the “Headship of Christ” at a local church in Appleton, regarding those dreams. Until this time, I had been calling the dreams the “big room dreams”, because in each one I saw the same big room that was the size of an elementary school gymnasium. During the week prior to the July 22 message, I was feeling a sense of urgency to address the prophetic nature of the dreams and how God had been revealing to me His desire to design the church. He was emphasizing how actually allowing Him to design it was part of His headship over the church.
I shared with this group of 35 or so, that in each dream the room had a completely different design, a different owner, and a different set of circumstances that brought me to it. After each dream, I sought an interpretation because I knew these dreams were from God. But I received no interpretation, until the dream I had in 2008 when the Lord explained that each design He had shown me in this same room was man-made and fashioned around the leader’s gifts and personality, instead of around Christ. He explained that in order to have a church designed by Him, we needed to allow Christ to impact and engage the church through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This would need to include a biblical design for leadership, based on giftings given by the Holy Spirit as we see in Ephesians 4. It was also paramount to encourage and equip the Body to use the gifts they have been given as well.
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ 13 till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a full grown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ 14 that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; 15 but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, even Christ.
In that “big room dream” in 2008 that I shared in July, I saw a group of 29 people coming into the back of the ‘big room’ to clean. In this particular dream, the room was in shambles. Previous owners of the room had left remnants behind, all making a huge mess. As the Lord developed our Prayer Meeting into a small house church, there were a core of exactly 29 people who were committed to this call of headship and who had been through divisions of the previous churches that we attended. When I re-read the “Big Room” series of dreams, I found that God was speaking literally to some extent about that happening. This was confirming that we were in God’s Will by beginning this little House Church and that we were to take seriously the call to keep Christ the Head and the designer of what He was building through us.
Even though we could see that we were 29 people, and that we were moving in the direction the Lord was speaking to in the dreams, and that some of the elements in the dreams were coming to fruition in a literal way, we did not know that the big room was a literal location. But during July and following, I kept feeling like there was more to the dream series and that more was coming. So I posted a short intro on my blog and linked the sermon there to date it and to have it available as the rest of the prophetic message in these dreams came to fruition. Also on that Sunday in July I got something physical as a sort of marker to look back on and say ‘see the Lord was saying something here’.
Let me give you an example of what I mean by a physical marker. My sister Jackie and her husband were having a very difficult time having a baby. We prayed often that a pregnancy would stick and that the babies she was conceiving would live. One night I had a dream from the Lord and He told me that Jackie would in fact have a baby and that it would be a girl. So I bought Jackie a pink baseball that says in white print “It’s a Girl!”, to hold onto until that baby was here as a marker of that prophecy. The baseball sits on Katie’s bedroom shelf today. You can see her here grasping it in the photo.
In this same way, I bought Jennifer LeCloux a blue rubber bucket because in the 2008 dream, she was the particular person holding a big blue rubber bucket who said, “Well if we don’t get started we’ll never finish” in that dream. So I thought a blue bucket would be a perfect marker to look back on to remember what the Lord was saying would happen, and I gave it to her at that service in July. I asked Jennifer to hold onto it until we actually were in a building and the time would come to remember all that the Lord had been speaking to us about His design.
July 30, 2012 ~ Discovering the Big Room
On Sunday night of July 29, 2012, just one week after the message, Lisa and Adam Posegate were driving to our home in Little Chute from Manitowoc. They got lost when taking a detour near Kaukauna High School and ended up in front of Ryan’s Bar, which most recently was “Big Daddy’s”. Adam and Lisa both thought the building looked like something that could house our ideas for ‘Wellspring’ in the future. Although we were only about 35 people at the time, no name, no taking the tithe, we knew that we needed to find something soon because our dinning room and living room were filling up fast. So Lisa took down the information off the Drifka Group Real Estate sign and made an appointment for the following day.
Lisa writes about her experience:
“I went to the building the next day at 11:00 a.m. And met the realtor Bob Drifka. We started by touring the big room that was the gym. What I noticed first was that it was not in good shape and very full of stuff. Which made me think that we are most likely not going to get this building. It’s not practical and whoever is selling it must not be serious because they are keeping it in such bad shape. I started to notice details from Joie’s “big room dreams” that we had just gone over a few weeks before in one of our church services. The first thing I noticed was the pink walls. Which was a detail from the spa room dream and in that dream it was the detail of the pink walls that made Joie realize it was a dream from the Lord because she was noticing how odd the color was. The next detail I noticed was the square windows along the wall overlooking the water. Now I didn’t realize there was water down there because the trees were thick but the windows lined the wall like she explained in her dream. The other detail I noticed was that the room was so full of junk like the final “Big Room Dream”. I think that’s odd to do when you are trying to sell property.
The next thing that happened was that Bob said, “Gosh I have been in this room so many different times and every time it’s like it’s a different room.” When he said that, that is when I knew I was in the “Big Room” from the dreams. His words summed up the theme from the dreams and I knew then that I was in that “big room”. Then we went through some rooms that were in the back and they were in disrepair, terrible shape, broken, dilapidated. Then we went into the bar, which is beautiful. There was such a big difference between the back rooms and the bar that the bar from the dream about the lounge seemed to be just like this.
At this point I was checked out from Bob and wanting to get Joie in here to see it. I left and drove over to her house. Craig met us there and we all went over together. It was cool to watch Joie see it because it became obvious that we all were putting the details from the dream together and realizing that we were in the rooms from the dreams.” ~ Lisa Posegate
After Lisa called me, I drove over and I was thinking through what I remembered about being in that place in my past. I remembered there was a gym and that it was on the river, that the bar was very beautiful, so I was thinking, “It could be, It could it be”. But as I walked in and saw all of the remnants from people who had left things in the gym I realized that this was it. This was the “Big Room” from the dreams and it hit me so hard that I became a bit disoriented as we walked through it, noticing item after item from the dream series.
The amazing thing as I joined Lisa and Craig in the walk-through with Drifka, was how many details from the dreams were present in this building. I feel that it is important to list those details because they were given years before and now here they were right in front of us as if they had somehow materialized into reality. The effect of hearing these details a number of times before and then walking through this place that held so many, was staggering. I have been wondering for some time how to highlight each of these and yet not lose the miracle in the minutia and have decided to list the dreams as they came and italicize and boldthe font for each of the details that we found in the Combined Locks building from the dreams.
The first dream, in 2003, was very short. I was walking into one of the most beautiful rooms I had ever seen. The room was very large. It had beautifully polished wooden floors. Large wooden trim was around every window. The windows were like the Craftsman piano type windows from the 1940’s. They were small four-foot squares, well trimmed and up high, almost touching the ceiling. These windows lined the entire length of the far wall. This room was large enough to hold a full sized basketball court. The ceilings were very high, like you would see in a parochial gymnasium. From the ceiling to the floor lining every wall were big beautiful wood bookshelves. Every shelf was full of books. There was a large desk at the front of the room made out of Cherry wood. The lighting was soft and there were many very nice pieces of plush furniture set about in groups around this large room. The floor had a noticeable swoop in it also. Like a large, intended dip. I saw the room, felt some kind of ownership and woke up.
The next time this room showed up in my dreams, it was part of my sister-in-law, Susan’s house. The door was arched now and the walls were plastered with stucco and everything was painted salmon pink. She was offering a plethora of health products, teas, herbs, and vitamins, at the front door. When I looked inside, I knew it was the room that I had seen before because of the size and the high windows but everything else looked different. It was like a spa getaway and was redone with very expensive, artistic materials and design. I remember that out in front of the building that the room was in, the lawn was large and well groomed. It looked like a very nice park.
Six months or so later, I dreamed of the room again. This time, my friend Keevie Bremhorst was the host and the room was in her basement. When I entered it, the lighting was all very different. She had hung these really cool silver tubes from the ceiling that came down about four feet from the floor and had a little silver cup at the end. Inside these tiny cups were lights. She had beautiful tables under each one of these lights and she was serving excellent food on artsy fun dishes. She had large glasses to drink from with lots of ice and different kinds of fruit hanging from the brims. Many people were there eating and talking.
Another few months passed and here comes another room dream. This time the room is “owned” by three young men. They have completely overhauled it. They made the floor into a basketball court and made the lighting like you see in a gym. When I walked in I was so shocked that I was again in this room. One of the guys said, “Wait until you see this!” He switched a lever that was behind where the original desk would have been and almost the entire floor began to retract into itself and pull up towards us revealing a full length swimming pool underneath it. Then he sent the floor back into place and walked me all the way to the other side of this large room. There was a section that was lined with four wheelers, dune buggies with huge wheels, snowmobiles and all the gear needed to ride them. I was amazed. The thought crossed my mind as it had in the previous dreams that this must have cost a fortune.
Months later, in the next dream, I enter an old shabby house that was actually falling apart. My best friend Julie Van Handel’s father owned this house. We walk through it and enter a room at the back. This time, the people in charge had knocked out the entire far wall that previously had the high windows. They made full-length windows from ceiling to floor. There was a large glass door and an enormous deck outside that was nestled on the side of a beautiful lake. Inside the lighting had been changed again. This time they had lamps that had an orangie colored lampshade that was shaped in the same large curve that the bar and the extended sofa were designed with. The sofa was made of orange leather. I could tell that this was the most expensive of the “make overs” and as this thought passed through my mind a woman who was drying a glass behind the bar said, “They don’t come here often but we always keep it ready for them. We even refresh the ice everyday.”
“Who comes here?” I asked. She simply answered, “The very wealthy”.
Final Dream in 2008
Then on May 17th, 2008, late in the night I had a dream about the room again. This time 29 people were with me. We were all dressed in drably colored clothes. When we entered the room I said, “Oh yeah I know this room. It’s supposed to look like a library.” Everyone with me came inside and we were still standing together. The room was in shambles. Every previous owner had pulled out leaving little remnants behind. There were blow up chairs from the snowmobile manufacturer. There was old Christmas decorations, trash, and pieces of plaster from the hole in the wall. As I scanned the entire length of the room it dawned on me that this small crew of what seemed to be cleaners could never get all of this work done and that I would never be able to raise the money to pay for it.
“I don’t want it this way”, is all He said.
I asked a number of questions about exactly what He was referring to, the shape of the room, the weariness I felt, the idea to change it again. I couldn’t figure out what He was referring to. Just then I was back in the dream. As I found myself in the middle of the large room again I wondered if I was actually awake when I heard the voice in my bedroom.
“What are you doing” I asked?
“Well if we don’t get started we’ll never finish.” She said with excitement in her voice as if she relished the project. She hurried off to the first corner and bent down on her knees and began to scrub. The thought crossed my mind that she would never get it done this way.
When I looked at the front of the room just then I could see the cherry desk sort of appear. It had on it a very important book with “deep wisdom for living”, laid open. Books and bookshelves began to appear behind it.
“Can you see the desk?” I yelled out to everyone. They looked in the direction that I was looking in but no one said anything. “Can you see the books?” I asked. But there was no response.
Then walking up beside me was my Great Aunt Joyce Wittmann. She was dressed to clean like the rest of us and she too was smiling.
“Joie,” she said, “Who owned this land in the beginning?” she seemed very light and happy.
“Then who owned it?” she asked.
“Julie Van Handel’s Father”
“And now who owns it?” she asked.
“Well, you do Aunt Joyce.” I answered.
“Yes.” She said. “And how do you ever intend to pay for all of this?” When she said this she slowly and happily walked away. I thought about how much it would cost to purchase the land that this room was on, then how much it would cost to get it back into good shape, and then the seemingly astronomical expense of refurnishing it. I lay down on the scruffy wooden floor of the stage and squeezed my eyes shut real tight. I was overwhelmed. I was weary. I was unable to stand up under what I assumed the Lord was asking me to do. When I woke, I understood my Aunt Joyce to be saying that through inheritance we would pay for this land and building. But not inheritance from my personal family but from the family of God, a sort of spiritual inheritance. I understood this to mean that through the way God works through His church the money would simply come. That I wouldn’t even have to ask for it.
In ministry today, a new church almost always pays for it’s building through Capital Gains Campaigns where the leaders fleece the church. I use the term fleece because in a vision years ago the Lord explained that how the Seeker Sensitive churches were running and selling the ideas for raising money for these large buildings was paramount to fleecing the sheep by the Shepherd. Taking what was not supposed to be taken. In the Bible, you see scriptures referring to giving, but it plainly says not to give out of compulsion. Compulsion means that someone is pushing you to give. We as believers are supposed to hear from the Lord for ourselves about how much to give and bring to the church as our offering and tithes. What the Lord was telling me here in this dream was that the building He had in mind for us would be paid for by this tithe and natural biblical way of giving, not through a campaign where we manipulate the believers to give as so many are apt to do today.
On October 18th, 2012 we planned a Prayer Retreat with the intention to pray about moving our services out of our home into a building.
As we began to pray that first afternoon, the Lord spoke about what he was calling ‘Wellspring on the Locks’. He told me not to worry about the money needed to purchase the Combined Locks building and that the timing was important and in His hands. In this short vision, He showed me a thin man named Bill with a blue shirt on. I was told that this man was going to help us ‘creatively finance’ in such a way as to get us into the building when it was the right time. He also told me that when we move over to the Big Room Building, the news spreading around the Valley would once again make an impact and push that plumb line further to it’s finished purpose. He showed me that this plumb line would first move through the people at Wellspring who hadn’t finished with it and then hit the people in the Valley outside of our body. In the meantime, we were to move into the French Road building for what He said would be a “season“, though we began exploring negotiations with Drifka and found that we were nowhere near any position financially to attempt getting into the Big Room Building.
On November 5th, we moved into the French Road location for $450.00 per month rent. The Greek Orthodox Church that was previously meeting at this location left everything we needed to actually do church there. The chairs, tables, the pulpit, the furniture in the foyer, the refrigerators, the pianos, even the shelves for the kids things were left.
On March 6, 2013 an article in the Times Villager about ‘Wellspring at the Cross’ was published. In this article Journalist Tom Collins quotes Douglas Pirkey saying,
“We think the Lord is developing a movement that will impact the entire Fox Valley,” he says. “We believe it is going to grow. And we believe we will need another facility soon.”
Douglas said this to Tom and spoke about it some because of this vision on the retreat where the Lord told us we would be moving soon.
May 6, 2013~ The Big Room Building becomes Wellspring at the Cross
The following day after the Times Villager article came out we got a letter from Jim, the owner of the French Road building, saying that the building was going to be demolished on May 6.
We started to pray, and I kept feeling like we were supposed to go directly into the Big Room building in Combined Locks but Craig Doriot, head of our “Building Committee” said no renting because of how that impacts the purchase price, due to the required repairs that we would be financing. Then we met with the owner and began to explore a lease-to-buy agreement where he would give us the final purchase price before we began to lease.
Sitting in the bar section, the owner began to think through a lease-to-buy scenario and said that the one section of roof that needed to be done could be a down payment and when he was thinking this idea through it occurred to me that this is what “creative financing” is. Then, like a light bulb going on, it occurred to me that he was helping us get into the building by creatively financing and I asked Craig what the name of the guy was from the vision in October who was supposed to help us in this way. Craig thought it was ‘John’ and I thought it was ‘Bob’ but I asked Craig to text someone at the Prayer Retreat because I saw people taking notes. The name of the man who would help us get into the building was ‘Bill’. A number of people taking notes confirmed this. The owner of the Big Room building, who was helping us to creatively finance this transaction, is Bill Verbrugen.
But in spite of the fact that negotiations had begun the previous winter and that God had clearly led us here, time was running out and we were at substantial odds with the seller over the sale price. The creative financing as discussed still would require Bill to maintain a number of ongoing expenses resulting in a higher price point, and there was concern amongst leaders that it was not a great deal for us, at about $100,000 over our original hopes. Craig came over to our house and expressed that he felt there was an opportunity to close that gap, but he could not see it. He wanted to discuss gathering the leaders together to pray about it, but it happened that all of the leaders were coming over at the same time for various reasons. As we began to pray about this, Craig was immediately able to see the missing path that would completely close the gap, by solving other financial concerns that Bill was facing. The final deal actually gave Bill a little more than he was expecting, while saving Wellspring an additional $100,000.
On May 6, 2013, we moved Wellspring at the Cross to the Combined Locks ‘Big Room’ building and had our first service in the bar section of what used to be Ryan’s. We will be able to purchase the building by the end of the year without even as much as taking an offering and we have already begun major changes to the interior. The gym has been converted into a beautiful sanctuary and we held our first service there on September 1, 2013.
We don’t know why God moved us into this large beautiful building. We don’t know what He intends to do here. We do know that He promised an outpouring of His Spirit and that many young people would return to church. But for now, we know that we are following as closely as possible to how He is asking us to design the leadership structure, the way in which the body does ministry, and as we were told in the primary elements of the original Christ the Rock /Fox Valley
prophecies, who is to be put into ministry and who is to be taken out, who is brought into the church and who is moved out. We are learning so much very quickly and are amazed at how God is leading us to respect and take seriously the gifts that He brings to those in the Body and how He himself raises people up to do ministry instead of us filling positions that our current church culture says we need. It will be interesting to see, if God went through so much and so many miracles to get us here in this particular time, what He is intending to do with Wellspring at the Cross~ On the Locks.