Raising a church among UofO students

Resonate Church connected with thousands of students the week prior to the launch of the Eugene campus

Editor’s Note: Resonate Church, a multisite church network that began at Washington State University in Pullman nine years ago, is aiming to start churches in more than 20 college towns across the Northwest over the next several years. It recently launched a site at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Following is Chance Chaffin’s first-person account of the experience:

Most of us on the Resonate Eugene team never thought we’d be church planters.

As we each embarked on our collegiate journey at Washington State University, we thought we would leave Pullman as designers, personal trainers, social workers, engineers, or radio hosts, much like the typical college student. However, when Jesus intersected our lives and revealed to us His mission and a strategy to reach the lost, we knew we had to go. There was no longer another option or occupation for us.

So here we are in beautiful (and most of the time, weird) Eugene, home to the University of Oregon and 22,000 college students who need Jesus. It hasn’t been easy leaving our friends and family to church plant on a new college campus, but it’s worth it because Jesus is worth it.

But with that said, it doesn’t always feel worth it.

As a team, we have all been under perpetual spiritual attack. The enemy continually throws lies our way and we are constantly “Jesus-juking” our way through each day. About a week before the Sept. 25 launch, our team talked about where we were each at spiritually and took time to pray for the University of Oregon students before they arrived back to school. Almost all of us felt overwhelmed.

We were about to launch the first Resonate Church plant in Oregon, the furthest site away from the other campus sites, and at the largest and most liberal campus we’ve ever set foot on. We didn’t know how God was going to pull this one off.

After prayer, worship, and vision casting we all heard God whisper to the room and say, “It’s going to be okay. I am with you.” We breathed that truth in deep and held it in our chests to make sure it sank in.

But seven days later the lies were still present. Fear crept in and led us to believe that no one would show up. We were scared that all of this time, energy, and sacrifice would be for nothing.

We feared that our Launch Sunday church service would only be our staff team, and friends from the Palouse, but zero “Ducks.”

Praise God that wasn’t the case.

Throughout the week prior to launch, the Resonate Eugene team moved students into their dorms, walked all through campus meeting people, hosted three different house parties to bring people into our community, knocked on every door of multiple apartment complexes, and high-fived at least 5,000 people on their way to the Ducks game. We even used giant posters of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West for the mission of God, inviting students to take pictures with giant Kim and Kanye in order to meet people and make connections.

We formed hundreds of relationships through these efforts and on the morning after a Ducks football loss, which would keep most students in bed, God brought in over 100 University of Oregon students to worship with us for the first time as Resonate Eugene. We had launched.

Site pastor Chris Routen stood on the platform and told more than 100 University of Oregon students that he had been praying for this moment, for this chance to meet them, for over a year and half. As it turns out, the lies we faced since the beginning of this adventure were exactly that: lies.

Now, after our first week with 248 people joining us for our launch, we have seen more than 60 people in Villages (small groups) and at least 17 have expressed an interest in wanting to know more about Jesus.


No work for the kingdom is ever wasted, and we eagerly await God to continue to prove that day after day.

Disclaimer: Articles featured on Oregon Report are the creation, responsibility and opinion of the authoring individual or organization which is featured at the top of every article.