Pastor Christopher Herbert is leading some dramatic changes at Union Chapel UMC. Most of our small membership churches are in serious decline – but not all! A key to the small congregation having a viable future, from my studies of our small congregations, is the pastor’s leadership toward growth. There is nothing amiss in a congregation being small – there is everything wrong with the idea that churches have no part to play in the growth of the Kingdom of God. After seeing some of the great growth at Union Chapel, I asked Christopher to comment on what is happening there and he gave testimony to a church where “the light shines.”
How can I describe a whole church that is serious about God’s mission? How can I describe these things that my eyes have seen?
How do I describe the church wrapping its arms around an unwed couple with a child and saying, “you are our family now”? Their wedding was a few weeks ago and now while the father is working to provide, the mother doesn’t miss church and serves others because of the love that they were shown.
How do I describe the many families that have decided to, in love, teach others that “playing church” must not be in the cards. How do I describe other people in the community and beyond telling me that they hear of the great things happening at Union Chapel (this doesn’t happen unless our folks go out and spread the good news of Jesus and His church that seeks to honor Him).
How do I describe a place where older people have decided to pour out blessings on the next generation? How do I describe younger people being respectful of older people, and listening intently to their wisdom? How do I describe the launch of a prayer shawl ministry and a majority of those attending those meetings are from other churches, backgrounds, or denominations? These are just a few things that my eyes have seen and any words I have right now seem inadequate in describing what is happening.
My eyes have seen God’s people do indescribable things before and it’s always beautiful. I realize that I’ve been blessed in the past and I’m so blessed today. It is always a blessing to be in ministry with people who just want to hear God say, “WELL DONE”.
All Glory is God’s Glory as we grow.
The light shines!
Until the nets are full,