Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Union Chapel UMC- What My Eyes Have Seen

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.”

Will Willimon

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,


Anonymous said...

Amen, Brother.

linda said...



I am part of a small UMC in a large old in need of work historic building. We are a gray haired congregation for the most part. Our town is a town riddled with issues of poverty, drug abuse, gangs, and poor education.

Our pastor is retiring this summer.

I consider all of that the GOOD provisions of God for our congregation.

We have to spend absolutely nothing to be on the mission field.

The problems in our town make this town the perfect place for a Wesleyan mission.

We have exactly the same issues John Wesley was able to address so ably in his time.

We have people on site capable of giving, teaching, leading, providing music, and praying.

My prayer is for revival for our church, for an outward focused pastor to whom we can be a blessing, and for God to put is in the game.

Our needs Jesus. We know Jesus.

I pray we get off our collective duffs and busy on the mission field.

linda said...


Meant our TOWN needs Jesus.