Annie, who is eight going on nine, and Maria, who is ten, attend Sunday School and worship at the small membership church I serve. They read scripture, lead prayers, lead the responsive reading, and light candles with other children in the church. On any given Sunday, they can be heard singing hymns old and new. They do not look at the big screen, they hold the hymnal and sing. They are the future of the church.
Ben welcomes people with a hug, Louise never forgets your birthday, and Sandra has a sack full of nickels and dimes so that every child can participate in giving during the offering. And, the church is stretching and growing to make sure people know they are welcome.
I know there are many small membership churches feeling hopelessness, which has dampened their spirit. They are exhausted because they keep trying every new program with no success. However, down deep God's light has not been extinguished, because they know that their church is important and with encouragement and guidance their church can grow.
Hope for the Small Membership Church workshop is designed for churches that feel hopeless, still have the hope of God, and are ready to begin the journey to vitality and witness. The workshop is designed so that children like Annie, Maria, and their friends have a place to go, learn, and grow in Jesus love and grace.
The program is designed to help churches face the reality of where they are, begin hearing God's call to serve their community and world, invite others to be part of the team, and reclaim God's vision for their church. At the end of the workshop, churches will have a plan and they will be coached over the next few years to implement the plan.
The program does not give answers, but helps churches discover the answers God places inside their church and community.
Ready to move beyond hopelessness? Ready to be a church of hope? For more information contact Rev. Dr. Carl K. Ellis.
Thanks for your small membership church ministry.