Sunday, July 19
The Lord’s Day
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Minute for Mission: Smaller Membership Church
As we lift up small-membership churches today, let us remember God’s promise to David: “I will provide a place for my people . . . ; I will plant them there” (2 Sam. 7:10 JB).
The membership of our congregation, First Presbyterian Church in McComb, Ohio, is drawn from the village and nearby rural farms. We believe that God has planted his church in McComb and so focus our service here.
Four years ago, after a period of prayer and discernment, we launched an after-school outreach program for children in the local school. The purpose of Lift Off was to help children explore their creativity, soar into self-confidence, build relationships, and see life in a different dimension. Lift Off has grown from 17 to over 50 children each week. When its human resources were stretched to the limit, people from the community answered the call for help. Some came from other churches, while others were parents of children who had passed through the program; they wanted to help bring to others the same experiences their children had loved.
God has opened other opportunities for service in the community. We have begun a Latino ministry that encourages self-development by building English skills and addresses other needs as they arise in the community.
Size is no limit when the Holy Spirit is empowering our imagination and equipping us with resources. Small-member churches can make a great impact wherever they are planted.
—Janeane Hopkins, commissioned ruling elder, First Presbyterian Church, McComb, Ohio
Let us pray
Holy God, your gifts are overwhelming, and the power of your Spirit is great. We pray this day for small-membership churches. Jesus began the church with just 12 people, and in the power of the Spirit they changed the world. Moving forward, and empowered by that same Spirit, may we do likewise. Amen.
Sunday Lectionary and Hymns
2 Sam. 7:1–14a
“God Is My Strong Salvation”
GTG 841, HB 347, PH 179
“My Song Forever Shall Record”
GTG 67, HB 516, PH 209
“Come Now, O Prince of Peace” /
Mark 6:30–34, 53–56
“My Shepherd Will
Supply My Need”
GTG 803, PH 172