Small Churches Can Reach Out in Big Ways

No kids, no problem! Vineyard of Christ Lutheran Church in Rosanky, Texas, is a small church with average attendance of about 20. It’s in the middle of wide open spaces and there are no neighborhoods within miles of the church’s location. Most of the members are plus or minus retirement age and there are no children in the congregation. But that doesn’t stop the good people of God in that place from reaching out to children and their families with the Good News of God’s love in Jesus.

Every Easter Vineyard of Christ hosts an Easter egg hunt that is hugely anticipated by the children in the area. Invitations are handed out at the local public school. On the Saturday before Easter, more than 1000 eggs lovingly prepared by the members are hidden all over the church’s grounds and children are turned loose in different age groups to fill their baskets. Then the congregation feeds the kids and their families. This year 95 children attended the event. Their families joined them for lunch and 165 people were fed by the 20 members of Vineyard of Christ!

Every Thanksgiving the congregation distributes free pies and homemade bread. One member said, “You have no idea how hard it is to give them away! People keep asking what’s the catch.” There is no catch. The folks of Vineyard of Christ are just trying to reach out with the Good News that has made them the people of God.

Following this year’s Easter egg event, one member wrote this poetic prayer:

beautiful servant footprints
The toes hurt, the back aches, the brain is stunned!. . . but the heart
Overflows with JOY!
Lord, we thank you for the gift of yesterday’s successful Easter Egg hunt.
Unexpected and overwhelming, but what an awesome day!
So many opportunities to serve you!
So many blessings to be both given and received!
May our actions and our words prove acceptable in your eyes!
We so welcomed your direction as we strived to adjust
And readjust to the challenges of the day
And we give you all praise and honor for keeping us a strong church family.
We also appreciate those family members, neighbors, friends and even strangers
Who helped wherever there was need.
What a God send they were!
But you knew that, because you sent them!
What an awesome God you are!
May we always remember that!

Vineyard of Christ is a living illustration of the truth that “where there is the will there is the way!” Or, better still, “With God all things are possible.” They’re way too small a community of faith to do anything of much significance. Good thing no one has ever told them that.

By Rev. Dr. Dan Mueller

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