Foundation for Evangelism Names Montgomery UMC “Vibrant” Church
The Foundation for Evangelism interviewed Rev. David Lindwall, as a part of its series of conversations with pastors of churches whose attendance has grown 20 percent or more in five years. The series is designed to be an idea resource to help increase worship attendance throughout the connection. Read more at www.foundationforevangelism.org.
“Welcome home!”to Montgomery UMC. Who would have thought that Montgomery United Methodist Church, established in 1838, was the second Oldest Methodist church in Texas? In seven years, however, this church has grown from a membership of 100 to over 700. I inherited this blessing in June of 2010. How did this happen?
First, a small downtown congregation lived out a risk taking faith as they saw God’s vision for this church. Montgomery is a growing area, and they understood the only way to reach newcomers was to move their “home” to the community – along the busy highway running beside their town. New members often remark that our facility has tremendous curb appeal.
Second, worship is a more casual traditional style (8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.), and very much alive and enthusiastic. The music ministry is foundation as the choir is large and growing. We openly share our praises and burdens. We laugh and cry, and all generations have a role in the morning. The Holy Spirit is alive!
Third, the laity at Montgomery is full of energetic, faithful leaders with ongoing good stewardship of our current facilities, but a genuine desire to expand for deepening discipleship and community minded ministries.
Fourth, Montgomery United Methodist Church has an enthusiastic focus on missions. The food pantry meets the needs of over 200 families per month. Tomorrow’s Promise is a ministry providing housing for a week for entire families who are homeless. Carpenter’s Helpers fixes the homes of widows and others who struggle with repairs. One Sunday before Christmas we had a covered dish lunch and packaged 6,000 rolls of candy for children in Mexico, knowing that this might be the only joy they experience during Christmas.
Finally, the visitor is welcomed as if we are really glad to see them; and they want to live out what they see – an expression of Jesus Christ in
Montgomery; and when they experience the joy in this congregation, they often comment that they have come “home.” Perhaps this is because the church continues to bring “home” to the visitor.