5% Challenge: Jones Chapel UMC celebrates God's miracle of worship growth

April 25, 2006

by Pastor Mark Mayo

Jones Chapel UMC has gone from 12 to 80 in a three year period. I see a church body that has left the mainstream denominational ideas of how church is suppose to be and went searching for the heart of God. We have rich, poor, educated, uneducated, young and old working in harmony to worship Jesus Christ.

I believe that much of the growth we have incurred is due to the style of worship service we have on Sunday morning. It is the type of service that many people would call blended. It is a mix of old fashion hymnals and some of the latest contemporary songs. We believe that the type of songs are not as important as the freedom the people feel when they walk through the doors, that is why we do not have a bulletin with a set order of worship.

Our midweek service is the heart of our church week. The service revolves around the children of the church. It is a time when we as a church get to serve the least among us. There are teachers with lessons and rewards however it MUST BE FUN, after all these are kids. It gives us an opportunity to get to know the kids and their families and many families have been added to the church due to this ministry.

As the pastor I have tried to let my light shine, be an example and allow the love of Christ that flows through these people serve as the invitation we pass out each week. I believe that a warm fire in a cold world will draw as many people as you can handle.

Loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and loving each other has become our desire and purpose. We feel that we are a body that is alive and constantly changing and growing. We must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and the direction of God because He is our life source. We do understand that we are all broken and on Sunday morning you can hear the sound of healing souls coming forth in the form of praise flowing from of the mouths of the people.

In short, the growth at Jones Chapel United Methodist Church is a miracle and a blessing from our Heavenly Father and to God we give thanks and praise.

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