Grace Extends in Chelmondiston

Grace Extends in Chelmondiston

There’s a lot of talk these days about ministry in hard places. One of the hardest places for ministry in 21st-century Britain – though seldom if ever mentioned in such discussions – is rural villages. Here is an account about how grace is extending in one such village – Chelmondiston.

If we’re honest most pastors are ‘affected’ by attendance at church services. If attendance is higher than usual, we feel encouraged. If numbers have dropped for some reason, we can feel a bit deflated. This is true regardless of church size or location.

For some of you if your Sunday attendance was 12 adults, you would be looking for an exit strategy. How can we continue like this? Is the work viable? These are legitimate questions requiring thoughtful consideration.

However, if you are ministering in a place like Chelmondiston on the Shotley Peninsula out from Ipswich, having 12 adults in attendance plus some little ones is a cause for encouragement.

Dave Kelland sent me a message recently to share that exact piece of news. Not only that, he told of how a spiritually mature lady was seeking membership in the church. These are massive encouragements in a village setting. Find that hard to believe? Let me suggest you ask someone serving in a village setting. They can tell you.

But though there are encouragements, challenges remain. Feelings of isolation. Looming financial concerns. Unwarranted criticism from naysayers. Unwise counsel from friends. These are all part and parcel of village ministry today. Please pray for Dave and the ongoing work in Chelmondiston. May grace indeed continue to extend in that village and beyond.

“For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:15