It is refreshing to get reports of what God is doing in our Grace Brethren churches, whether large or small, whether urban, surburban, or rural. Here are some excerpts from a communique recently sent to his congregation by Randy Todd (pictured) who is pastor of the Grace Brethren church in rural Dallas Center, Iowa (home, by the way, of Dr. Herman Hoyt, co-founder and second president of Grace College and Seminary). Here is a part of Randy’s report:
Dear Friends of Grace,
January marked the Todds’ first full year of ministry in Dallas Center. It actually seems like we just drove up in that dilapidated old truck packed so tight it poured out when we opened the doors. Some of you are smiling because you were there that day.
Since that day we have come to know and love so many, so quickly, and so deeply. God has smiled upon us through you in so many ways. You truly are a special people. And, we just love the the parsonage. We have the most incredible sunsets seen right through our living-room window! I love the lay of the land here… I don’t care what anybody says… Iowa ain’t flat!
We continue using Thomas G. Bandy’s 2006 article “How To Measure Viability” as our gauge to measure viability in our ministry here at Grace. As we’ve progressed as a faith community there has been a noticeable change in the spirit, countenance and attitude with in the majority of the people.
-Sunday worship attendance has increased from 30-40 to 65-80
-Sunday school attendance has increased from 8-12 to 40-50 ministering to all age groups
-Youth ministry attendance has increased from 12-18 to 25-30
-Small groups have increased from 0 to 8 groups with 30-35 people meeting regularly
-We’ve adopted the BILD International Philosophy for Leadership Training with 12 people currently enrolled in the First Principles
-We’ve implemented Neil Anderson’s “Ministering the Steps to Freedom In Christ” — several people are currently involved
-45 people have successfully graduated Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University
-Giving is up 2.8%
-Our reputation in the community has improved
-There’ve been 28 conversions, 22 baptisms, 19 new members
It is God who is doing this great work among us as a result of the faithfulness of the folks here at Dallas Center Grace.
I truly believe the church could be on the brink of revival. I’ve not experienced such a moving of God since personally coming to Christ in 1982. The majority of people are displaying a remarkable faithfulness, availability, and teach-ability and I’m blown away by it!
The reason I’m sharing this on a broader scale is to humbly and hopefully ask that all who might read this would commit to praying us over the hump right into full-blown revival. What is happening here is a great tribute to what God will do when a few remaining people (His remnant) decide to humbly submit themselves to whatever He wants… over their own wants.
I’m just so fired up I can’t hardly hold it in. Thank you for allowing me to publicly praise Him before you. To Him be all glory, honor, and praise!
Randy Todd, Lead Pastor
Dallas Center Grace
305 Hatton Ave PO Box 477
Dallas Center, IA 50063