Remmel Church in Arkansas Shows a Way for Small Churches to Grow
by: Stafford North | July 12, 2017
In April of 2007, the Christian Chronicle ran a lengthy story on the Remmel Church of Christ just east of Newport, Arkansas, to tell how this small rural church had found a way to serve and to grow. The story said their number of thirty had increased to 170 because of their welcoming spirit and their offering of a Sunday night class on such topics of relevance such as marriage and family, sex, drugs, and debt management. The atmosphere for this class was non-threatening and open allowing those coming to deal with their problem issues and also to ask about the church which was sponsoring the program in a building next door. Refreshments were offered and much time was spent in prayer on behalf of those attending.
As the number attending this class grew, the church hired a counselor to work with those who wanted specific help and some coming on Sunday night began to come on Sunday morning. The high school students in the congregation were encouraged to attend a summer camp and the church agreed to pay for the attendance of any in the community who also wished to attend. From those outsiders who went to camp, some began to come on Sunday morning and eventually were baptized.
The church also added more outreach services. They started a Wednesday night addiction recovery program which became another way not only to help those in need but to reach people with the message of Christ. Another of their outreach methods was to send encouragement cards to people all over the county including those with special needs such as drug and alcohol addiction.
This Arkansas church has continued to find ways to help those in the community and to reach them with the gospel. They now offer what is called a John 3:17 program, a faith-based, Christian recovery center which provide a safe, nurturing environment for women who have made a commitment to overcome addictions, make positive life-style changes, develop spirituality, improve parenting skills, and become productive members of society. Those participating in this program live together at a home in a ten-acre rural setting where the church seeks to help each woman know how to reach her full potential through a nurturing environment. The professional staff provides proper supervision and enforced boundaries to help in the process of restoring health and happiness. The residents maintain a sense of community and belonging by helping with household chores and grounds keeping. These activities provide teaching opportunities and help build positive relationships.
As the name John 3:17 implies, the program is faith-based, with an emphasis on Christ as Deliverer. Residents are taught through a mentoring relationship with a Christian woman who resides at the center and with other Christian women who volunteer their time. There are also guided Bible studies, GED classes, and training in parenting and in life-skills.
The determination of this church to find ways to grow through serving those in the community shows how churches, even in smaller locations, can not only survive but thrive. Their work is certainly good news. For more information contact John317ministry@gmail.com or call 870-217-5603.