Mount Vernon Hospitality Brings Children to Church
The Mount Vernon, Washington Church was in decline. The few members remaining wanted a change and decided to start a church revitalization process in June 2020.
The members met and decided to focus on three key areas for the next 12–18 months: prayer, hospitality and children’s ministry. A new mission statement was formed: Love God and Love People. And, even during the pandemic, God abundantly blessed.
The church started the revitalization process by hiring a new youth pastor, Briana Aitken. She came fresh out of college full of fun ideas. She helped organize a Kids Fest event with food and games. The community was invited to the event as well as an impressive Vacation Bible School.
As part of the children's ministry focus, the church holds monthly youth nights along with other fun activities like movie nights and roller skating. The most recent youth event was a tie-dye night.
One Mount Vernon Church teen said, "With tie-dying, it was nice being able to be outside and safe while having a lot of fun together. There was a pretty big turnout of more than 20 kids. We started inside by having pizza and fellowshipping with each other. Then we got to go outside where we started the tie-dye fun."
The kids loved looking at ideas, figuring out how they were going to rubber band their shirts together and finally picking their favorite colors to use. After kids finished their colorful designs, they were able to head back inside where they enjoyed ice cream sandwiches while waiting to be picked up by parents.
Now, more than a year after it began, the revitalization effort is taking hold. Special prayer occurs after every church service when members gather to pray at the front of the sanctuary. In addition, prayer meetings happen every Wednesday night. The church also hosted a prayer retreat at Walla Walla University's beautiful Rosario Beach Retreat Center.
When the church started this effort, the struggling congregation only had about 25 attendees, mostly adults. Now, there is a hospitality team trained ready to greet visitors and attendance averages more than 60 people each Sabbath.
It is exciting to see what God will do when we commit our plans to Him.