Sep 26 2017
Sharing Jesus through words and actions, making disciples who will make disciples: this is the way the Methodist Church in Portugal is accomplishing the mission given by God.
The actual experience of one of the local churches, Mirante Methodist Church in Porto, is an inspiring one. Mirante Methodist Church is the oldest Methodist church, located in the center of the second largest city of the country. Although the majority of its members and participants are not living close to the place where the church is, there are many blessings to share from a church that has been fol-lowing what is promised in Jeremiah 29:13: «You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.»
The Sunday school for all ages has a very good number of participants. The main morning service on Sunday is attended by many people of different generations: children, young people, young couples, older couples, older people – and every Sunday there are visitors attending, as well. During the week, there are a number of activities: prayer meeting, Bible study, and ministries offering opportunities to be in solidarity with those in need or to welcome people who would like to visit and learn about God and the church life. There is a vibrant youth group, and the church choir has regular rehearsals in or-der to participate in some of the worship services and special events.
At the moment, one of the most inspiring experiences has to do with the weekly small group meet-ings in family houses, also known as cells. First, it started with one group; in the meantime there are six of them, two of them consisting of young people. Through this experience, people who were not very much involved in church life now join the various ministries with joy and commitment, some that had almost forgotten about church are now valuing being part of it, and some new people start-ed being involved in the church activities.
The small groups are opportunities for people to be welcomed in a family house; to pray, read the Bible and think about the Word of God together; to share meaningful and blessed experiences as well as prayer requests. The meetings usually last around 45 minutes plus around 15 minutes for people to have a juice drink, a biscuit or some water while talking informally.
The Sunday worship service then offers an opportunity for all small group members to be together in the church, to enjoy the fellowship – and to meet with other people who are not yet involved in this special experience. The worship services are a very blessed time in an atmosphere that makes visitors feeling welcome and supported on their journey to discover and deepen their relationship with God.
All this is happening because God has been acting in the lives of the people through the action of the Holy Spirit. What is written in the Acts of the Apostles continues happening in Portugal: «The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.» Acts 2:47.
Bishop Sifredo Teixeira
Photos by Methodist Church in Portugal
Also read the story of Bishop S. Teixeira:
«Methodist Church in Portugal: "Love is not a matter of size - size is a matter of love"»