Brian Schwering was recently dedicated as volunteer lay pastor of the Boone Church in Boone, Iowa. He is one of two lay pastors currently participating in the Iowa-Missouri Conference’s Volunteer Lay Pastor (VLP) program, which provides resources, mentoring, coaching and training to those interested in either planting a church or bringing new life to a declining church.
About a year ago, the Boone Church recognized their membership was aging and approached Brian and his wife, Amanda—then the head elder and membership clerk, respectively, at the Nevada Church in Nevada, Iowa—about the possibility of helping the church grow younger. After discussion and prayer with each other, and with the approval of the conference, Brian and Amanda accepted the call.
“For some time, my family had been looking for ways to better serve the Lord,” Brian said. “This was just the next step in my family’s ministry.”
Brian spends much of his time these days preparing sermons, praying for the community, visiting members and planning outreach initiatives. In the past year the church has held a depression and anxiety recovery program, a small group Bible study, and showed Voice of Prophecy’s “The Appearing” series. Plans for this fall include another depression recovery program and potentially some collaborative outreach with the Ames Church, which is only 10 miles from Boone.
“I don’t know what God has in store for us,” said Brian. “But no matter what He has planned I want us to be ready and excited for it.”
Eddie Cabrera, pastor of the Davenport and Muscatine churches and coordinator of the VLP program, was the guest speaker at the dedication service. “There’s a reason why this church is still open,” he told the congregation. “It’s a light in this community. When Jesus is uplifted, people will come.” He challenged the members be as active in the community as they’re asking Brian and Amanda to be. “Continue praying for Brian and Amanda,” he said. “And don’t just pray that they’ll have an effective ministry, but that you will all join them as ministry partners. Every Sabbath, before you get out of the car, pray for a miracle—expecting that God will deliver.”
Following a prayer of dedication at the close of the service, Pastor Eddie presented Brian with a special certificate of dedication.
The Boone Church is located at 628 Linn Street in Boone. They meet each Saturday morning with study for children and adults at 10:00 am, followed by a worship service at 11:00.