Since November 1993 I have lived in Vermont. I moved to Vermont for a very specific reason. Vermont has a very small evangelical Christian population and I felt a calling from God to try to do something about it. After living here so long, I was not surprised when USA Today newspaper and various Gallup polls began to report that Vermont was the least churched state in America.
In the nearly 17 years that I have lived in Vermont I have seen many people in Vermont profess faith in Jesus Christ. I have seen many people who had fallen out of church return to a more active faith in Christ. Sadly, Vermont still remains the least churched state in America.
In my ministry of church planting and evangelism in Vermont, I have the honor of working with 37 churches affiliated with the organization I serve. Some of those churches are very small, with less than 25 in worship on a typical Sunday. Several have 100 or more in worship. One has over 400. Regardless of the size of the church, each of them is a bright light of the Gospel in their community.
Sometimes well meaning friends will refer to Vermont as a "dark state." I must confess that when I first moved to Vermont I often used that term myself. But I no longer refer to Vermont as a dark place. Though the evangelical community in Vermont remains small, it is growing. And each person added to the Kingdom of God is one more light added to the overall mix of spirituality in Vermont. I prefer to focus on the light that is shining brighter than ever than on the darkness that lies at the outer edges of our spiritual vision.
Everyone knows that a dark room is transformed by a tiny point of light. When lots of tiny points of light are put together, the whole house is transformed. That is also true spiritually. As each church, regardless of size, and each individual, shines bright for Jesus, our state will be transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. By faith I believe that one day Vermont will be the Bible belt of New England. Lord, shine Your light!