- Henry Prater
Hopes and Dreams
In our last blog, I wrote about three of the things I have learned in the past year at Edgemont. I’ve learned that we have a talented and committed group of people who desire to serve God in the community, who can rise to meet the challenges in front of them, and want to deepen their faith by learning. Here are some of my hopes and dreams for Edgemont.
First, I want to see Edgemont offer new and fresh expressions of church for the community. There is much hand wringing that goes on about the decline in church attendance in the United States, and the fact that Sunday is no longer a day that people reserve for worship. While these can be worries, they can also be motivators for us. What if, instead of fretting about about it, we instead use this as an opportunity to do church in different ways. We already have one group in our church who has expressed a desire to start a new “expression” that is built around conversation that covers a wide range of topics and a shared meal outside of church. The goal is to reach out to those who have left the church but not their faith and would be a safe place for asking “the hard questions” they have about Christianity and the world. I know that there are others who have a passion for reaching people outside of the church and finding creative ways to engage with them. Do you have ideas? If so, let’s talk.
Second, I dream that we will continue to find ways to grow ourselves and our community in Christian discipleship. Last year was a great year as we had two pastor studies and started three different small groups. Over the next year we will be offering some new opportunities for growth for all ages. Tara McMullen and Mitchell Moor, our new children’s and youth directors, respectively, have exciting plans for the next year as we seek to grow our children in God’s love. For our adults, we are looking at adding extra opportunities for small group studies and adding new learning opportunities whether they be in depth studies or guest lecturers.
Third, I am hopeful that we can craft and institute am adapted leadership structure for Edgemont. One of the things that we as United Methodists are known for is committees. We have lots of them and all of them have important functions. What I have also learned is that having the number of committees we do, with the number of people serving on them, require a lot of meetings and energy. There are some weeks where some of us can spend almost 5 HOURS in various meetings. That leaves little energy left over for other opportunities, such as outreach or discipleship. My hope and dream for Edgemont is for us to create a more streamlined leadership structure. There will always be administrative work that needs to get done; but how we can we do this more effectively, one that gives us more time and energy to focus directly on our Gospel work? In the coming weeks, we will be hearing about what this new leadership structure will look like.
These are some of my hopes for Edgemont for the upcoming year. These are a couple of areas that I believe, with God’s help, we can grow into. I want to hear your dreams, your hopes, the directions you believe God is leading us to act.