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Connecting Points

I want to thank those of you who shared your hopes and dreams for

Edgemont UMC at our Covenant Breakfast on December 31st. If I were to

sum up what was said in a few words it would be that our church grows

numerically and spiritually in 2024. Those two desires for growth should

always be coupled together. Churches that only focus on numerical

growth are “throwing out the baby with the bath water.” Churches that

settle for emphasizing spiritual growth only are separating faithfulness and


To grow numerically and spiritually demands that we pray and so our

sermon series for January is about “Going Vertical.” We start with prayer

and by asking God to help us to know, think, and do His will. We pray with

Jesus, “Not my will, but thine be done!”

Churches that grow have other aspects in common and the shortlist is

passionate worship, personal invitations, strong connections, and

extravagant generosity. Passionate worship happens when we enter

God’s presence with as much energy and excitement as we share our

greetings with one another. Imagine Edgemont greeting God with the

same enthusiasm as we do one another doing our greeting time. We can

also be intentional about inviting people to our church. Church growth

gurus still say nothing beats an invitation by the laity when it comes to first-time

friendly church. They want and need friends. Churches that provide for

belonging needs discover that very few if any ever leave their church for

another one. Strong connections like Jesus had with those first disciples

is what we desire and we do that through groups and events. Finally,

churches that are able to reach people must have people who practice

generosity in both gifts and service. I invite you to pray about how you give

at Edgemont. I also want to thank you for how you gave in 2023. Perhaps

one of the many things you are or will pray about in January is how God

desires to give through you in 2024. We know that anything and any

we give is a response to God’s great gift in Jesus and the life we receive

from our creator.

Pray. Pray First! But then worship passionately, invite personally, connect

strongly, and give extravagantly. If we do, our hopes and dreams will come


Going & Growing Vertical Together,

Pastor Dean

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