Dear Aspen Ridge Church,
Greetings to you from Evergreen in the days leading up to our country’s celebration of Thanksgiving. Just recently, our church hosted over 300 people for our “Community Thanksgiving Dinner,” many of which include guests and friends to our church from our community. Thank you for your part in making this such a special outreach event.
I also want to thank many of you for attending one of our three “town hall” meetings in November. I am pleased to report that we had some 175 in attendance between our three meetings (out of attendance that is averaging just under 400 per weekend). This attendance marks a genuine interest in our ministry and a desire to be a part of the way God is leading.
These three meetings included a report from Dave Bruce, chairman of our 5-Year Plan team, about recommendations for our ministry in the coming handful of years in church life. After sharing for some 20 minutes, Dave Bruce then fielded a variety of questions for another 20 minutes. We then invited our church to break up into groups of 4-5 and pray for the three leading proposals from the team.
Over the course of three meetings, we received a number of questions, some of which we attempted to answer of a previous document entitled “Frequently Asked Questions.” Other questions emerged from our meetings, some of which we are listing here:
What makes something a small group? Small groups are very important to fulfilling our church mission of “inviting neighbors to find a home in Christ together.” A small group of ten people may be effective in building up each other in the Christian way and in reaching neighbors and friends with the gospel of Jesus Christ. These groups are meant to learn God’s Word, love one another and serve our community. Various roles in our small groups may include facilitator, an apprentice to the facilitator and host/hostess. They are our central means of building “home in Christ” people.
What sort of qualifications will be needed for the recommended staff position? Will this role be considered an associate pastor position? Is there a preference between a man or woman? This position will be important in strengthening our small group life and growing our ability to consistently serve the needs of our community. The person called to this position will need to have the commensurate skills and abilities to lead us toward the realization of our five-year dream. In light of how we expect this person to give leadership to small group leaders, and toward community service projects, our elder board has decided that this will be considered an associate pastor position. It is our conviction that pastor/elders have a certain level of theological training, and that they line up with qualifications listed in 1 Timothy 3. Among these include… husbands of one wife who rule their households well.
What is the time-table for the new staff position? Are we looking for someone who is already familiar with our community? The most aggressive timetable would include a January launch for a search committee, proposing a candidate in a 6-8 month window. We will give priority to the skills and capabilities needed to move toward the fulfillment of our 5-year plan. This may or may not mean we will extend a call to someone who currently lives in (or is familiar with) our community. At all events, this person will need to become a student of our church and community, deeply connected in the greater Conifer/Evergreen area.
In relation to parking – is there any property available? Are we land-locked? We cannot confirm that there is any property adjacent to our church campus that is imminently available. We are grateful that Evergreen Memorial Park allows us to park some vehicles on their property. We have limited room on our existing corner property, which measures slightly less than 4 acres. However, we are hearing about two prospective proposals to expand needed parking. One of these proposals includes adding some 20 additional spaces on our current property. These additional spaces may cost some $3,000 per space to build.
As far as uses for our building, is the “Empty Bowls” event representative of what we are trying to do? Yes, we hosted a Mountain Resource Center “Empty Bowls” event and believe this is an example of a way we can serve our community, so that people who live here may experience God’s love in a practical way. During that same event, church leaders met with leaders from Mountain Resource Center to explore what kind of partnerships may exist in practical service projects toward our community in the years ahead.