Laying the Foundation and Looking Ahead

On August 16th, 2015, we celebrated our six month anniversary at The Edge Church and much has happened in this season! Let’s take a look at all that God has done leading up to, and during the first six months of our launch.

Pre-launch

After moving to Knightdale, North Carolina, the small launch team quickly began to meet others and build relationships – with neighbors, co-workers, people around town and anyone who would chat. They threw parties, social gatherings and other events in an effort to meet others who might be interested in joining the church launch team.

Here’s a look back at the pre-launch season.

God was so good to the team during that time. In those 7 1/2 months the team:

  1. Participated in three town events with exposure to 1,000s
  2. Gave out 100 free t-shirts
  3. Threw 3 parties (with a total of 220 people in attendance)
  4. Had 3 interest gatherings
  5. Took 100s of pictures
  6. Gave out more free food than you can imagine (!)
  7. Had more 1-on-1 meetings than you could count
  8. Injected thousands of dollars into the Knightdale community

Post-launch (our first six months)

When we launched on February 22nd we had no idea what to expect. Not much has changed! Each Sunday brings something new – whether it’s a challenge or a delightful surprise. Here are some highlights from those first six months:

7 salvation decisions – let’s face it…this is why we exist as a church! What an incredible thing to celebrate in the first 6 months.

5 baptisms – we threw a PARTY and celebrated 5 people who openly declared their devotion to God! Here’s a video we created from that special service.

We’ve invested 10s of 1,000s of dollars into the school system. What an incredible way for us to invest in the Wake County school system! Knightdale High School is glad to have us and we’re delighted to help them make a positive impact on students.

Over 500 “likes” on Facebook. We celebrate this because it helps us streamline communication, reach more people and rejoice in all that God is doing through Edge and in this area!

We’ve seen God do some amazing things in the hearts and lives of people at Edge. There’s nothing more encouraging for me to see, as the pastor, than people who deepen their relationship with Jesus. Some have seen improvements in their marriages, others have had friends and relatives notice a difference in their lives and still others have clung to God as they’ve plunged into very difficult circumstances. When people choose to press forward in obedience, God honors that.

Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
    but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.

Psalm 34:10 NLT

Looking Ahead

The future at Edge is bright! I believe God’s plan for this church is inconceivably huge. Specifically, here are three things I believe God has in store for this church:

1- I believe we will grow to 150 in regular attendance by the end of year one.

Let’s face it – God’s plans for this church demand that she grow. He has called this church to be generous, to reach the lost and to impact our city. We can’t afford to get comfortable and stay small.

2-  We will have 50 people on the dream team by year one

Our dream team has been phenomenal. If you’re not yet on the dream team, thank someone who is. They setup in advance, they watch our kids, they lead us in worship, they run sound, lights, tech, they greet us at the doors, they put up signage and prepare our meeting spaces. My prayer is that God would send more harvesters (Luke 10:2).

3-  We will have five healthy small groups.

Small groups are one of the four critical legs on this chair. This week we are launching our first three – many more will be needed as we grow and continue to reach those who are far from God.

I hope you’re as encouraged as I am about the future of this church. I’m proud of all that she’s done in a short period of time and am eager to see how God uses her to expand His reach as a reflection of His heart for this area!

If you haven’t joined us on a Sunday morning, we’d love to have you visit!

The Local Church is Failing

Here’s a bold statement: the local church is failing. Local Christian churches just aren’t “winning”.

I make that statement with all due respect to the many incredible men and women of God leading the church today. But let’s be honest…as a whole, Christian churches are hurting.

Allow me to elaborate…

  • Every year 4,000 churches close their doors (source). In fact, some people believe 8,000-10,000 churches closed their doors in 2013 (source)
  • 50% of all churches didn’t add new members between 2010 and 2012 (source)
  • Only 20% of churches are growing today. And out of those 20%, a majority of them are “borrowing” members from other churches (it’s called transfer growth).

church borrowing jpeg

  • In an average year, 1/2 of all existing churches will not add a single new member through what’s called conversion growth – when someone comes to faith in Jesus Christ
  • The United States is the #1 country for receiving missionaries (source)
  • 3,500 people leave the church every day
  • The United States is one of the least churched nations in the world (source)
  • The number of churchless Americans has doubled in the last 20 years
  • Out of those who don’t attend church in America, 75% said it was because they either, “find God elsewhere” or because, “church isn’t relevant to me personally.”
  • Millennials are leaving the local church in droves (source)

(Additional sources for you fact-checkers: source1, source2, source3, source4. Sobering thought: those figures include Catholic churches, Protestant churches, Mormon churches, 7th Day Adventists, etc.)

Looking at all the church statistics above, I wonder how many Americans are going to a growing church. Out of that number, how many have a church that’s healthy? Out of that smaller number, how many have a church that’s experiencing conversion growth? How many people go to that type of church and walk away uplifted, encouraged and challenged? How many are actually looking forward to a weekend experience at church?

WOW. Folks, we are failing. There’s no way around it.

I don’t have a desire to try and explain why I believe the church is declining. That would take years and isn’t where I’m going with this blog.

I made that bold claim and seek to shed light on the issue because I believe that The Edge Church will be an agent of change that will reach Wake County for Jesus Christ.

Did you read that last sentence? It’s pretty important and I believe it’s as big as my opening statement. I believe that The Edge Church will buck the trend, experience conversion growth, draw a younger, diverse crowd and be a source of strength and inspiration to many. I believe that The Edge Church will strengthen marriages, benefit local communities, equip and bless parents and support outreach and government programs.

How are we going to do that? In a world that’s increasingly hostile toward Christians and the local church, how can we be an agent of change?

By living out our mission: accepting people where they are and taking them where God wants them to be.

accepting people where they are taking them where God wants them to be

That’s what God has called The Edge Church to do and to be. That’s who we are. That’s what we’re about. That’s our mission.

How are we going to accomplish that mission? By staying true to who God has called us to be as a local church. It takes strategy, intentionality, humility and so much more for us to accomplish everything God has in His heart for us to achieve.

There are a dozen core principles that we embody. Stay tuned for a post on them.

But for now…we have to admit that something needs to change. We can do better.