We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

Pastor Paul's Blog

Nehemiah Project Update and Town Hall Meetings

Last fall, while in discussions with Dan Pezet, our Director of Congregational Development for the Western N.C. Conference of the UMC (WNCCUMC), it became clear that Huntersville UMC was beginning to THRIVE, but lacked some elements for sustained growth and mission focus. We had successfully entered into a capital campaign, called THRIVE!, and were beginning to see tremendous progress. Attendance was growing. Financial support was increasing. Interest and activity in every way was progressing favorably. Our church’s health was GOOD, and we believe God needed and wanted us to be GREAT!

And so, we began conversations around how this church could flourish and make even more impact in the Huntersville community. In December, your Church Council leadership voted to consider a process, called the Nehemiah Project, that would offer the church a partnership with the WNCCUMC in this growth. With the affirmation of the Church Council leadership, we voted to begin the process. We asked, and you responded, by filling out nearly 150 surveys of your impressions of the church. We followed that up with a “Nehemiah Project” weekend. Interviews were held with leaders and newcomers to the church. We intentionally engaged new and long-time members. On Saturday, March 24, we held a workshop led by Dan Pezet, to hear about our dreams and goals for the church, and to see if we were in agreement about initiatives that would help us move forward toward GREAT!

On Sunday, March 25, Dan Pezet presented to the congregation a summary of those initiatives. The report concluded that there were 5 first steps we needed to take. Here is the summary of those: (the full report is available on our website and paper copies are in the lobby)

  • Let the Vision Drive by refining and considering if “Creating Authentic Christian Community” is the real vision and find ways to let the vision drive the decision making of the church.
  • Be in ministry with Younger Generations - We will create a task force, and with a guide, focus on Youth ministry and the possibility of recreational ministries to further engage this community.
  • Leadership - We will study Leadership and Organization for Fruitful Congregations by Stephen Ross and develop systems for Lay Leadership and look at our current Staff system and align those with the driving vision of the church, with the help of a guide. The goal is to increase participation in all levels of church life.
  • Door to Core Discipleship Pathway - We must develop a system of connecting people from those thinking about visiting the church, to actually attending, leading to full participation in the life of the church. We will have a Discipleship Pathway team that develops and implements this strategy, with help from a Coach/Guide from the Conference.
  • Adopt an Attitude of Abundance - We will convene an Abundant Stewardship Team to explore how to take the stewardship in the church to the next level. We will look at debt reduction and ways to use existing resources to move the church forward in the area of financial health and engagement.

We will have “Town Hall Meetings”, open to all, to discuss these initiatives. The dates and times for these will be April 22 at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall, and on Wednesday April 25, at 7:00 p.m. also in the Fellowship Hall. The purpose of these open meetings is to discuss, ask questions, and gain perspective on this proposal. Pam Aiken will facilitate the discussions on April 22. Kevin Franklin will facilitate on April 25. Dan Pezet will be present on April 22 to help answer questions.

On May 6, at 11:30 a.m. (or after the 10:30 service), we will have Mark Andrews, our District Superintendent, present to conduct a Charge Conference vote. All are welcome to attend, but the vote taken will be among current members. Of those attending and eligible to vote, 70% must approve to move forward. If 70% approve, we begin to address these initiatives, recognizing they may take 1-3 years to fully develop. If the church does not vote with 70% approval, we move no further in partnership with the Conference on this route.

I hope that you will be able to attend one of these sessions to gain more clarity. In the meantime, if I can help answer questions or give resources, please let me know.

I hope to see you this weekend!

Paul B. Thompson, Pastor

Huntersville United Methodist Church