In 2002, there were only about 40 people attending Eagle Ridge. Pastor Dave Anderson brought a paradigm shift that slowly began building up the church into a strong community of 300 families that is diverse in race, age, sexual orientation and ability. He knew that we no longer live in a Christendom era–our secular society is clearly post-Christendom. In order for a church to most effectively minister and thrive in this context, it needs to shift from a membership model to a discipleship model. Rather than asking how can the church can meet our needs or how we could meet the church’s needs, we might ask how we can each tap into our God-given potential, talents and passions to find our own calls in life. In a discipleship model, the church’s purpose is to help people better know themselves as lovingly created in God’s image and as disciples of Christ, called to live out their personal gifts.
This has led to a program-intensive church that encourages everyone to be part of small groups. The small groups help form spiritual friendships that produce a caring community that looks after one another and welcomes change. As Pastor Dave describes, “If you are afraid of change, you will be afraid of newcomers, because newcomers will bring change.”
Eagle Ridge has just received a generous, three-year United Church grant to start the Waypoint Centre for Spiritual Growth. They have hired Pastor Sue Rodgers, an ordained minister who is trained in Spiritual Direction and business management. She has conducted an intensive community assessment and determined interest in spiritual matters that are not explicitly religious (i.e. meditation, support groups for single parents, bereavement, divorce, healing touch, etc.). The church is closing the daycare that rents space in their building in order to rent to Waypoint, which hopes to become self-sufficient through grants and course fees within three years.
This coming Sunday, we will be heading to St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church, Vancouver. They are undergoing a major building renovation, so their three Sunday services will be held in nearby locations. https://standrewswesley.com