Blog Archives

Pastor to Community Developer

When I took the Associate Pastor position at Mountair Christian Church, we knew we would take it one year at time. The church was taking money out of savings to fund my position and we didn’t know how the ministry at the church would change. This summer, Trevor Lee, the Lead Pastor at Mountair felt called by God to transition to the Lead Pastor position at the church in Littleton called Trailhead Church.

So I transitioned into the Interim Pastor role at the beginning of August.

Over the last year, I have spent a good amount of time in Edgewater building relationships and learning about the needs and assets in the community. As I have developed relationships and built networks, I have realized the need for an asset based community development organization. Instead of just rushing in to meet needs, an asset based organization looks to connect the assets or strengths of a community with its needs.

So we started Edgewater Collective as a way to connect these assets and needs in seeking the common good of all in Edgewater.

I love doing community development. Ironically my senior paper at Taylor University laid out of dream of mine to do community development in a neighborhood just like Edgewater just south of where we are now. It took 11 years to get where we are now, yet this is the position I believe I am uniquely created for.

Our family is ready to jump into this new role in Edgewater.

Mountair Christian Church is starting to look for a new Lead Pastor and I will be transitioning to leading Edgewater Collective at the beginning of November.

You can read our letter to the Mountair congregation here.

We are excited to step into this role within our community. The open doors to invest in our community are amazing!

  • Today I began serving as a volunteer police chaplain with the Edgewater Police Department.
  • We are launching the Edgewater Literacy Initiative and sending trained volunteers to help K-3rd grade students read at grade level by the end of 3rd grade.
  • This spring I will be leading our community garden at the local high school and helping students sell their produce at the local farmer’s market.
  • We are working with the local high school to connect local business owners and students every Thursday morning later this fall. Our dream is to offer up to a $1000 Innovation Award to a high school student to develop a business idea in the community.
  • Hillary is a paraprofessional (teacher’s aide) at our daughters’ school and is learning first hand the needs in our local schools.
  • I am now a Planning and Zoning Commissioner in Edgewater and am learning more about how our city operates.
  • I also represent our area on the Jefferson County Schools Strategic Planning and Advisory Council.

As you can see this is quickly becoming a full-time effort! We need your help as I step into this new role with Edgewater Collective.

Here is how you can help:

Invest Time

If you live in the Denver area, here are some ways you can serve in Edgewater.

Invest Financially

We are looking to raise $14,000 by 2014 to launch these initiatives in Edgewater and allow me to work full-time in the community. You can donate to Edgewater Collective here.

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Why Edgewater Collective Isn’t Faith Based

Over the past couple of months, I have been investing a good amount of time in launching our grassroots community development organization, Edgewater Collective. Thankfully, the mistakes and lessons learned from starting, maintaining and closing a coffee bar has helped me in starting this new venture. This time around I am seeking advice from those who have gone before me and done the same type of community development organization.

One of the big questions from the start has been, “Are we a faith based organization?”

I sought advice from others, talked with our board and came to the conclusion that some of our board members might be “faith-motivated” but our organization will not be faith based.

Wait! What?! Why would a seminary trained pastor with over ten years of experience in the church not start a faith based organization? Read the rest of this entry

New Venture: Edgewater Collective

Ever since we moved to Edgewater, Colorado we have seen our small, one mile by one mile city as our “mission field.” We enrolled our daughters in our neighborhood school and began to network and build relationships. As we did this, we noticed a number of different needs in the community.

All three schools in Edgewater are Title I schools and over 85% of the students are on free or reduced lunch. The test scores are lower than those in the suburbs but they are improving. The teachers and staff are excellent yet some in the community just look at test scores and the schools suffer a bad rap. So I decided to network with other community leaders are start a project called Support Edgewater Schools to improve the image of our local schools and rally Edgewater around our schools.  Read the rest of this entry