I am Andrea Smith . . .
Occupation: Lead Catalyst
Location: Mooresville, NC
Introduction: In a million years I never dreamed I would launch a “church.” Although we prefer to call it a “movement” following the way of Christ, in my logical brain, it is a “church.”
Almost three years ago Williamson’s Chapel UMC had a baby!!!! 🙂 Williamson’s West began as a campus of Williamson’s Chapel UMC with a launch team of 40 adults. Three preview services showed we may have potential to have around 100 people . . . then a public launch that morphed into an average of 220 people.
Less than two years after launching the senior pastor of the mother church answered a call to a different annual conference. The new senior pastor arrived and through thoughtful discernment and prayer between the bishop, cabinet, and local church leadership, it was decided for this new community of West to charter as a church. Thus on January 1, 2013 West became a United Methodist Church seeking to reach people who have never engaged in a journey with God or who are “done” with religion.
The energy that exists among the people excited about sharing the love of Christ with a world that is hurting . . . . man, it’s contagious and invigorating! There’s no place I’d rather be or anything else I’d rather do than “head West” on Sunday mornings (and all the other days too! but you know – preachers only work a few hours on Sunday!) 😉
Seriously, I believe there is no better way than to organize ourselves so that we live into being who we were called and created to be WHILE making a sustainable, life-transforming difference in this world.
Studying the teachings of Christ within the context of the over-arching story of being a loved people of God changes everything. If we can find a non-threatening way to share that love, hope, and grace with this world by serving one another, WOW! That will truly lead to change!
West now has an amazing staff (some who work for free – LITERALLY!)
I believe God is going to do great things in and through the people of West and I am grateful to be along for the ride!
Interests: Hmmmmm… Mexican Food – can that be an interest? I like to be on the lake… loving “Shamu” – my blue versa-board (Paddleboard and Kayak all in one!) and I like spending time with my family! For awhile in ministry I married the “church” but luckily had a chance to see that the best gifts ever given to me are those who love me unconditionally. A wise pastor once said, “Spend time with the people who will cry at your funeral.” I seek to do that now daily! That is my priority!
And I like to have fun! I love to laugh . . . think of bizarre things . . . and see that life, although hard as crap so many times, truly can be rooted in joy!
Favorite Movies: Secretariat, Blind Side, Shrek (I LOVE Donkey!)
Favorite Music: James Taylor, Jimmy Buffet, Journey, NeedtoBreathe, Fee, Kristian Stanfill
Sacrilege by Hugh Halter
Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr
We Make the Road by Walking by Brian McLaren
New Wine, New Wineskins by Douglas Powe
Jesus Insurgency: The Church Revolution from the Edge by Dottie Escobedo-Frank and Rudy Rasmus
Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor
When Christians Get it Wrong by Adam Hamilton