My name is Trey Hall and I’m a runner, reader, failed improv comedy student, and Methodist church planter.
I’m an American living in London.
As the Director of Evangelism & Growth for the Methodist Church in Britain, I head up its God for All strategy and work with loads of diverse lay and ordained people across Britain to help the Methodist Church deepen its commitment to be a growing, inclusive, evangelistic, and justice-seeking Church of Gospel people.
I also coach and consult in Europe and the United States to help leaders dream and start new things.
This blog will be a scattershot of developed reflections and not-so-developed fragments about things I’m interested in and trying to learn more about: inclusive church, running, and contemplative spirituality, to name a few.
I try to think and write “as one without authority,” as Fred Craddock put it: not as an expert or super-skilled superior, but as a curious seeker, question asker, lover of out-of-the-box experiences, and (hopefully most of all) as one in recovery from many things, not least of which a quite significant case of control freakery. All that to say: comments, questions, alternative ideas and push-back welcome!
You can connect with me on social media at these sites: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & LinkedIn.
One thought on “About”
Good to see you blogging – do you miss Chicago? I do…
Which brings me to my point…like you, I am a transplant, moving from Chicago to upstate rural New York, where there are fewer people. I have been engaging in informal 1-1 discussions since I got here a year ago, and yet I have not seen much growth (although I must admit, your format is more formal and to the point than my informal efforts have been). I am wondering how long it may take to see congregational growth, or whether I may be doing this wrong, so I would like some guidance from you.
My background includes some significant time in sales and recruiting (military recruiting), so I am familiar with 1-1 discussions, albeit in a much different context. The asking for referrals is a big part of both of these endeavors (especially in insurance sales). It is interesting to see how fields as different as community organizing and military recruiting share some tactics! Anyway, like you, I see the church as something addressing bigger issues, and am committed to making it more relevant than it appears to be to many folks now, especially younger generations.
I have coined a phrase, “The New Evangelism,” for people from traditional mainline denominations like mine (and the United Methodists), where person-to-person ministry seems to be a bygone thing. Unlike the evangelism of, say, Billy Graham, the New Evangelism isn’t simply about getting someone to make an existential commitment to Jesus, it is broader, more focused on community – our commitment (yes, evangelism involves seeking commitment, and even conversion – less and less young people know anything at all about the Christian faith, shockingly) is to a community of believers, who share a faith in God who gave the world Jesus Christ. This evangelism is less interested in dogma and doctrine than it is on relationships – as I put it, orthopraxis wins over orthodoxy. This evangelism cares deeply about social justice and ecology, because God cares about these issues. This new evangelism spreads the message that God cares about these issues – it is part and parcel of the message, and it calls us to commit ourselves to working with God to address them.
Anyway, I know you yourself are likewise committed to these things (as is Urban Village), and so I am hoping to hear something back on how 1-1 works within this paradigm. I must admit that in the year I have been here, I have become busy with programs (of my own creation, true, but still it keeps me busy) attempting to entice a broader range of parishioners. I have made less time for 1-1 strategy, and it has become more accidental than intentional (a key I see in your approach). So if I become more intentional, and schedule more 1-1 in my week, how soon might I see results? And given the demographics of my parish, what kind of people should I seek out, and how?
Thanks – keep up the good work!
Blessings to you –
Jeff Courter, Pastor, PCUSA