Bridge leaders believe CLARITY produces UNITY. So, in seasons of rapid advance we want to over-communicate a clear WHY behind the visible WHAT. Because we’re in a season of such rapid advance, here are rapid-fire responses to a few frequently asked questions…
What are the LEAD Nights we’ve been hearing about and what is Bridge LEAD?
In short, Bridge LEAD is our leadership development pipeline and LEAD Nights are monthly gatherings with our Executive Leadership Team and staff for people aspiring to greater leadership in the church body. As pastors, we’re called to “equip the saints for the work of ministry” and we believe The Bridge can raise up the next generation of church leaders. At LEAD Nights we celebrate the work of God in our midst, I (Josh) and Pastor Matt (who oversees Bridge LEAD) fill our key leaders in with any inside information about what’s coming for our church, and do some cultural training for Bridge Leadership. If you’re interested in hearing more about Bridge LEAD click here.
Why are we talking so much about numbers?
In our experience, most people rejoice hearing numbers that represent measurable gospel advance. But it can be hard for a few people who’ve come from unhealthy cultures to hear numbers communicated without it feeling like “growth-boasting” or as if we’re becoming “all about the numbers.” For reasons I’ll explain in a second we’ve needed to share a lot of numbers lately and some people have asked, “Do we care about the numbers and why are we talking about them?”
First, hopefully all churches care about numbers…
- The number of lives saved from an eternity apart from God
- The number of marriages restored
- The number of teenagers following God with their lives
- The number of orphans adopted
- The number of depressed people finding hope out of hopelessness
Two thousand years ago, Luke, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote…
Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day…And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
It’s simply unacceptable to me as a pastor that any church that believes heaven and hell are real would not care about “the numbers” when God wants to “add to their number daily.”
But secondly, from a leadership perspective we have to communicate numbers to explain THE WHY behind THE WHAT. It’s hard for people to understand why we need 200 adults to move from the 9:30 and 11 services without communicating we had over 300 first time guests that tried to attend those services last month and will have over 400 new people try to attend those services in the future. It’s hard to communicate why we need to expand seating unless people know we’re cramming over 2,100 people into a building with a 500-seat auditorium every week, etc.
So, we communicate numbers because they tell the story of what God is doing in our midst and to keep our church informed with as much information as possible as we lead through change.
How is our church doing financially?
I’m so proud of our church’s growth in this area, I could burst. Proverbs says, “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a fool spends all that he has.” Because of this, The Bridge budgets for margin so that we can A) avoid crisis and B) seize missional opportunities. We use everything God entrusts to us for kingdom advance, but we only budget to run the church on about 90% of what we take in, leaving 10% margin. Amazingly, this strategy has already enabled us to do things like plant our future Columbia campus with cash, fund additional missionaries being sent out by our church, purchase AVL upgrades for our Worship Center with cash, and begin planning to address our seating issue at the Spring Hill campus. VISION requires PROVISION and by God’s grace the generosity of our church continues to grow as we become like the generous God who gave his first and best for us.
CLICK HERE or visit our Resources Center for our annual report that gives a financial snapshot of the last year and what God has done in our church.
What’s going on with the Columbia Campus?
Mmmmmm. Big updates, y’all. We HAVE identified the leader that will be planting our Columbia Campus, and our future Columbia Campus Bridgers are going to be EXCITED. Just make sure you’re at a Bridge service on August 20th for this rollout : )
What are we doing about our seating issue?
As we’re cramming over 2,100 people into a 500-seat building, by far the most common question we hear right now is, “What are we doing to address our seating issue? We know you can’t preach 5 services live forever –– when are we going to expand?” After months of hard work and strategic planning, we’re finalizing some mind-blowing expansion plans now to set the stage for our goal of multiplying x10 in the coming years, and you’ll start getting communication within the next six weeks. But among our elders there’s a growing burden for something much bigger than just addressing our seating issue. We heard someone say recently, “You know it’s a movement of the Spirit when it rises from the bottom up, rather than being passed from the top down.” If you’re paying attention you’ll see there is a supernatural movement just like that happening in our church right now that we can’t explain apart from the Spirit of God.
In the next season of our church’s life we want to do more than expand, we want to catalyze the movement of the Spirit we’re seeing in our midst. Keep your ears open soon : )