On the Eve of our Campus Launch

With the launch of Columbia Campus, tomorrow is the first page of a chapter in The Bridge’s life we’ve been begging God for for years. And with around 400 people committed to the Columbia Campus BEFORE IT’S EVEN LAUNCHED, we think it’s going to be one of the most fun days we’ve ever had! A few words to our church heading into tomorrow…


Act like church-planters. In the earliest days of The Bridge when we were just a handful of people in a school, it was AMAZING how much ministry God accomplished through a small group of people. Here’s why: every single person acted like a church-planter.

  • If we ran out of coffee, no one walked away; they went looking for someone who could show them how to make more.
  • If a Kids Ministry class was short a volunteer, parents weren’t frustrated. They just hopped over the gate to fill the gap.
  • If someone saw a guest standing by themselves (and everyone knew who the guests were back then!), people didn’t wait for a Greeter to help them, they just did it themselves.

In a larger church people can look at a problem and think, “Whose job is that?”, but in a church-plant everyone owns everything as their God-comissioned job in the moment. Tomorrow, we’re not a 2,500-person church. We’re 2,500 church-planters, and if you see a gap, count yourself called in that moment to fill it, no matter the cost.

Be a 2,500-person greeting team. We have a firm belief at The Bridge that “People would rather be loved than wowed.” As important as they are, what most moves people’s hearts isn’t the quality of worship or the excellence of the technology, but the love of the people. Judging from online response, we’ll have more first-time guests in Bridge services tomorrow than any other day in Bridge history, and even a fully-staffed Guest Services won’t be able to connect with every guest. We need all hands on deck to SWARM every single person who walks through our doors with the love of Christ that has been extended to you. If you see someone you don’t know or who looks lost, consider yourself a part of a 2,500-person team of Greeters. Specifically, here’s what you can do…

  • Get to know people by asking their name and introducing yourself
  • If they’re new, ask them if you can help them find anything
  • Invite people who seem alone to sit with you. After all, as a church we’re a spiritual family.
  • Invite everyone to hang out with you at the Food Trucks hangout after the 11 o’clock service.

Audibly respond to the preaching. I’ll write more on this later as it’s an area our church can grow in, but not only does it help your preacher 😃, not only does it help the simulcast (IT DOES!), and not only does it help with racial diversity (white people are the only people who listen silently to sermons, and people of color often feel out of place where that’s the norm), but it leaves a lasting impression on guests when they see the church alive in response to the preached Word of God. This is a text message someone who visited The Bridge this month sent to the friend they visited with…

“A lot of churches can have a great personality on stage, great worship, and even amazing media but the Bridge has energy radiating from the congregation, not just the stage. This is unique because so many times people walk into a church and feel like they are being preached at or even just an audience. At the Bridge the interaction isn’t just one way, there is a flow of energy that can be noticed.”

GO NUTS when I welcome the Columbia Campus at the beginning of the message tomorrow. “Amen!” “Preach, Pastor!” Break into applause when the great truths of the gospel are declared in the message. Let’s HAVE CHURCH, tomorrow fam : )

Worship your heart out. Not only does God deserve from us in our worship every ounce of glory for what he’s accomplished in our midst, but the way a church worships is also evangelistic. 1 Corinthians 14 says that the worship of the church can cause outsiders to, “fall on their faces and declare that God is really among you.” Tomorrow, let’s worship with a passion and Biblical expressiveness that causes outsiders to look around and say, “God is really among these people.Sing loud. Lift holy hands in worship. Shout. Clap. Guys, the tomb is empty, our salvation is secure, and our future is guaranteed. Let’s worship like people who believe those things.