When I started my career in pastoral ministry in 1999, I began to dream of a church that operated much more like a bridge than it did a destination. It is amazing how the modern church struggles living this way, even ours.
The reality is, a great chasm separates the church and the world. It separates those who have entrusted their lives to Jesus Christ and those who have yet to see the value of a surrendered life. The world’s need to see radically changed and compelling lives lived for Christ is often snuffed out by the superficial desire of followers of Christ to look Christian only to other Christians. My heart’s desire is that we learn to bridge the Great Chasm and really value a connection with those longing for a new beginning.
Built on values like: Grace, Truth, Creativity, Stewardship, Community, Authenticity, Compassion & Restoration, the church can rediscover its essential role to not camp out within it’s walls but to live life outside the church walls in order to reach the skeptics on the other side of the Great Chasm. We cannot be satisfied with shouting across the divide and hoping someone hears us and makes their way over. We must be the bridge by living reconciliation daily amongst those God has surrounded us with at school, in the office, on the team, in our homes and any where else that is dangerous or uncomfortable.
“Bridges give life through two-way movement!” If the church is not willing to cross the bridge and be salt and light on the other side, what reason have we given those who need God’s grace to cross over and find it?
“Faith. Faith is an island in the setting sun. But proof, yes Proof is the bottom line for everyone” -Paul Simon
Does the world look at the redeemed and see proclamations of belief or do they see the evidences and proofs of love in action. I want the bride of Christ to embody the fact that Christ dwells inus and therefore our lives should count not for our own personal consumption but for the purpose of sacrificially loving those around us who need love. Real Love! His Love. We can’t do this if we are staked in the middle of camp.
Lord, let us be the bridge of two way movement. Sending the redeemed, equipped out of a season of true deep discipleship while at the same time inviting the broken into the grace filled arms of the savior and his body that is more than willing to slow down and help restore.
“a bridge over troubled waters between an isolated church and a cynical culture. A bridge where credibility could be re established by God’s people before an increasingly skeptical and hostile world. A bridge where people would be drawn to cross over rather than be repelled. A bridge of proof rather that hollow proclamation. A bridge of incarnation: the dynamic intersection of the divine and the human.” – Robert Lewis
– Pastor Joshua Kirstine