Spiritual Growth of the Church – “The Bridge”

The Spiritual Growth Bridge.

Many people believe in God.  Many more are interested in getting to know Him. They know He is out there somewhere. They are just confused at how to get to or find him.  And life, with all its problems, conflicts, paradoxes, confusion and inequities, stands like a great overwhelming river flowing between themselves and God.

 The basic underlying question many are asking is, “How do I get across the river?”  Sadly enough, even the “Church,” historically speaking, has been a part of this muddy river. Many discouraged, and for the most part understandably so, by what they perceive to be the church’s irrelevancy concerning their own problems and needs, or by their own negative personal experiences growing up in church, are searching for a real and genuine way to know and experience God.   But in the final analysis, many are still not sure how or where to find him.  Many are still lost. And many are sure they will not find him in the organized church.  And yet the search continues.  How do we cross the river?  How do we come to know God?  Has God given us a vehicle, a tool, a bridge by which to cross this mighty river?

At Fellowship we do believe God has given mankind a vehicle to help come to know and discover him.  It is the “Church”!  But because many have never taken the time to honestly read the Scriptures, and what the Scriptures say concerning the purpose and environment of a church, many are still clueless in developing a deeper relationship or stronger bridge to God.

At Fellowship, we are seeking to restore the church’s credibility in building that bridge across the difficult rivers of life.  By returning the church to a biblical philosophy of ministry, as described earlier in this study, our goal is to build a bridge that is strong enough to consistently support those pilgrims interested in seeking to cross the river and to develop a deeper intimacy with God. This bridge, using other bridge builders, or believers themselves, seeks to span the great divide between spiritual interest in God to spiritual maturity and purpose with God.

 

The Bridge’s two major towers or supports include:  the Sunday Morning gathered experience of the Body, including our Children’s Learning Center, and our smaller, but more powerful Home Churches and various supporting ministries.

First Supporting Tower:  Sunday Morning

 •On Sunday Mornings we seek to put together the best possible large group experience among believers that we can.  We desire to create an emotionally stirring corporate worship –a worship that inspires –a worship that motivates the individual to get alone with his God — to come clean –to become clean once again — to be restored once again to the belief that God is indeed the sovereign creator of the universe — that he loves us very much — that he is indeed the standard of truth for the universe — and that if we once again readjust our lives to his “level of truth,” we will again rest in his strength.

•Our teaching and sharing seeks to stir listeners to be a little different than when they walked in because they have encountered His truth in a fresh, real and relevant manner.

•Members are also given the opportunity to use their gifts on Sunday Morning through Worship, the Discipleship of our children in the Learning Center, or a variety of other support ministries such as welcoming, greeting or assisting newcomers or visitors.

Second Supporting Tower:  Home Churches and Ministry

 •Fellowship’s smaller Home Churches serve an even more vital function.  People desire relationships.  And it is within the smaller home church that believers are able to develop deeper, more satisfying and accountable relationships.  In fact most of the commands such as: to love; teach; encourage; honor; be hospitable to: rebuke and forgive each other; were all written to smaller New Testament house or home churches.  And it is in this context of the home church that true “koinovia”, or fellowship, and genuine spiritual growth seem to flourish.

•The next series of classes following this class, our Home Church Classes, go into more detail as to what a Home Church is, how it best functions, and how you can become involved in one.  We believe that in the end that these families of believers are the best long term vehicles for growing up believers.  We believe that this was the early church.

 

The Middle:  InReach and 101

 •In between the Sunday Morning Gathered Church experience and the smaller Home Church experience is Fellowship’s InReach Ministry.  This is where we help interested attenders and seekers in becoming more involved in Fellowship.  This class is a part of the InReach Ministry.  Our hope is to help newcomers become members of the Body, find a suitable place of ministry, and ultimately become involved in a Home Church.

The Beginning of  the Bridge: OutReach or Attraction

 •At the beginning of the Bridge is our OutReach Ministry.  It is our hope that by whatever legitimate means possible to not only cultivate, or renew an interest in God, His Word, and the church, but also to attract a lost and confused world as to how they can come to know God in a very real, practical and credible manner.

 

The Destination: Mission, Leadership and Intimacy with God

•On the other side of the bridge is one’s personal mission and leadership.  It is our hope that as a persons begins to walk the bridge, they discover the God-given gifts God has equipped them with and the personal call or mission God has personally created them for. As that person begins to unwrap, discover, and develop their individual giftedness, they will discover their mission or purpose.  For many, ultimately, this includes guiding and leading others through the process of discipleship and growth or making an impact in their community.  Ultimately the goal is not to just be a bridge walker, but a bridge builder, so that others may benefit from your own personal growth and ministry, as the bridge grows stronger and stronger

 •Included as a part of this course is Your Style of Influence Questionnaire.  This is a short, non-threatening survey that allows you to understand your style of influencing others. It identifies four major ways of relating to others.  And because you have a greater understanding of your giftedness, or the way you relate to others, your will be better able to find your place of ministry, influence and service within the Body, “as each part (you) does it work (or job).”  Eph. 4:16.

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