When I first started attending Bridgeway back in 2007(ish) I was coming from a small family church where about 100 people filled the pews in the sancturary each Sunday. My best friends were the Pastor's kids and when you walked into the narthex you knew everyone and everyone knew you.
Coming here to Bridgeway I walked into a theater to sit with 500 of my closest strangers to worship.
One thing that had the biggest impact on me and my wife sticking around were a handful of experiences that made this big church feel small.
Within the first year or so of attending Bridgeway:
- Pastor Dan cooked me and Julie dinner one evening and we sat at his home and shared that awesome meal and some great conversation.
- Dr. Anderson and Amber met up with Julie and I out at Carrabba's one time simply to get to know each other.
- Frank and Karen introduced us to all their neighbors at their memorial day cookout in their front yard.
The point of this isn't to open the flood gates of requests for dinner with PDT, Dr DA, and the Eastham's. The fact that you're on this email list means that the congregation of our church probably sees you as a leader of this church. Special access and time with you means the world to the people in our Bridgeway family.
I learned something from the generosity and openness of our Bridgeway leaders and I've been hoping to recreate it in my current ministry. What does that look like?
Over the past 2 months Julie and I have invited out small groups of our BSM volunteers to our home for dinner. Over the course a number of different evenings we were able to host 23 of our people into our home for some meals. We weren't allowed to talk about ministry and no students were allowed. This was simply to hear each other's stories, laugh, and eat some good food.
I know I am not the only one who is having times like these with their people. I see and hear about others of you still doing this within your own ministries. I even have recent stories of y'all inviting me and my family out to be a part of your lives. It encourages me and has motivated me to do the same. In all the busyness of this season of transition for our church and ministries, I just wanted to encourage you with something that encouraged me.
The same family spirit that our church leaders were able to create 11 years ago for me and Julie is still happening today!