"Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33
JANUARY 2018 - We had our first interest gathering at our house for those interested in helping us launch the church. We had no idea who, or how many people would come. 20 people showed up! We were ecstatic about the future...but we had no start date, location, meeting space, or real structure yet. We just had the calling from God, and a desire to see people come to know Jesus.
MARCH 2018 - We found the location! We went under contract at Foothills Rec Center (Aquatic Center). We had our date too. September 9th, 2018. We would launch out of the rec center with a plan of growing out of it and raising enough money to get our own property - in the next 3 years. This is kind of how it works with church start-ups. You start in a school or community center, build it up, then get your own place. We were set...
THEN THE PHONE RANG.
It was the Pastor of a church that has been in Glendale since the mid 70's. I had never met him, and had no relational connection. He had been given my phone number from a guy, who knew a guy, who knew someone who knew someone...it was a shot in the dark for him. All he knew is that we were planting a church in the west valley, and the church he was pastoring was in a very difficult season of decisions on their future.
They were interested in potentially having our church plant meet at their church, maybe on a Saturday. This would bring much needed revenue into their church, while being beneficial for us to have a meeting space. So, we talked. Then we met again, and again. Every time we met it seemed like the Lord was doing something much bigger than a rental agreement between two churches...
My prayer all along was that God would do a miracle. The miracle would be that The Bridge Church would be able to do Kingdom ministry at this property (4.5 acres on Greenway and 53rd Ave), full time. There were some real barriers...We had virtually no money, no track record of success, and maybe 40 people. There were a million more qualified and equipped churches to partner with. But, God increasingly knitted our hearts together.
Several meetings later...THE MIRACLE BEGAN!
God spoke to Pastor Marcus and I, separately, about coming together. But, not to just combine churches and change the name on the sign. We would close the former church for the summer, and come back as The Bridge Church. We would definitely still be a church plant, but seemingly skip the 3-5 years of renting from a rec center for 3 hours a week. This would be A MIRACLE! This church is in the exact 2 mile circle we identified as our target neighborhood. We would still be able to have the church vision, governance, and ministry model we were called to. You may not know this, but these kind of things don't happen for small church plants like ours. But, God always seemed to choose the nobody (David, Elisha, Peter) - so why not us?
JUNE - AUGUST 2018 - We did a massive overhaul of the property. We created an entire kids building that now can serve hundreds of kids per week. Every sq. inch of the inside and outside got new paint and flooring. Someone donated the material and labor to completely re-do our bathrooms. It was a ton of work that we never planned for, but it was worth it, and God provided every step of the way. I can't tell you how many people donated their time, giftings, and free labor to make this possible. It was truly unbelievable.
SEPTEMBER 9TH, 2018 - We officially launched! It was a day we'll look back on for decades - This marked the completion of one miracle, and the beginning of the next. We are just getting started. We anticipate sharing the love of Jesus with thousands of people over the next few years. If you ever feel like something is too big for God, it isn't. This was too big for us. There was zero chance this could have happened without God. We rejoice in what He has done, and also why He did it - Because we are meant to change this city with the love of Jesus! We plan to do just that.