Church planting is the most effective means of evangelism. The best way to start a local church planting is through a bridge event. A bridge event is a valuable way of spreading God's word and love. A bridge event is incomplete if church planting is not considered as one of its end goals. Using bridge events, we can reach out to places that a typical church could not, opening doors and opportunities while creating and improving connections with the community.
Even in your current church, bridge events could be held for the community of foreign-born internationals near you. A church that simply says “we welcome you” but does nothing is not the best expression of the gospel. Bridge events will help in reaching out to the community within arm’s reach.
An example of bridge events is free medical clinics. After registering, we ask permission to pray with them while checking their weight and height. From past experiences, people usually agree to prayer. By asking permission to pray with them, we do not hide our motive but that is not our sole agenda. Regardless if they agree or not, we will still continue with our medical check-up because we love them unconditionally. Actually, we don't need their permission to pray for them. We pray for everyone! The permission simply allows us to praying with them. This clinic points them to Jesus Christ and we are there to watch over them. We do not hold theological lessons but simply open the door that will lead to Jesus Christ out of their own free will for He has said “I will build my church” not “you will build my church”. Salvation belongs to Our Lord only and we are here as witnesses.
Bridge events connect us to the community because it is a holistic approach. This is a solid example of both “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care”, and how actions speak louder than words. Of course, we would still include evangelism in the events but the important point is to ensure that there is a balance between preaching and caring. We love, we care and we evangelize. The best kind of bridge event is the kind that reminds us of a railroad: two parallel lines that must be balanced at all times. If both lines are not balanced, the train will not be able to go through. It is the same with bridge events. We must maintain a balance between proclamations and demonstration of God’s love because that will be what will be engraved in the minds and hearts of the community for which we are caring.
As Pastor M has said, the church is the epicenter of God’s love on this earth. His calling is the creation of a church without walls. Just like all the help Pastor M has done to the Red Light district of the city of Mumbai. They had spent years supporting and providing aid to the people of the Red Light district. They were mistrusted at the beginning but they persisted, they showed the unconditional love that God has through their actions. Now, many people in the Red Light district can be seen as part of a church with Pastor M as the spiritual authority of their life. Through hard work and love, they were able to plant a church in the Red Light District of Mumbai.
Just as Jesus Christ established rapport with the people, so too we need to interact and deepen our bonds with the community. Some believed Him and some did not. He loved and died for those who have accepted Him and, just as equally, He loved and died for those who have rejected him. This is the same with our unconditional love. Not all may accept Jesus Christ but we will care and love them regardless. We are all equal in the eyes of God and The Church is God’s body on this earth. This would mean that these bridge events are our way of showing Christ in action.
Global Hope India: For over 20 years we have been watching God radically transform thousands of Americans & Indian Nationals through missions. We’ve taken nearly 1,000 Americans on short-term mission trips to India. We work with 12 long-term indigenous church planting partners located in North, South, East, & West mainland India as well as Northeast India. We empower the Church in India to make Christ known through leadership, child, & village development projects. Global Hope India is a federally recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in Morrisville, North Carolina. All gifts are tax-deductible. More about GHI.
Meet Pastor Kevin: Pastor Kevin is Founder and Executive Director of Global Hope India and your host for Living the Dream Podcast. He’s a poor kid from rural North Carolina, but get this… He just returned from his 50th trip to India in 20 years. If he doesn’t yet hold the Guinness Book of World Records for the most trips to India then he’s got to be close. He’s flown over a million miles to 27 different countries. He’s taken nearly 1,000 people on mission trips to India. Global Hope India has seen thousands of Indian Nationals and Americans radically transformed by God through missions. The miracle continues! More about Pastor Kevin.
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GHI Instagram: @globalhopeindia
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