Being a B.R.I.D.G.E. ~
Building Relationships by Investing, Directing, Guiding Enthusiastically to Jesus Christ
The vision of the Dover First Moravian Church is to build relationships by investing, directing, and guiding enthusiastically, or BRIDGE. What does this mean?
The primary relationship that the church must be building is between individuals and their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. While this is a personal relationship that each person must enter into by choice, the church must do its part by investing time and effort in each person it meets and touches. It does this by providing:
- A sanctuary in which the peace of Christ can be found and the Savior worshipped.
- A greenhouse in which faith can be planted, grown, and nurtured.
- A workplace where opportunities for sharing Christ's love and ministry can be entered into.
- A home where family life is shared.
The second relationship that the church must help build is between believers. This brotherly love relationship is critical both to the ongoing life of the church and each member as well as to the unchurched by the example it provides. The unchurched population is looking to find a place where people can really get along and love each other. It looks at the church to find such as example, but seldom finds it. This must be corrected.
Other relationships that must be built, nurtured, and strengthened include marriages, families, and neighbors. In this age of short-lived marriages, broken families, and neighbor suing neighbor, the church must help. People have forgotten or never learned what it takes to get along, to love, to give-and-take, and to trust in God for help. The church can and must help.
Investing means doing what is necessary to do the work of Christ. In some cases, this is investment of time: taking the time to listen, to share, to come along side and help a brother or sister that is floundering. In other cases the investment is a place: a sanctuary or haven for those who are hurting, a greenhouse where they can benefit from God’s sunshine reflected through Christ and the church or elements needed to sustain life itself. Still other times will call for investing money to accomplish tasks laid before us as we serve our living Lord. This might include materials, facilities, food, etc.
Directing means many things also. The church has a responsibility to direct people to Christ. People are searching for hope, and many don’t know where to look for it. We must not only be the dispensers of hope through Jesus Christ, but the ones who actively seek the lost to direct them to the Lord. Directing also means ensuring that the processes and purposes established by Jesus are continually being done in the most effective and efficient ways possible. It also begs for constant review for contemporary updates in the ways the purposes and processes are carried out. The church must take a leadership role in the purposes of worship, evangelism, ministry, discipleship, and fellowship, in the church, in the community, and in the world.
Guiding has the sense of helping or shaping those in the church as well as those who are not. In some contexts, this might be the idea of being a travel guide helping those who have begun the journey to Christian maturity. This starts with those who are inside or outside the church and non-believers. It means helping to point out the correct paths, providing training and nurturing, as well as advice, counseling, and support. It means providing encouragement and redirection services as well. Each of us has this same journey to undertake. Each of us has the possibility of taking the correct path or the incorrect path. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more took the straight and narrow path Jesus told us to follow with fewer detours?
Enthusiasm is a required element of all that we do. We owe it to God, to Jesus Christ, and to the Holy Spirit. We have been given so much: grace and mercy, love and understanding, purpose and talents. How can we ever repay so many gifts? We cannot. But we can offer our selves and our most enthusiastic efforts in His process, for His purposes, and in His ways. The world is looking at us also. Do they see drab and sour faces? If so, how will they ever be drawn to Christ? God loves a cheerful giver!
So, let us get on with building relationships by investing, directing, and guiding enthusiastically. We must build bridges from a lost world to Jesus, with the church as a sanctuary, greenhouse, workplace, and home for His people.
YOU are the church! Are you ready to help?