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Bridge Church Launch Plan



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The Launch Plan for The Bridge Church in Baldwinsville, NY. The plan describes our Core Elements, launch strategy and how others can be involved.

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Bridge Church Launch Plan

  1. 1. Launch Plan For more info and updates about getting involved, see:
  2. 2. Intro Thank you for taking the time to read The Bridge Church’s Launch Plan. I am grateful for the opportunity to present this plan to you. My prayer for this plan to give you an accurate picture of what can be and how we need you to be involved in helping to start The Bridge. Plans are both vital and unessential. A plan keeps us on track. A plan gives us accountability. A plan lets us know how things are going. We could also use a plan to attempt to replace God’s Spirit and direction. It could be used as an inflexible document. It can be the death of the start. That is why we need your involvement. We want this plan to function on the “good list.” That will happen with the involvement of other people. We pray that you are so captivated by what God could do in Central New York that you get involved. I am indebted to Jim Collins for the flow of this document. His books, Built To Last and Good To Great, and his online supplemental works have allowed me to think systematically about our core elements. Term Definition: “Core Elements”: The elements expressed throughout this document. The DNA of The Bridge Church.
  3. 3. Core ideology
  4. 4. Core Values What matters most to us. • Jesus/God. “There is no doubt that they really think that this Jesus guy is something.” That is a quote that we hope to hear a lot from people who do not know Jesus. They might not see Jesus as God or Savior, but we want them to see the imprint he has made on our lives. That way, they will desire this same imprint. What will it take for people to notice this? Hopefully the rest of this document spells out what it will take. Simply, it will take a people who align their lives with him, no matter the cost and will let others know about the transformation he gives. cf. Psalm 24; Isaiah 2:1-4; Micah 4:1-5; Matthew 6:33; John 3:14-15. • God's Word. “I may not believe what is in the Bible, but I know they do by the lives they lead.” We know we’re headed in the right direction if we hear people who come from an unchurched background say something like this.
  5. 5. Core Values It is through the Bible and Jesus that God revealed his plan of salvation and life to the whole world. This is only way people can truly find the salvation they need. Salvation is how people experience the abundant life people desperately desire. We want people to find salvation and abundant life in Jesus. This is done through the reading, explanation and application of (in other words, “obedience to”) God’s Word. cf. Psalm 1; Malachi 4:2; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:16-21. • People. “Wow. These people really are friends toward those who don’t go to church.” We want people to recognize who we are and Who we belong to by the love we have for people. People matter to God. On several occasions, Jesus was asked by the Pharisees why he hung out with sinners. One time, Jesus replied with three stories explaining lost people are the highest priority to God. Jesus communicated God and God’s Word in a way that all people could understand. We, like Jesus, want to be a friend to sinners. We want to communicate Jesus and God’s Word in a way all people can understand. We want to show people that they matter to God by showing they matter to us. cf. Zechariah 9:16-17a; Luke 15; John 3:16-18; Romans 5:6-11.
  6. 6. Core Purpose Why do we exist? To create God imitators by bridging all people to God. People were created in God’s image in order to imitate him. Every human who has ever lived has destroyed that image through sin. Sin leaves broken and damaged people--many who don’t even know it. We need a way, or a bridge, to God. The good news is that God himself is the bridge (John 3:16). Jesus, as God, came so broken people could be healed (Mark 2:17). Jesus came so we can imitate him (Ephesians 5:1). Jesus then gave the awesome responsibility to his followers to continue the task to all the world. We are to go (be the bridge) and make disciples (create God imitators) of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). Our ultimate purpose is to go to people, see God make them into his image again, and send them back out to see more broken people healed. We don’t do a worship service...we are creating God imitators. We don’t do missions...we are bridging people to God. We don’t do children’s ministry...we’re bridging kids so they will imitate. This is the why of The Bridge Church’s existence.
  7. 7. BHAG The Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal. This is a 20-year goal (or more) that is not 100% certain it could be reached. This inspires people to give their time, money, resources and gifts. This may become a little more clear over time as it is fleshed out, but here is what we want to see years down the road, but we would also never see if we settled for the “status quo.” Produce Next Generation leaders who will take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. We are to make disciples of all ages, but we also need to be intentional about making disciples of the next generation--because there is always a “next generation.” It takes parents intentionally discipling their children. It takes those who are older intentionally discipling those coming behind them. It takes staff intentionally giving into young adults in a way that will prepare them to take the Gospel everywhere. Having this goal doesn’t limit our age bracket. Quite the opposite. It requires all ages to see this accomplished.
  8. 8. Envisioned Future What does the future look like? • I see people adoring God with all their heart. • I see people advancing God's Kingdom to all parts of the world. • I see people being amazed by who God and Jesus are. • I see people being transformed through the power of God's Word. • I see people giving into each other so gifts and the Gospel are multiplied into others. • I see people celebrating who God is and what he is doing in lives. • I see people sharing aspects of their lives with others. • I see people using their gifts, talents, passions and resources to serve others. • I see parents becoming primary disciplers of their children. • I see children growing up mature in Christ and start campus churches in college. • I see the Next Gen having a place to train in leadership growth and be able to cut their teeth in leadership. • I see local communities depending on the church to meet people's needs.
  9. 9. Envisioned Future • I see the church using their own staff, expertise and resources to benefit communities. • I see a place where people will experience peace, joy and community--anytime of the week. • I see a place where people come with their questions, skepticism, worries, fears, objections and anything else and receive a loving answer of Truth. • I see a people honoring the farthest away from God just as much as any member of the church. • I see music that even the unchurched has on their ipod.
  10. 10. Core Strategy
  11. 11. Core Mission The core mission to accomplish. Adore the Father Advance His Kingdom • Loving God with all our heart. • Using our gifts, passions, experiences (Dt. 6:5; Mt. 22:37) and resources to bridge people to God. • Seeking, hearing, and doing the Father’s (Mt. 25:14-46; 1 Cor. 12:1-31; 2 Cor. will. 5:16-21) (Mt. 7:21, 21;28-32; Jn. 6:40) • Making disciples of all nations. • Being transformed in heart, mind and (Mt. 28:18-20; Ac. 1:8) action. • Using our treasures to glorify God. (Mt. 5:3-16; Rm. 12:1-2; Eph. 2:20; Col. (Mt. 6:19-21, 25-34; 2 Cor. 8:1-7) 3:10) • Loving neighbor as self. • Praising God everywhere and in every (Mt 22:39-40; Luke 10:25-37; 1 Cor way. 13:1-13; Eph. 4:1-6) (Psalm 150)
  12. 12. Core Process The process of making disciples. Amaze Transform Multiply This is the first step in being a When a holy God intersects an When someone encounters and is disciple. Being amazed by God gets unholy life, nothing remains the changed by a holy God, they want people ready to want the complete same. that for others. change that God brings. Transformation is God replacing the Their lives are given to make as People are amazed by having an old person with Jesus. God does this many people mature in Christ as encounter with God through seeing in an instant and he does it over possible. and hearing. Jesus and the early time. Multipliers see themselves as “God’s church amazed people. We want When a person is ready for a co-workers.” They constantly grow. God to still amaze people. complete change (believe), they ask They seek to show an amazing God. cf. Matthew 15:29-31; Mark 5:20; God for that change (repent). Then, They look for ways to transform Acts 4:13. baptism is how they show the world others. what God has done. cf. Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Corinthians cf. Ezekiel 36:24-30; Mark 5:20; 3:9, 11:1; Colossians 1:28 Colossians 1:21-23. We expect these qualities to come from a disciple naturally as God works in someone’s life. As someone is amazed by God, they will desire the transformation he offers. As they are transformed, they will desire to multiply into others what God has given them. Also, for a “mature believer,” all three are present. They never graduate from being in awe of God. They’re never done transforming. Multiplication occurs until death.
  13. 13. Core Practice The practices of a disciple. Celebrate Share Serve We expect a disciple to practice We expect a disciple to share We expect a disciple to serve celebrating God because we their lives with others because others because we have a God have a God worthy of we have a God who shared who came to serve, not be celebration. everything with us. served. Individually, we celebrate People will come together in They find ways to serve in their through coming to him by groups of 2-4 to encourage, families, neighborhoods, jobs, reading his Word and prayer.   challenge and pray.   hobbies and church.   Corporately, we celebrate To encourage each other to Serving is using gifts, talents, through weekly celebration closely follow Jesus.  To passions and resources for other services that shows off what challenge each other to lay people’s benefit to advance God is doing through people’s down their former way of life.   God's kingdom. lives. To pray for each other and the lost.   The practices of a disciple are what we see are the essentials of what a disciple does to continue the “process” above. Even though there will be natural high and low times, a disciple who consistently celebrates, shares and serves will be amazed by God, continue to be transformed by God, and multiply themselves into others.
  14. 14. Core Metric Stories of transformation How will we know that we are accomplishing what God wants us to accomplish? Stories of transformation. People telling their stories of how God wooed them off their feet. Stories of how a holy God loved them and transformed their lives with the righteousness of Jesus. Stories of how they are currently multiplying the Gospel and their gifts into other people. Ultimately, we want these stories of transformation to be popping up all over the world. What do we mean by “stories of transformation”?...
  15. 15. Stories of Transformation What will these stories include? For example, here are some things that we envision people saying when they are transformed by God. I depended completely on myself. BECOMES Now I depend completely on God. I sought comfort in “things.” BECOMES God now is my comfort. I had no protection. BECOMES Christ is my protector during trouble. I hungered for what the world had to offer. BECOMES I hunger for the righteousness of God. I really only cared for people when it benefited me. BECOMES I now willingly share in the troubles of others. I had no peace. BECOMES I have to go to those without God’s peace. I only cared for my own causes. BECOMES I do God’s will, even if it brings personal discomfort. I tried to fit in. BECOMES I now see people change when they are around me. I caused all kinds of godlessness. BECOMES I now show God in the godless of places.
  16. 16. Launch Strategy
  17. 17. T-Minus How will we progress towards weekly launch? We want to see our core elements function at Ribbon Cutting.  This will take an intentional progression of teaching and practicing the core elements prior to weekly public launch.  The following is a process by which we will progress towards launch. Between January 1 and March 31, we will be in Blueprint Phase. This is the phase in which the “blueprints” are created for The Bridge. Through us and any additional leadership that joins during this time, we will begin outlining the structure and culture of The Bridge. Between April 1 and October 10, we will be in Building Phase. This is the phase in which we begin to actually “build out” the blueprints that were created. During this period, we will flesh out the Core Elements for all to see. October 10 will be our Ribbon Cutting. Ribbon Cutting will mark the end of building the Core Elements and start the maintaining and expanding of the Core Elements. Like a ribbon cutting with a literal bridge, the only difference between the bridge before and after ribbon cutting is that the bridge is “open to the public.” A traffic bridge sees changes through its lifespan according to the needs of the time. The Bridge Church will continue to go through changes that will allow as many people as possible to be bridged to God.
  18. 18. Who? Generally, Baldwinsville people are: within the 4 categories above. People will “add • People who are figuring out why they should trust us. something to their plate” if it is worthwhile. Trust is a huge value here. They first ask, “Why should • “Live and let live” is a personal motto of many. This I trust you as a person?” Then they ask, “Why should I means that personal, confrontative, unrelational trust your organization (church)?” I believe this is true evangelism is a “sin” to them. of any organization and any person, but it is especially More specifically, we want to get the interest of: true of an evangelical and Southern Baptist Church. • Those who have spiritual curiosities, but do not know • People who, once they trust you, you are “family.” where to turn to satisfy their curiosities. The area is Family is another high value. “Family” is whoever I only 5% evangelical; so they just do not have enough trust. For a crude example, think Godfather. When you contact with people or churches they trust to search out go to a social event, you are likely to see people kiss each answers. other on the cheek. Just an example of being a part of the “family.” This also means we may be able to More specifically, we want to get the interest of: culturally practice “greet each other with a holy kiss.” • 18-30 year olds who do not go to church. • People who don’t typically share with others outside • They are the most “unreached” in this area. There their “family.” They’re skeptical of a “free lunch.” are more in this age bracket who do not have • People who have some spiritual curiosity, but most of enough relationships inside church to trust any how they satisfy it is through The History Channel. existing church (again go back to only 5%). This means they don’t ask too many questions about it • A church is more likely to move up the age ladder in public. They also are getting bad information. than move down the age ladder. Meaning, if we • People who have a mixture of eclectic, education, focused older, we probably won’t get younger. outdoor sports and team sports interests. The • We (see below) are most equipped to currently reach community as a whole, and people as individuals have this age group. these interests. It makes for a well-rounded area. • People are busy, but enjoy their “3rd places.” These are the places they go to socialize. These places often fall
  19. 19. Why Us? Why will we accomplish this? First, anything that can and will happen will only happen because of God’s power and will. We (especially I) wonder often about this question, “Come on God, what on earth could we do to actually make any difference?” We don’t have anything. But God has given us: • Unchurched friends who are intrigued with our life who are watching and will come with something established. Trust is a high value in our culture. The reality is that it is hard to fully trust until establishment occurs. • The ability to quickly make friends and become a part of the community. This is because our personalities are similar to the people of Baldwinsville (even though our accent might be a little different). • A hunger to meet the spiritual needs of the community in the way the community will most likely pay attention. • The experience and desire to see families train up their own children and to, as a body, train up the Next Generation.
  20. 20. Other Leadership Who will accomplish this with us? I don’t know. But God does. We need people who: • Love to create God imitators. • Love to bridge all people to God. • Attempt to adore God with all their heart. • Use their gifts to advance God’s kingdom. • Think that adoring the Father and advancing his kingdom is the mission of the church. • Will serve, even outside their main area of giftedness. • Want to see people be amazed by God, transformed with Christ and multiplied into others. • Already practice celebrating, sharing and serving. • Want to see the Gospel be carried by well trained disciples all over the world. • Have an envisioned future of the church something like our envisioned future. • Have a track record of multiplying the Gospel and their gifts into other people. This is what we want in people who join us. If you are jazzed by what you see, contact us.
  21. 21. Blueprint Phase January 1-March 31 • Bringing in key people to help draft the "blueprints."  • Creating the “blueprints” of The Bridge. • Recruiting for the "Building Team." • Prayer support increase. • Financial support increase. • Working on building phase elements (preparing for the celebration services and the community events).
  22. 22. Building Phase April 1-October 10 General: Share: • Have initial "Building Team"* and use events to • Utilize Team Meetings to build foundation of recruit towards Building Team. sharing life with each other. • The Building Team puts flesh on the core • Officially start Life Transformation Groups elements. (groups of 2-4 people) in June.  Some groups • Meet together regularly for planning. may already meet, but that will be in the "background." Celebrate: • Double the number of LTG's by Ribbon • 6 monthly celebration services between April 1 Cutting. and September 30. • Develop people who can share their lives with • Develop daily habits of celebration in Christian non-believers. Team Members. • Utilize celebration elements during Building Serve: Team meetings. • 6 times of intentionally serving the community • Show off God through celebration to non- as a group between April 1 and September 30. Christians.   • Develop habits of personal serving in daily lives. *Building Team is the group of people working to build The Bridge Church.
  23. 23. Ribbon Cutting October 10 • Aka, “The Launch.” • The time we are ready for the world to "drive on" The Bridge.  • The core elements must be in place at this time. • This does not mean they are "perfect," but each core element is recognizable. After Ribbon Cutting October 10 and Beyond Continually maintaining and expanding the core elements of The Bridge Church out to as many people and people groups as possible.
  24. 24. F Praye inanc r Recru Jan Blu ial Su iting Supp iting ep or t Recru ppor t Writi to rint P Feb h Pl ng sy Peop Build peop l suppo ase le Recru rt stems ing P e Sup h iting g for Mar annin ase por t “Serving Week” Kick off right before Easter Taki a Apr the April 11: Celebration nd ng co May 7: Comm. Event/ m rea makin Leadership Simulcast ncep g lity. ts May May 16: Celebration Ser One Ce June 12: Community Event/ Blessing of the Fleet Build month. June June 13: Celebration vice each Timeline lebration ing P July 11: Celebration hase July July 24: Community Event Usin g s” August 8: Celebration DN A . Aug August 21: Community build to help Event team “mission One Co September 12: Celebration Event e month. Sept September 24: ach Community Event mmunity Ribbon Cutting: October 10 Oct Have Core Elements in place ready for anyone and everyone to drive on us.
  25. 25. Be a part of the story We need people to be a part of the story of Building The Bridge. We need people who will be a part of the story by praying or giving or coming or all three. The desire is to build a community of people who interact with each other so that The Bridge can move from a concept to a reality. So, how can you be a part of the community? First, check out for more details about being involved. Then, “Follow,” “Be a fan,” or “Subscribe.” Follow on Twitter: Be a fan on Facebook: ref=ts. Yeah that’s long, you can also search for The Bridge on Facebook. Subscribe to The Bridge Blog and Shane’s Blog: