Who We Are
Bridges is an amazingly diverse community of people committed to following Jesus and helping others follow Him as well. We long to make a real difference in our community and our world with the way that we live for Him. We love connecting people to God through Jesus in authentic, healthy relationships. We love for these relationships to grow deep and to be life giving… just the way God designed them to be.
Just as every person has a unique DNA, Bridges has a unique way that we have been designed by God. You might have noticed that we presently do church in 6 languages. Those language services address the tip of the iceberg of languages spoken here in Fremont. Our desire is to keep expanding our reach to connect even more people in their heart language to the living God. This priority has made our English services very multi-cultural and multi-ethnic. That’s how we see God’s Kingdom and we hope and pray that our diversity will grow.
We are also pretty casual. If you like to dress up for church that’s fine, but most of us just come as we are. Our services are usually about an hour and 15 minutes long and always include teaching from God’s Word, and a variety of worship expressions. Our music is modern. Mostly, we gather to celebrate our Lord, to learn from His Word and to encourage one another.
Bridges is driven by a mission: to make healthy disciples of Jesus who in turn make more disciples. With that in mind we have a wide spectrum of ministry and service opportunities aimed at making disciples. We prioritize our children and youth and are extremely blessed to have great people invested in those ministries. We have a host of small groups that create more intimate communities of faith. And since we believe that faith without works is dead, we have many ongoing opportunities to serve our community and the world.
Bridges is part of the Evangelical Free Church of America which is an association of 1200+ churches who are united by our shared commitment to biblical faith and to the task of multiplying healthy churches.
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We exist to glorify God by helping people to come to know and worship Jesus, build caring relationships, serve others, grow spiritually, and influence others to do the same.
Called to be a Disciple
We believe that disciples are in the process of being shaped by God’s Spirit to become more and more like Jesus for His glory. This process is not a matter of us being driven by duty, but rather responding to God’s love and work of grace in us. Following Jesus and being His disciple is a high calling. We are called to deny ourselves, take up His cross, and follow Him. None of us are capable of doing this apart from God’s grace so powerfully made known to us through the cross. As God does His good work in us we grow in heart, understanding, and practice in the following areas…
Love For God
A growing hunger for intimacy with Him is demonstrated by
• Reading, studying and applying God’s Word
• Praying consistently
• Praising, thanking, and adoring God throughout each day
• Keeping short accounts with God for the sin in our lives through
consistent confession and repentance
A deepening faith in Him is demonstrated by
• Listening for His Spirit’s leading
• Trusting Him in all circumstances
• Living by God’s priorities, plans, and purposes
A maturing expression of obedience to Him is demonstrated by
• Producing the fruit of God’s Spirit
• Living today in eager expectation of Christ’s return
• Practicing personal purity and integrity
Love For His Church
A growing commitment to Christ’s body is marked by
• Faithfully gathering for worship
• Giving our resources in generous, joyful stewardship
• Being a positive force for unity and reconciliation
• Actively seeking ways to build people up in Christ
• Engaging in biblical community through small group participation
A maturing expression of our servanthood is demonstrated by
• Using our gifts (SHAPE) to encourage, challenge, and sharpen others
• Serving others with tangible expressions of love
Love for the Unreached
A growing vision of God’s heart for the world is demonstrated by
• Becoming educated and burdened to see God’s world through His perspective
A deepening love for those who are far from Jesus is marked by
• Serving the needs of our neighbors and community
• Building intentional relationships to share the life of Christ to others
• Living out compassion and justice for the poor, suffering, and oppressed
• Growing interest and investment in developing healthy churches
throughout the world
B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Core Values
Biblical – relevant, practical Bible teaching that results in life change (Christ-like character); major on majors and minor on minors doctrinally, allowing for ‘gray areas’ where believers honestly disagree with worthy Scriptural support.
Relational – being people focused, rather than big event or program focused; believing the best spiritual care and life change occurs in small groups, so we do all our ministry through small groups, cared for by servant leaders who are cared for and accountable.
Innovative – see change and ‘outside the box’ thinking as friends; willingness to adjust methods to best meet ever changing needs.
Diversity – avoid exclusivity and uniformity and welcome differences (personal, ethnic, worship styles, ministry interests).
Generosity – willingness to sacrifice for others and put their needs before our own; heart for reaching non-Christians, helping the poor and welcoming newcomers to the church.
Empowerment – the people are ‘Ministers’ (as gifted by God) and pastors are ‘Administers’ (ministry equippers); decentralize ministry by promoting growth over control.
Spirit of Optimism – positive, hope-filled preaching (‘Good News’) that encourages joy and thankfulness; willingness to step out in faith and take risks spiritually, eagerly welcoming new ministries and opportunities.
Statement of Faith
Adopted at the Annual meeting on April 25, 2010
1 | God
We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.
2 | The Bible
We believe that God has spoken in the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, through the words of human authors. As the verbally inspired Word of God, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.
3 | The Human Condition
We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed.
4 | Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, one Person in two natures. Jesus–Israel’s promised Messiah–was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and Advocate.
5 | The Work of Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, shed His blood on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins. His atoning death and victorious resurrection constitute the only ground for salvation.
6 | The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of its guilt. He regenerates sinners, and in Him they are baptized into union with Christ and adopted as heirs in the family of God. He also indwells, illuminates, guides, equips and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.
7 | The Church
We believe that the true church comprises all who have been justified by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone. They are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, of which He is the Head. The true church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of believers. The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer.
8 | Christian Living
We believe that God’s justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed.
9 | Christ’s Return
We believe in the personal, bodily and premillennial return of our Lord Jesus Christ. The coming of Christ, at a time known only to God, demands constant expectancy and, as our blessed hope, motivates the believer to godly living, sacrificial service and energetic mission.
10 | Response and Eternal Destiny
We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel by turning to Him in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that God will raise the dead bodily and judge the world, assigning the unbeliever to condemnation and eternal conscious punishment and the believer to eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord in the new heaven and the new earth, to the praise of His glorious grace. Amen.
We believe that while cultural norms change, God’s Word is constant and eternal. While cultural morality changes, godly morality does not. We believe God’s Word to us should be the foremost authority for our actions and lifestyle. What matters most to us is a life lived following Jesus well. We live this way not people bound up in religious legalism, but as people who joyfully respond to His love and guidance.
When culture clashes with our calling to follow Jesus and His Word, we have to make a choice. Do we listen to the voices of our culture or to the voice of the Lord?
These statements reflect our church’s understanding of God’s Word. They are intended to bring clarity on what God’s Word says concerning issues that arise from living in a culture that has a very different and changing value system.