God works through communities: The Bridge

Monday, 1 June, 2009

The Bridge - welcomeThis story illustrates the principles of God works through communities in the Guide.

People ask, when does The Bridge meet? Well, the answer is that it meets on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays,

says lay leader of this Methodist fresh expression in Leicestershire, Tim Lea.

The Bridge, begun in 1995, maintains an active community life involving cell groups, a badminton club and Sunday evening meetings at which eating and drinking is as important as any other activity.

In fact, teatime takes up half of the two-hour meeting which begins at five o'clock with a gospel presentation.

It's not just a service, but sharing time together and building community around that,

explains Tim.

One of our biggest drivers is to have a sense of community that welcomes people.

For this reason, Sunday meetings are held in a local school, a place already familiar to many in this small town.

The Bridge - nativityThe presentations are always all-age, at least in part, relating the gospel in simple and jargon-free ways, often using highly visual, interactive illustrations, such as the children taking part in a high jump competition to teach how God has lowered the bar for all people. Once a month, the 15 children and 50 adults remain together for the whole hour.

Some Sundays in each year are devoted simply to being together. These happen on 'low Sundays' around Christmas, Easter and the summer. They may involve playing games, BBQ, going on a treasure hunt, or a day out with a picnic, but they always involve food.

The Bridge community  has discovered that sharing socially creates good opportunities for questions and discussion, and friendships grow. For Tim Lea, this is church as much as anything else.