Bridge to Bikers, the Homeless and Prison Alumni

August 6, 2008 by

I was in Fort Wayne, Ind., this past weekend for a site survey and setup trip for an upcoming Foursquare simulcast later this fall. It’s always a treat for me to meet local leaders on the front lines of ministry and this trip was no exception. On Sunday I went to a service at Life Bridge (the location for the simulcast) and went to lunch afterwards with several of the church leaders, including Pastor Bill Campbell, Mark Ellington (administrator), Aaron Jackson (worship leader), Arron Foster (tech wonder-boy) and their families. These people are the real deal and have a big heart for the community of Fort Wayne.

Life Bridge is also reaching some people that many of us don’t see (sadly) in a typical church for your average Midwest suburban town. On the front row each Sunday are several women who have recently gotten out of prison. Some of them are on probation and have to wear ankle bracelets (and you’re still worried about the head covering thing?). There are also a handful of bikers that are a part of the Life Bridge Community, and they’re extending that invitation via a full blown biker weekend later this month called Cross N Dagger. How many times do you get to see a world champion knife thrower, a bunch of bikers, and a pentecostal congregation eating burgers and dogs together on a Sunday afternoon?

If that’s not enough, Life Bridge hosts homeless families–they rotate with other local churches–as a part of their relationship with the Interfaith Hospitality Network. The homeless are hosted in the church building for a week, including beds, meals and more.

I was particularly fond of Life Bridge’s multi-generational approach to ministry. From their kinda-corny-what-you-see-is-what-you-get pre-service video announcements, to the 30-year-old worship leader, to seasoned elders that guided the service and prayer times, it was great to see a mash-up work that reaches young and old, because they are young and old.

Church communities like this give me hope!

Post By:

Brad Abare

Brad Abare is the founder of the Center for Church Communication. He consults with companies and organizations, helping them figure out why in the world they exist, why anyone should care and what to do about it.
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One Response to “Bridge to Bikers, the Homeless and Prison Alumni”

  • Shannon Smith
    August 6, 2008

    Our community, Visio Dei, partners with our local Interfaith Hospitality Network, too. It’s a great way to show people the love of Christ by helping to meet their practical needs and it allows a lot of people to get involved.
    Also, it doesn’t take a huge congregation to do something like this. We have less that 200 people and we host four families twice a year. I’d suggest that you try to find out if there is a NIHN chapter in your area.

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