Tim Lundy began by showing us an incredible video produced about The Call, which is a ministry seeking to mobilize foster parents in Central Arkansas led by some inspired lay leaders in Fellowship. It is one example of the way Fellowship seeks to build bridges of hope, love and ministry into the community. The Call has a powerful mission: To have no waiting children in foster care in Central Arkansas by 2008.

Types of Bridge Building…

Research

One bridge that took researching the needs in the community… The Call. Do you know housing, education, public school needs? Go, ask, talk. Survey. As you start surfacing real needs, God will show you specific ways that your people can meet needs.

Prayer

Between pastors of different churches. Reading from an newspaper editorial about Little Rock’s current school crisis, Lundy noted the author’s comparison of how the faith community is responding in 2007 vs. the Central School Crisis of 1957:

“The crisis of ’57 was not only a crisis of leadership but a failure of faith. But this time, a group of pastors and religious leaders called the Nehemiah Group has taken a clear stand in this present crisis. Something higher is involved this time, praying together. Even if the preachers’ plea is ignored, at least they have made it. They have not stayed silent. Theirs is an act of faith.”

This group was already praying together, which enabled them to take a stand during the present school board crisis.

Our common enemy is not the church next door! Build a prayer bridge with each other.

Good works

After discovering what is needed and what God is already doing, then just get involved. Many times you will not have to start something new, but simply join what is already happening, whether governmental, faith-oriented, or private. Sharefest is a good example. You can do a lot when you unleash 200-300 people on one school. Gut the teachers’ lounge and put new furniture, equipment and furnishings there. “We thought the church was against public schools.”

Last year, there was a focus on homes. In one neighborhood, 10 different homes were being renovated.
“Who are you?”
“We’re the church.”
“Which church?”
“The church.”

Pulpit exchanges as a result of the weekend. “You can just feel the light.”

Teaching

Practical helping seminars for different niches. FBCLR is teaching last-semester medical school students and bringing in professionals to speak to them about real estate, malpractice, ethics, etc.
Mentoring ministries is another method of teaching.

Evangelism

In ways that match them and their personality with passion, you must stir up your people for evangelism. Give your people a forum to be able to bring friends.

Long-term partnership

Look for ministries out there that are already meeting needs out in the community. Budget for it and give them monies to help continue doing what they’re doing. In every community, God is doing more than you can ever imagine if you’ll just partner with folks.

Additional Thoughts:

  • Don’t be a deflator of dreams. Inflate them. Help them; encourage them; pair them with people who can help bring their dreams to fruition.
  • When you build bridges, God will raise up unexpected partners and people.
  • People need help to be plugged into what their heart desires to do and how they’re equipped to serve.
  • Don’t push people aside when building bridges, especially government agencies. They may be your best partners if you go in with humility.

Lundy recognized Christ Community Church in California who had come to the i2 conference in years past and began to forge bridges to its community. He invited their pastor on stage to receive the first-ever i2 Award. The pastor described their church as being committed to…

  • Community impact
  • Compassion for the defenseless
  • Courageous men

Lundy closed this great session by saying, “I2: It works. Pray. Talk. Dream. Then go into ministry to expand the Kingdom. “I know you didn’t do it just to go run a church. Don’t you want to be a part of what God is doing?”

On this day...