We Join Their Community, Not Make Them Join Ours

“We join their community, not make them join ours.” –from the Bridges manifesto.
Jonathan Barker is a Bridge Leader who not only gets it but lives it out.

Jonathan works at a local fitness club. That’s where he meets people who don’t go to church
anywhere. “Because we have such a big network of other people not already connected to
congregations, we really have an almost infinite opportunity for new friends to come in,” said
Barker. “Most of our friends are not Christians.”

Although Jonathan is about to finish a theological degree, he has no intention of working at
an existing church. He hopes to continue his work at the fitness club. “In my context of trying
to leave church buildings and trying to go out and start something for people who have left
churches, it is essential for me to be bivocational,” explained Barker.

“You have to be deliberate to engage the world—not an artificial going out and doing
evangelism, but actually being a full member of that secular group,” said Barker. “It is this
intentionality that leads to relationships.”

Johnathan’s group chose the word “Crushed” as their name. People who feel crushed—doesn’t
that sound like the kind of people that Jesus would hang out with?

So how about you? Do you have a way of building friendships with people outside of existing
churches? Share your story today.

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