Make An Eternal              Difference
                  by Pastor Paul Brown

"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good." (1 Cor. 12:4-7 - NASB95)
"To each one..." God has given spiritual gifts to all of His children and He wants them to use those gifts for the common good. Lately I have been spending a lot of time in prayer about this because of the transitions that are happening in our church. This month we have two of our pastor families (Groves and Herringshaws) moving to Idaho to plant a new church. Next month we have an elder family (LaComs) moving to Tehachapi. We have had a number of other families move out of state and even more people graduating to heaven. What that means is there are a lot of opportunities for people to step in and use their spiritual gifts for the common good.

How about you? What spiritual gifts has the Lord given to you? What additional areas of natural giftedness do you have that you could use to build up the body of Christ? There is a need for volunteers in a number of ministries so we can do things excellently for the glory of God.

This year we want to prioritize our ministry to children. We are spending a lot of time and money to renovate the "E" building to house our children's ministry. We hope it will be a beautiful, safe, fun, and useful place in equipping the next generation of leaders in the body of Christ. Do you realize that the largest percentage of unsaved people in most churches are the children? Are you aware that 85% of people who come to faith in Jesus Christ do so between the ages of 4 and 14? Every week we have the privilege of proclaiming the gospel to them and helping those who have responded to the gospel to grow in their relationship with Jesus. What joy there is in heaven when one of them repents (Lk. 15).

Would you prayerfully consider serving in our children's ministry? We have a great team of workers but we can always use more! There are opportunities during both worship services on Sunday morning as well as on Wednesday nights. Contact Xiomara Bueno in the church office if you are interested in knowing more about the many different ways you can serve.

Let me conclude with a story of how God used ordinary folks like you and me to impact people who impacted the world for Christ:
Edward Kimball was concerned about one of his young Sunday School students who worked at a shoe store in town. One day Kimball visited him at the store, found the student working in the back stocking shelves, and led him to Christ, then and there.  Dwight L. Moody eventually left the shoe store to become one of the greatest preachers and evangelists of all time. 

Moody, whose international speaking took him to the British Isles, preached in a little chapel pastored by a young man with the imposing name of  Frederic Brotherton Meyer. In his sermon Moody told an emotionally charged story about a Sunday School teacher who personally went to every student in his class and led each of them to Christ.

That message changed Pastor Meyer's ministry, inspiring him to become an evangelist like Moody. Over the years Meyer came to America. While speaking in Northfield, MA a young preacher heard Meyer say, "If you are not willing to give up everything for Christ, are you willing to be made willing?" That remark led  J. Wilbur Chapman to respond to the call of God on his life.

Chapman went on to become one of the most effective evangelists of his time. A volunteer by the name of  Billy Sunday helped set up his crusades and learned how to preach by watching Chapman. Sunday eventually took over Chapman's ministry becoming one of the most dynamic evangelists of the 20th century. Billy Sunday's preaching brought thousands to Christ.

Inspired by a 1924 Billy Sunday crusade in Charlotte, NC a group of Christians dedicated themselves to reaching their city for Christ. The group invited the evangelist  Mordecai Ham to come and hold a series of evangelistic meetings in 1932. A lanky 16-year-old sat in the huge crowd one evening, spellbound by the message the white-haired preacher gave. Each evening the preacher seemed to be shouting and waving his finger at the young man. Night after night the teen came and finally went forward to give his life to Christ.

That teenager was  Billy Graham. Billy Graham has communicated the gospel to more people than any other person in history. And it all started with a Sunday School teacher named Kimball. Millions have been affected by his decision to go into a shoe store and share Christ with one person. Millions more will continue to feel his impact.

Can something like this happen today? Of course! God wants to use you to change the world. Make an eternal difference by sharing the gospel with those around you and by supporting others who do God's work around the world.
Great Things Ahead
by Pastor Randy Leinen
Most of you already know about the work that is being done in our E and I buildings. But you may not know some of the benefits of doing all this work and making all these changes. So here are a few things to look forward to:

"E" will be a building that is designed (1st & 2nd floor) and dedicated to the Bridge Kids. It was originally designed as a children's building and we are really looking forward to re-making it into a place that provides great opportunities for children to learn about Jesus. Our desire is to use it as a place for combined English/Hispanic Children's Ministry. Here are just a few of the enhancements:
  • More and remodeled bathrooms (7 total in the building)
  • Bigger and nicer classrooms for ages 0-11
  • New carpet, doors, paint, and kitchens
  • Improved check-in/check-out
  • Exciting new theme that hearkens back to the history of the valley and will be very enjoyable for the kids.
  • And a LOT more
"I" will be a building devoted to training adults. It has six large classrooms and four bathrooms. The goal is to make this into a building where we can continue to make mature disciples as effectively as possible. We will strive to use technology in ways that God intended to grow His church. Here are a few of the things that are coming for this building:
  • Renovated bathrooms that meet ADA compliance (handicap)
  • New roof, new AC units, new plumbing that are replacing their original counterparts (from 40 years ago)
  • Remodeled classrooms with carpet, paint, sinks and window coverings
  • Technology to allow for audio/visual teaching and presentations
  • Reinforced and redesigned stairways and railings
  • New exterior paint for this building ang the G building
  • And MUCH more.
All of this is being worked on as I write! We are using a combination of our own amazing facility staff (Dean and Rick) along with outside contractors, including my faithful brother Kiko Castro. 

We're hoping that these buildings will be available as soon as possible. When finished, we will be able to put into place our plan to move to one service. The elders will be determining the exact timing for this but, until then, please know that this change will not happen until sometime after the first of the year. 

Please continue to pray for everyone involved in this amazing effort. May all of this be done for the glory of God, the good of the church, and the advancement of His Kingdom!
News From Bridge Youth
by Jimmy Augur

Over the past couple of weeks, Bridge Youth has begun two new series and our small groups are fully underway. On Sunday morning, we are going through a series entitled "Heroes." Each week we take a look at a Hero of the Bible and focus on one aspect of their relationship with the Lord that we can learn from and emulate. We began by looking at the life of Abraham, specifically how we can have an unshakeable faith in God's promises, just as Abraham did. A few other Heroes and godly characteristics that we have studied include: Moses and his faithful leadership, Judah's repentance and transformed heart and Joshua's commitment to obedience to the Lord. We have had a great time learning from these amazing examples how we can more obediently follow our Lord and Savior.

This month, we also began a new series on Wednesday nights. We began our study of the book of James. James is such an incredible book to study because it really challenges each of us to examine our lives and evaluate where we need improvement and how we can be encouraging to those around us. So far we have learned what it truly means to be a slave of Christ on an everyday basis, as well as how we are called to be joyful through trials because we know it is for good and produces endurance. I am greatly looking forward to continuing the study of this incredible book of James.

Lastly, we have begun meeting consistently with our assigned small groups every Wednesday evening. Each week we take time to gather with our assigned small group to discuss what the Lord is teaching us through the teaching, our own personal reading, and we specifically take time to pray for each other and encourage one another to continue our pursuit of a growing relationship with Christ Jesus no matter what this life puts in our way. It has been extremely encouraging to meet with my group and it's something I look forward to every single week.

Upcoming Events:
Magic Mountain Trip: On October 8th we will be heading to Magic Mountain to enjoy the thrills of roller coasters and fellowship with one another.

Please continue to keep Joe and me in your prayers, as well as the rest of our faithful staff, each and every student, and the ministry as a whole. This is God's church, and His ministry, and we desire to be faithful stewards of the opportunities He has given us and to use them for HIS GLORY!
© 2016 The Bridge Bible Fellowship
18644 Sherman Way, Reseda, CA 91335
phone: 818.776.1500 | fax: 818.881.0327