What is the grow forward campaign?

It is our recognition at The Bridge that the time has come to pursue permanent facilities. To do so, we will need “seed money” (money for a down payment) to be able to purchase our own facility. We have rented facilities for over 10 years and have held worship services at nine different locations.

We believe now is the time to focus on our future as stated in our vision: “We dream of a church with facilities that will one day be home to an expanding ministry for all ages.” Since our mission is “to help people connect with God and develop them into fully devoted followers of Christ,” we want to grow and reach more people with the Good News of the Gospel. Our current facilities at The Eau Claire Children’s Theatre are already very inadequate for the needs of our Bridge Kids and will not allow for future growth and expansion.

Please join with The Bridge Leadership Team (our elders) and The Grow Forward Campaign Team in praying about what God has for our next steps. Please be involved in a Bridge Growth Group this fall. Please be willing to serve if asked. We want everyone involved. Together we are better. 

Let’s Grow Forward together!

--Pastor Jerry

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How does a building further the mission of the church and expand God's kingdom?

The mission of The Bridge is "to help people connect with God and develop them into fully devoted followers of Christ." Part of our vision statement is that "we dream of a church with facilities that will one day be home to an expanding ministry for all ages." A permanent facility will be a TOOL to help us expand our ministry areas to connect more people in the Eau Claire area with Jesus.

Can the church afford the ongoing expenses of owning a building (debt payment, insurance, electrical, etc.)?

A permanent facility offers opportunities for savings in some areas (rent payments for office and worship space) but will also add new / increased expenses (loan payment, insurance, maintenance, etc.). The exact numbers will certainly need to be understood and communicated with The Bridge family as more details emerge about a specific facility and the results of the campaign.

What other options has the church explored beyond a permanent facility?

The church continues to explore better options for renting but at this time no better options have been found that address the pitfalls of the current situation and provide opportunities to grow and strengthen our mission.

What happens if the capital campaign falls short of the target amount?

The Bridge Leadership Team (elders) believe God is leading us to seek a permanent facility for His glory and not our own. Thus, The Bridge Church is acting in faith in trusting God’s leading. Psalm 37:4 reminds us "Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." We have been seeking after the Lord's direction so that our desires align with God's desires for The Bridge. Ultimately, the campaign is on God's timing and should God desire us to continue renting we will do so.

Why is this the right time to be seeking a building?

Our current facilities will not allow for growth from nursery through 5th Grades. We want to thrive, not just survive. A permanent facility will help us expand our ministry areas to connect more people in the Eau Claire area with Jesus.

What do we as a church family plan to do with the money?

The campaign's primary objective is to raise funds that could be used for seed money to either purchase or build a permanent facility. No specific location or building has been selected at this time.

When will we be able to be in a new space? What is the timeline?

The intent is to be in facility as soon as both funds and an ideal space are identified. We anticipate this being around a two year process but rest in God's timing.

Why not consider planting another church?

Church planting is certainly on the hearts of The Bridge leadership and is part of our vision, "we dream of a church that plants other disciple making churches with an ever expanding regional influence." The first step in this is firmly establishing The Bridge in the Eau Claire community and growing momentum in strategic ministry areas. We believe the best way to achieve this growth is by focusing on expanding our church family, so that our collective resources can be efficiently used to expand our mission (children's, student, and college ministries, etc.) to win people for Christ.

What is the succession plan for Pastor Jerry?

Pastor Jerry is a visible and important part of The Bridge where he has served for over a decade. However, the Bridge is much more than just the pastor; it is a family of Christ followers seeking to honor God and live out our mission: “to help people connect with God and develop them into fully devoted followers of Christ.”. While there are no specific timelines in place, Pastor Jerry has committed to walk with us through this campaign and is committed to preparing the way for the next pastor whenever that might be needed.

What are some of the needs and wants in a permanent location?

A specific building site or location has not been selected. When we evaluate our current facilities at the Children's Theater and The Bridge Offices, we estimate a future facility having around 20,000 to 25,000 square feet on a 3+ acre lot. This would include fellowship space, office areas, worship space, children’s and student ministries. This should not be viewed as a minimum but as a target reference as we evaluate opportunities.

What are the ways people can give to support the campaign?

The campaign process will walk us through a variety of ways to support this campaign. Specifically, there will be opportunities to give (cash, stocks, etc.) in the short term, before the end of 2019, as well as make commitments to give through June of 2021.

What financing options has the church explored?

The church is currently partnered with Christian Investors Financial (CIF) which is part of the overall EFCA. CIF exists to help member churches walk through the capital campaign process and also to provide church loans. Other options will be pursued as we journey toward a specific facility.