Updated: May 31
Basic Church Information
Address: 1284 W. 75 N. Centerville, Utah 84104
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/thebridgeutah/
Did the church answer the questionnaire?
1. What is your church's official position on tithing?
"You see a lot of laws in the Old Testament that were mandated for Israel that do not carry over as mandated for believers in the New Covenant, and tithing is one of them. Giving to the Lord or his work on earth is much more meaningful when one gives joyfully and without compulsion. There is no giving threshold that will get you into the kingdom."
Besides the church's give page, which all churches have, we see no pressures from this church to give and they clearly do not preach tithing.
2. Does your church have an official membership with a membership agreement or contract?
"We don't have membership. We think a believer is a member of Christ's church in virtue of being saved from their sins the faith in Jesus and is adopted into God's family through the Spirit. That is the only membership that matters."
3. Is your church transparent with its financial information? How much does your church bring in through donations and tithing, plus additional income, and how is that money distributed?
"We give a basic financial report to each person who gives to The Bridge Community. We also invite those who give to speak to our elders who are responsible for setting the budget if they have deeper questions about the budget. We give generously to local service groups (bountiful food pantry) and other mission teams."
4. Which denomination does your church align with the most, if any?
"Though we are non-denominational, we are a part of a strategic network of churches that are focused on missions and church planting. The organization is converge worldwide, and we are in the Rocky Mountain region of that network."
5. Is your church's pastor available for other questions or comments regarding the church, its doctrines, etc.?
6. How is your church's doctrinal flexibility and tolerance regarding minor, non-essential doctrines? If a member has a disagreement with the pastor or leadership on a certain doctrine, how is it handled?
"Our saying is "Simply Jesus." We want people to know Him, and we don't get hung up on peripheral things. There are Calvinists and Arminians, people who come from Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptists backgrounds, there are plenty of eschatological views represented in our congregation. We think there is freedom in all the non-essentials, and we stress the basic truths while teaching through the Bible. We have people in our church leaving the LDS church who will tell me they are not on-board with the trinity yet. Though they differ doctrinally, we invite them to continue coming and ask lots of questions and we pray that at some point down the line as we teach God's Word they will come to see what God has said about himself more clearly."
7. Does your church require that its members be baptized? What is your church's official position on baptism?
"We don't have membership, so, no. We think baptism is a beautiful thing and that believers ought to get baptized, but it is not a saving thing. Jesus saves you, not baptism. Baptism, as the saying goes, is an outward expression of an inward reality of putting to death one's life apart from God, and being resurrected into new life in Christ."
8. Please describe what a typical service and/or meeting looks like in your church.
"We typically start with a song meant to help people transition from the busyness of their morning into a time to focus on the Lord. We have a short time to welcome each other and we'll point out any upcoming opportunities for service or new Bible studies and the like, then we'll typically have another song or two selected as songs that help us connect to the theme of the sermon that day, or of God's grace. While we have a leader who is pretty consistent, the team around him often changes. Sometimes it's acoustic, sometimes is guitar and piano, sometimes is drums and electric guitar. We don't want people showing up for a show, and so our primary goal is to make sure that whatever we're doing, we're helping people focus of the Lord, not the band, not the band members. Following the music, I'll speak for about 45 minutes. My typical style is to preach verse by verse through a book of the Bible. I preach with an eye toward how all of scripture points us to the redemption that is in Christ, so we'll hear the gospel every week."
9. How many people do you have on staff at your church, both paid and volunteer?
"We have 4 paid staff. Three are full time and one is part time. Depending on where you draw the line on staff there are probably somewhere between 20 and 80 others. There are lots of people who serve in some capacity here. Some of those may be greeting at the door once a month, and some of those are leading larger areas like coordinating the one-on-one discipleship ministry at church."
10. What is the pastor's educational history?
"I have a BA in religion and philosophy from Chapman University, a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a D.Min. from the Talbot School of Theology (Biola). I don't think getting an education like this is a requirement for pastoral ministry, but I can tell you that I am very glad to have had each of these experiences and I think they've helped me grow in their own way."
11. How does the church discipline its members with their sin?
"We try to train people on the principals of Matthew 18 so that when a person sins against them they are quick to try to resolve the situation. The elders would not be involved in that process until a person was unrepentantly continuing to sin against the person. We do, of course, teach on sin and help point people to faith and repentance, but we expect that work is done by the Holy Spirit, not a pastor condemning someone."
12. How is the pastor compensated (income, benefits, bonuses, etc.)?
"The elders set the salary for the pastor. They use the Median Salary in Centerville (our town) as the upper limit to what the salary could be, but in reality, my salary is not nearly that much."
13. What is the size of your church and any other space the church owns for meetings and church services?
"When you ask for church size I assume you mean the number of people who attend our church, and that would be somewhere between 225 and 250 on an average Sunday. Our church owns a building where we meet. That is the only thing we own (well, that building and its contents)."