Mike & Carol's Month (Jul)
5th - Finance Team meeting
1,8,15th - Relationship Training with Karli church (RI & DC)
8th - Leaders Meeting
9-12th - McCoy's BAU
12 & 27th - Karis Group Inc.
23-26th - McCoy's Next Level training
 
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Central Austin
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Round Rock
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NW Austin
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Cedar Park (north)
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East Austin (Mueller)
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In the New Testament we read how the early followers of Jesus were called the people of “The Way” [Acts 24:14,22]. It was a way of living as much as it was a belief system, a way modeled on Jesus who also described himself as the Way. Unfortunately today, there seems to be an imbalance in the Church with too much emphasis on right belief and too little on right living, and especially right relationships. We desire to become a people whose beliefs can be discerned from their lives and not just their lips. Our trust in Jesus as Savior and our submission to him as Lord should influence and impact every aspect of our lives. It is also a spiritual life, in which God continues to live in union with human beings.

Jesus Is The Way

Jesus did not come just to show us the way, but he also declared “I am the Way”. In Him, and through His being in us, we discover and experience all that God has designed and desires for us to enjoy in life. To be “in Him” is to have come to trust in Him as our Savior and Lord – that upon the cross he offered up his perfect life as a sacrifice for our sins (our imperfect lives lived independently of God and his ways). Through his death and subsequent resurrection Jesus broke the power of sin and death and made possible a newness of life through spiritual rebirth. This is God’s gift to us as we trust in Jesus’ work for us and submit to his reign over us. The way we appropriate and grow in this new life is through the Spirit (of Christ) as he comes and dwells within us and seeks to live through us. This is the first fruits or down-payment of what we will get to experience in its fullness when Jesus returns.

Jesus emphasized the importance of abiding or remaining in Him, through faith. The Way is only possible through a life lived in ongoing fellowship with God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But it is also a life to be lived in new-found relationships with other followers of Jesus, his Church or as Paul calls us, his Body. We each represent a part of Jesus’ body on the earth and therefore each have an important part to play in conjunction with other ‘members’, whilst all of us remain under his headship. It is a life characterized by sacrificial, covenant love for one another and for our God, but it is always a life that is only found in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We have identified 7 Core Practices for a follower of Jesus Christ to help reinforce and express these truths. You can read more about these here.

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Our Way Of Following

The Way of Jesus is one of relationship or love. The incarnation was a relational initiative in which God seeks to make himself known and facilitate relationship with humankind. We believe that everything regarding life and faith must build upon this foundational truth. Additionally, our way of following can be simplified in three building blocks of engagement and/or connection.

First level - Spiritual Friendships

Second level - Simple Church Communities
Third level - Network (Family) Gatherings


First Level
The goal in the Christian life is in part to grow into maturity, until the church attains "to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ", as the Apostle Paul put it in Eph 4:13. We believe that this is best effected through intimate, loving friendships with other believers. To a certain extent this should grow within our home churches, but we see a pattern in the Scriptures of the Lord working with groups of 2 or 3. This is picked up by Neil Cole in his book, 'Cultivating a Life for God'.

We would want to encourage everyone to foster close, intimate spiritual friendships with other believers (of the same sex) that provide a context for mutual accountability, support and love. There we pray together, confess our struggles and share our joys. Jesus modeled friendship with a few as the primary basis for discipleship and growth. we seek to do the same.

Second Level
The Simple Churches facilitate an environment where individuals can edify each other, experience joy through a shared life, and extend mercy to those in need. Our Simple Church operates like an extended family fleshing out a network of relationships rather than a meeting. This creates an experience where multiple individuals of multiple different backgrounds and generations (children are included) may learn and experience Christ through each other.

Practically, with groups ranging from 6 to 20 members, we typically meet once (potentially more) a week, to find support and encouragement as we seek to faithfully follow Jesus Christ, the Lord. We often eat together during these meetings, believing that sharing in the Lord's Supper is a worshipful experience. Additionally, we may sing songs, tell stories, reflect upon God's word and minister God's grace (for healing, deliverance, provision, etc) through prayer and the laying on of hands. Our time is guiding by the guidance given by Paul as to how are gatherings are to work:

"Well, my brothers and sisters, let's summarize what I am saying. When you meet, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in an unknown language, while another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must be useful to all and build them up in the Lord." [1 Cor 14:26]

We desire to foster a focus beyond ourselves also by looking for opportunities to serve others in need, either personally or as a group.

Third Level
Occasionally we want to gather together as a larger community for a large group celebration of praise and thanksgiving which is open to other Simple Church networks across the city. This aspect of our network is still 'under development' as we experiment with different contexts and purposes.

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Impacting Our Communities

Jesus came not just with a message of good news for the poor, but his life exemplified the message as he brought transformation to people's lives through the power of God. He was motivated by God's great love and compassion for all people and became the very source of life and freedom to those who responded to him. His approach was one of humility and servanthood. He invites all his faithful followers to walk the same road, with the same purpose. Our desire is to help others experience freedom from injustice, rebellion and aloneness in their lives.

"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? " [Micah 6:8]

To see more on how we are seeking to put this into practice, please click on our ‘Community Impact’ page above. We also seek to work with other ministries in our city who are working to relieve injustice and meet the needs of the poor:

*
Compassion International
Austin House of Prayer

Campus Renewal Ministries

The Karpophoreō Project

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Finances In BridgePoint

We have purposely sought to minimize our financial overheads for buildings and staff teams so that we can increasingly devote our financial giving towards those in need, both locally (within and beyond the faith community) as well as overseas.

We still encourage people to be generous in their giving and to hold loosely to material resources in their lives (as taught by Jesus). Our desire is to see an increasing proportion of our giving channelled to serve the needs of people with whom we are in relationship. For a recent blog posting by Mike on Giving, click here. For a good article on the financial support of 'apostolic' ministry, based upon 1 Cor 9:1-14, you might also read this.

Mike & Carol Watson, who oversee this network, are also supported financially by individuals within BridgePoint and others external to BridgePoint. They operate as "supported missionaries" through outreach, discipleship, leadership training and support, spiritual direction, relational training and coaching. Some of their income also comes from work they do through the Center for Relational Leadership. If you would like to support this ministry financially, you can contact Mike & Carol by clicking here.

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How Do I Grow As A Follower Of Jesus?

Primarily, we believe this is best achieved through partnership/relationship with others on the same journey, being part of a Simple Church. "Spiritual Friendships" within our communities are a basic building block for this and provide a framework for sustaining your spiritual life in the Lord, but ideally an individual should participate in all three levels as life is meant to be experienced in larger community.

More practically, we believe that living your spiritual life openly, acknowledging your dependence upon God's power and being ready to give a reason for the hope that is in you communicates the gospel. Commit to serving Christ in the world by living life with eyes and ears open to what God is doing in the lives of people you ordinarily meet, and then being willing to help out where needed.

"I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ." [Philemon 1:6]

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How Do I Plug Into BridgePoint?

Contact Us so we can see how best to help

Visit a Simple Church and within that ask about how you can be involved

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