A New Season
It’s time for a new season at Bridges Church. After 12 years of being portable, we recently moved into our new home – a Worship and Ministry Center that is 2 miles from where we meet now and only 1 mile from where we started, but always on Reynolda Road – the street that runs through our entire community, our home.
Twelve years ago, we launched out in what was then the Carmike Theater, not sure of who would show up or what God would do. There were just 50 of us at that point, 35 adults and 15 children and maybe we were a little scared or at least a little anxious. (Make that more than a little.)
I still remember the Saturday morning when our trailer and all the equipment arrived at the theater, one week before launch and how we unboxed everything and learned to set it all up. We were leaving what was comfortable for what seemed to be uncertain. What if no one shows up? What if this is too hard? What if the money runs out? But deeper than that the question was, “What if God doesn’t show up? What then?” It felt like it could be a very short season and a very quick failure.
That was 12 years ago. Since then we have moved twice, first to North Forsyth High School and then to Old Town Elementary School. Even at Old Town we have moved to 3 different venues – the auditorium, the Media Center, and then the gym. Every time we had to get used to new ways of doing things, new equipment and new schedules. It has not always been easy, but it has never been boring.
Being part of a church plant is learning to be flexible, to trust God, and to trust God. (Did I just say that twice?) God has taught us dependence on Him in so many ways. He has always come through. He has never let us down. He has always provided. He has brought some amazing people together – not perfect but certainly, lovingly dependent on Him for everything.
We have been on a journey, but we need to be careful that we don’t think of this journey ending. We are still on a journey. We will be – need to be – dependent on God in the new facility and in some ways more so.
No, this is not the end of a journey, but certainly the end of a season. But with every season end, there is a new beginning. We still don’t know what God will do. We don’t know who will come or how it will all work out, but we do know it will be good and He will be faithful. He is the constant when seasons change.
We recently had our last Sunday at Old Town Elementary. We have enjoyed our time there and appreciate all the school has done for us. It is time for change. It is time to be flexible. It is time to be dependent. It is time to trust God. It is always time to trust God.
Now, we will start a new season in the new facility. We don’t know who God will bring. We don’t know what will happen. We may experience some fear, some anxiety, but God will show up if our hearts are right and we are looking for Him with expectation. We have learned this by experience – one season at a time.
So, trust God with this season in life. Be patient with the people around you. Be patient with yourself. Learn the secrets of the seasons. Time passes. Things begin. Things end. People come and go. We age. We transition. We move on; we start anew. But God does not change and will be there with us step by step through every season and every change, good and bad. We will learn to walk with Him in this season.
See you soon at our new Worship and Ministry Center – 3151 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, NC – the start of a new season.
Patrick Norris is the Lead Pastor at Bridges Church. He has been on staff with the church in this role since helping to launch the church in September of 2007. After growing up in Morehead City, NC and graduating from UNC – Chapel Hill (class of ’85) he moved to California and lived there for 19 years. There he met and married Stacey in 1990, and they have 2 sons, Ethan and MIcah who love the Tarheel state.
Through all of this, God was calling him into ministry and in 2000 he went back to school to get his MDiv. at Golden Gate Baptist Seminary in Brea, CA. Following graduation, the family followed God’s call to serve in NC.
Patrick loves hiking and reading, but his favorite activity is hanging out with his family. He is passionate about helping Bridges be an authentic place where it’s safe to explore what it means to follow Jesus.