Dear Bridgetown Church,
Bridgetown Church is now nine years old. Each year feels better than the last, bringing new growth and life. 2018 was our second year of Practicing The Way, and we have begun to see these practices sink into the fabric of our church, creating space for God to transform us in discipleship to Jesus.
We continue to see the Holy Spirit move powerfully, speaking and healing in our gatherings and in our communities. Alpha has grown again this year, hosting over 145 guests, with many people deciding to follow Jesus for the first time. Through Basics, we have seen many new people start and join communities all over the city. We decided as a family to buy the Holladay Park Church of God building, giving us a rooted presence in the city. Now we are trusting God to provide all the finances needed for the purchase and renovation.
As we move forward as a church into the new year, we are extremely grateful for the love and compassion of the Father, and the partnership in the Gospel that we have with each of you. We can’t wait to see what happens in 2019.
Gerald Griffin and the Bridgetown Elders
In Portland as it is in Heaven
We want to partner with Jesus to serve our city. We dream of being a church marked by radical generosity. Each year, we budget 10% of our income for local and global justice initiatives through our partner Hear the Cry and through benevolence within our own church body. 2% of our budget goes toward Church Planting & Evangelism, directly benefiting the work of spreading the gospel of Jesus both globally and locally.
Figures represent our 2018 fiscal year, Oct 2017 – Sept 2018.
Hear The Cry: Compassion & Justice
10% of every dollar given to the church goes directly to justice work and those in need both globally and locally. In fiscal year 2018, we received fewer than anticipated benevolence requests; therefore, the total expenditures represented 8% of our budget.
Funds designated toward Church Planting & Evangelism directly benefit the work of spreading the gospel of Jesus both globally and locally. In 2018, this fund supported Van City Church, Genesis Collective, 423 Communities, and Intentional Parents
Net General Giving
Ministry Expenses include but are not limited to: Kids, Youth, Young Adults, Men, Women, Bridgetown Classes, and Bridgetown Communities.
Staff Wages & Salaries
Wages & Salaries include but are not limited to: Wages and salaries for all staff and benefits for full-time staff.
Operating Expenses include but are not limited to: Facilities, Building Leases, Maintenance, Utilities, Office Supplies, and Insurances.
Net Surplus Added
By your generosity and God’s grace, we have ended the year with a surplus. Our total reserve is now $1,028,622. Our plan is to use this money to buy and renovate Holladay Park Church of God.
Giving Goal for 2018/2019
In our next fiscal year, we hope to raise enough money to meet our goal for the Bridgetown Building Campaign.
Practicing the way of Jesus, together, in Portland
Bridgetown Communities are the lifeblood of our church, where people are transformed as they share life and around the practices of Jesus. With three of our biggest ever Basics courses this year, we saw the launch of 21 new Communities and heard stories of lives and neighborhoods changed as people practiced the way of Jesus together in Portland.
“Entering into Community was a bit overwhelming at first because I didn’t know if I could trust them. But I needed & wanted community. They were all very welcoming so I relaxed a bit. I did talk, one-on-one with the leader, I felt she needed to know a little of where I was coming from. She was very nice and accepting. Since I’ve been in Community, I now have a group of people who love and accept me! I know if I ever need anything I could call on any one of them. They love my son (he doesn’t go much) and support him in all of his activities. There is one young lady who has told me that I’m not walking alone—she will be there for me no matter what!”
—DeLynn, Community Member
Sunday gatherings are the primary way we gather as a church to worship together, learn the Scriptures, pray for one another, and create space to hear from the Spirit. Our church family continues to participate in the work that God is doing and experience the healing presence of the Holy Spirit.
This year we saw the Lord move in many beautiful ways through worship. Our team and church is becoming more and more comfortable waiting and worshiping in God’s presence as a family—specifically our 10 AM Gathering! It’s gone from a space that felt like new people and new faces learning to meet with God, to a family who is passionately responding in unity to the Father with praise and worship. We’ve grown as a team numerically, with multiple new worship leaders and musicians who serve on a regular basis. We launched Second Thursday Worship Nights, where we spend time in prayer and worship with no agenda other than to wait on him. We’ve even seen many people healed during our times of worship throughout many gatherings. One of the things we’ve grown in as of late is learning that our worship is warfare. As we worship we wage war against our own flesh and tendencies of being bent away from God and against the kingdom of darkness. Our worship changes reality.
Bridgetown continues to grow and every step of the way our volunteers have stepped up to carry the load. Beyond the obvious needs for volunteers (more people attending means more volunteer needs), the church has also had the opportunity to host various events—such as the Holy Spirit Conference, Dreams and the Language of God, Portland Mini Conference, and much more. At each stage, our church has understood the need to host well and volunteers have viewed these events as opportunities to serve others. We have an amazing team of deacons who oversee our various areas of serving not only by organizing volunteers, but also casting a vision of the significance of every part of our church.
Alpha at Bridgetown continues to grow, with each round becoming slightly larger than the round before. Each Alpha season has begun with a buzz in the air the first few nights and has ended with community, deep connections, and transformed hearts. It’s hard to quantify the change of hearts that occurs at Alpha, but as a whole, we have had a few baptisms, several join Bridgetown communities, and many many people returning to Alpha for second or third times. Hospitality is at the forefront of the heart of Alpha, and that spirit of hospitality continues to provide non-churched Portlanders with a safe space to explore what it means to follow Jesus, as well as a positive experience with church and with Christians. In 2019, we desire to see even more people to step into a life of following Jesus, and see our community grow in a spirit of invitation.
This year we hosted several events open to both Bridgetown Church and the city. Our annual Holy Spirit Conference is a 2-night event for Bridgetown and beyond to learn about and experience the Holy Spirit. This year, Mike Pilavachi and Tom Smith of Soul Survivor in the UK led us as over 1,000 people from Bridgetown and various churches around USA and Canada came to take part. At Dreams and the Language of God, Jeannine Rodreguiz came for a 2-day seminar on a biblical theology about dreams and practical tools for interpreting them. Finally, we hosted a “Portland Mini Conference,” where staffs various like-minded churches spent three days together learning about cultivating revival in secular cities.
& Justice” Event
& Worship” Event
2018 was a crazy year for Bridgetown Kids! We experienced tremendous growth in the number of kids that show up every Sunday, in the number of people that joined our Bridgetown Kids team, and consistency with our families that regularly come on Sundays. After a couple months of having our classrooms fill up every Sunday, we finally added three new classrooms between the two gatherings! With the addition of classrooms we’ve seen Bridgetown Church respond so generously with an eagerness to serve and staff those new classrooms with adults that are committed to and excited about seeing kids encounter God. We could not be more excited about this past season and we are on the edge of our seats to see what God wants to do with Bridgetown Kids during 2019!
This year as a ministry, we were excited to re-introduce the God & Women class and offer, for the first time ever, a Women’s Retreat. These additional third spaces have allowed women to connect with each other while pressing into their understanding of their place in the Kingdom of God. We’ve continued to challenge and encourage women to step into spaces of leadership and have seen their response to that in Bridgetown Communities and in the overall life of the church.
Night Of Prayer
This year we hosted our first men’s retreat in the Columbia Gorge. It was an amazing time to meet new friends, worship, and press into things of the Spirit. Pete Hughes joined us from the UK to teach on Biblical manhood and lead us in spaces of listening to what the Spirit had for us. We also created space for the men to receive healing prayer at the retreat. There was tons of fruit from this and we are thankful for all God is doing in the men at Bridgetown.
The Bridgetown Middle School group has existed since 2015 and has grown from a roster size of eight to ten to over twenty students on a weekly basis over the past three years, alongside a leadership team of (now) four amazing men and women. We’ve had the privilege of celebrating four baptisms paralleled with an abundance of discipleship, fun-filled events, sleepovers, pranks, and more. In the coming year, we’ll be launching our first ever summer youth retreat, and we’re looking forward to moving our gathering space to Holladay Park!
The Bridgetown High School group has gone through a huge transition in leadership this past year since Alex and the team have planted Saints’ Hill in Newberg. That being said, our group of twenty-ish students has stayed committed to the life and heart of the ministry. This past year, we have celebrated four baptisms and have built a new leadership team from the ground up! We look forward to what God has in store for us in 2019 with the new building and leadership team.
“However, the more I kept coming the more I realized that I had a gaping hole in me that everyone else there didn’t seem to have. Yet I have a big ego, and I refused to openly admit that I was missing something. Struggling through smoking addictions and mental health issues, I felt confused and angry and alone. However, one Thursday, one of the previous leaders from youth group came up to me and asked to pray for very specific things that were happening in my life that I had not told anyone about till that moment, and for the first time I felt the presence of the holy spirit over me. Yet even with that experience, I thought I couldn’t approach God because of how openly I had said I hated the idea of God existing, but my ideals were changing slowly.
Soon, we went through alpha, then a testimonial series, and with that I realized that the people around me had come from similar or sometimes identical backgrounds as myself, and I realized that I wasn’t alone. Through the community built from the Bridgetown Youth Group, it made me realize that I didn’t have to be perfect to approach God, and it also made me realize that the people around me had gone through it, and it didn’t make me worthless because I did.
Soon after, I got baptized (relatively impulsively) at Bridgetown, and decided to follow Jesus, not to say that I have completely fixed all my problems, but rather that I am in the process of healing, and through that healing I am learning to follow Jesus in a honest way.”
–Story From A High Schooler
As apprentices of Jesus, we have a responsibility to hear the cry of those in need and on the margins. We are to be a people who live simply, generously, and relationally. Jesus, who transcended and leveled every barrier to love us, shows us how to listen, see, and act with this very same love. As his apprentices, we get to be transformed by this love and extend this love to those who are exploited, abused, and disregarded. Thank you for being generous with your time, money, and resources this past year. We’re eager to grow together in our awareness and compassion as we develop deeper relationships with our neighbors in the city and global community.
SE Asia, East Africa
Bridgetown partners with Hear the Cry, an organization that exists to bring compassion and justice into areas of brokenness around the world. They work with local indigenous leaders to bring hope and a future to women and children through grass roots efforts in areas of need, including education, gender equality, micro/macro finance projects, child sponsorship and sustainable farming. These statistics represent the work of Hear the Cry as a whole, except where marked as Bridgetown-specific.