Building bridges in CaliforniaGreg Barnes has two
passions, sharing the gospel and surfing, and hes found a way to do both. Greg
learned how to surf while growing up in Galveston, Texas. He moved onto bigger
waves when he decided to go to seminary at Golden Gate Baptist Theological
Seminary in San Francisco, and hes been in the Sunshine State ever since.
In 1999 Greg and his wife Karla moved to San Marcus, the fastest growing
city in north San Diego County. They decided that San Marcus was the perfect
location for a new church start. They were excited about the opportunities to
work with the community and the large student population attending San Marcus
University. With the help of their sponsor church, Cross Roads Church, in
Freemont, California, they were able to start the Bridge Community Church last
The Bridge holds its Sunday services at the local cinema. They rent a
theater for the main service and another for the childrens ministry. The fact
that we meet in a movie theater is non-threatening to someone who is
unchurched, says Greg. We provide coffee and donuts before the service, and
since the seats have cup holders, our members just take their coffee into the
service with them. Its really quite user-friendly.
Name: Greg and Karla Barnes
City: San Marcus, California
Mission: Surfers and the churchbridging the gap.
Greg believes that the laid-back atmosphere and upbeat
music seem to draw in people who are not accustomed to traditional church. The
Bridge Community Church has about 100 members, and about 70 percent of them are
Greg felt called to plant churches about 10 years ago when he attended a
church leadership conference in California. I heard Bill Hybels and Rick Warren
talk about planting churches, recalls Greg. Thats when I got fired up.
In the summer, the Bridge Community Church hosts a Shred Dog Surf Camp for
people in the community. Shred dog is teenspeak for a hot-shot surfer. Greg and
some of the church members teach kids and adults how to surf. Last year we had
about 60 people in the camp and this year we are expecting twice that. Greg is
planning to have a baptismal service in the ocean at the end of camp this
There are two things were trying to build into the DNA of our churchbeing
involved in the community and helping start other churches, says Greg. The
Bridge Community Church is helping plant a church in southern San Diego County.
Were going to buy them a sound system, and were sending missionaries from our
church for one month to help start the Real Life Church.
Resorting to volunteer missionsWhen tourists come to
the Golden Isles off the coast of Georgia they see beautiful beaches, quaint
shops and miles of paradise, but Amy Ledden sees a mission field.
Amy is a US/C-2 missionary and uses resort missions to reach the thousands
of tourists who come to relax and have fun at Brunswick, St. Simons Island and
As the director of Golden Isles Ministries, Amy finds creative ways to reach
vacationers, inner-city children and the residents who live there year round.
The way in which we are able to reach the community is through student mission
groups, explains Amy.
A lot of Amys time is spent organizing these groups and teaching them how to
share the gospel creatively with vacationers and those who call the islands
their home. During the summer you will find volunteers at the local mall and
other tourist attractions sharing Christ through drama, puppets, music and
dance. Amy has them doing everything from sign language to sports drills set to
Amy puts these groups to work doing Backyard Bible Clubs and day camps in
the housing projects, trailer parks, inner-city parks and at local Boys and
Name: Amy Ledden
Location: Golden Isles, Georgia
Mission: Sharing the gospel through resort
Her volunteers also lead worship services and do performance ministry in
major tourist areas. Since we have all these youth and college students coming
to work with us, Ive realized that part of my job is to minister to the student
volunteers as well as to the community and vacationers, says Amy. Its my hope
that these students are able to see the face of God while theyre here and go
home realizing they can be missionaries every day where they are.
Amy was called to missions as a college student at Northern Kentucky
University. She served as a semester missionary at Golden Isles Ministries and
became a US/C-2 missionary in July of 2000. My work as a semester missionary
helped me learn how to do this ministry and prepared me to keep it going.
Right now Amys work is mostly seasonal, but she is hoping to start some
after- school programs and other ministries in the inner city, which will make
it more year-round.
Resort missions may sound glamorous and fun, but its a lot of work. Pretty
much, Im running around all day making sure groups are where theyre supposed to
be, and people are being served effectively, she explains. Hopefully, Im
helping our young volunteers see that they can lead on mission
Part of my job is to prepare our volunteers for service. I explain to them
that instead of sharing themselves, they are to share Christ. Meeting the needs
of someone gives them the opportunity to share, explains Amy.
I also challenge each one of them to share about Jesus with every person
they meet. Not just in their actions, but with their words.
I know some students go back home and live life just as they did before, but
some do take that challenge with them and begin to live life on mission sharing
Jesus as they go into the world, just like it says in the Great Commission.
Juggling for JesusMost young couples spend their time
trying to juggle career, family, church, finances, social occasions and
whatever else they can fit into their lives. But newlyweds Nathan and Kathy
Dorrell spend their time together juggling bowling pins, knives, flaming
torches and of course bouncing balls.
Using juggling and other circus arts to tell Bible stories and to illustrate
faith in Christ, these two on mission Christians have a ministry that touches
children and adults of all ages. A lot of people look at what we do and think
of us as entertainers and not evangelists, but this is what God has called us
to do, says Nathan Dorrell.
Nathan, a recent graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, has
been juggling since the sixth or seventh grade. My first public performance was
at a youth-led worship service at my church. I had to juggle the announcements,
recalls Nathan. I was so focused on my juggling that I forgot some of the
announcements I was supposed to make. Fifteen years later Nathan has no problem
juggling several objects while sharing stories about Christs love.
Nathan felt a call to missions as a college freshman. I realized that if God
could use me while I was hardly trying, then I wanted to see what would happen
if I gave Him my all, says Nathan. Thats when he decided to pursue summer
missions. It was on one of those mission trips when he realized that God could
use his juggling to glorify Him.
Names: Nathan and Kathy Dorrell
City: Fort Worth, Texas
Mission: Sharing Jesus through the art of
Nathan and Kathy met in 1999 when Kathy asked Nathan for a juggling lesson
and caught the juggling bug. Shes really gotten into juggling and shes a
mission-minded gal, says Nathan. She is also learning to master the Giant
Now married, the two of them have taken their juggling talents on the road
and continue to share the gospel at churches, camps, festivals and anywhere
else the Lord leads them.
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