preparing young people for a life of mission
The Bridge Street Mission School is an 8 month training built to prepare and release young people into a life of mission. Students are embedded in a lifestyle of intentional Christian community where they develop an intimate walk with Christ through a culture of fervent prayer, biblical teaching, and urban ministry experience. We are committed to seeing a generation of young people who know Jesus and make Him known. We not only give our students increased knowledge, but also support what is learned with first hand experience bringing the gospel to the darkest places on earth.
Almost all of our staff, interns, and students at BSHOP live within a 3 block radius of the ministry because we believe that in order to have deep, long term impact in our neighborhood, we need to become part of it. We not only share ministry experiences with each other, but we eat together, do dishes and laundry together, and share life together. In a culture that places a high value on independence, we intentionally place ourselves in a loving community that forces us to realize that we actually need each other to experience the fullness of the body of Christ.
We believe that everything we do must be saturated in prayer from start to finish. The BSHOP wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the fervent prayers of a few young people back in 2005 saying, “God what are you doing in this neighborhood, and how can we be part of it?” The ministries that have developed here weren’t the brainchild of a mega-church on the other side of the country, but they were formed in the quiet place of prayer as we encountered the heart of God for his people right here on our block. We believe that the hard work of ministry happens in the prayer room. Students of the Mission School will learn to develop a rich prayer life by recovering spiritual disciplines, interceding on behalf of others, and even making the streets their prayer room.
Everything that we teach is from the Bible which we hold as the living and active word of God without error. We place a very high value on the authority of Scripture to the point that our way of living must bend to the Word of God, and the Word must never bend to our experience. Students of the mission school will receive knowledge and tools to help them know and read the Bible. Most importantly, students will cultivate a love for the Word of God as the revelation of Jesus Christ.
The church needs to be increasingly present in an increasingly urban world, and increasingly bright in the darkest places on earth. The BSHOP is located in the heart of the West Side of Grand Rapids and has relationships with urban ministries around the world. Students of the Mission School gain training and first hand experience bringing the gospel to places of spiritual darkness, poverty, and captivity locally and around the world.
3 phases of the Mission School:
Phase 1) Formation: September 16 – December 13. The primary focus of this phase is on spiritual development which happens through teaching, reflection, and application. There is 10-15 hours/week of topically based teaching led by a variety of qualified speakers from around the world. Weekly teaching topics may include: Biblical Worldview, Nature and Character of God, Inductive Method of Studying Scripture, Urban Missions, Global Missions, Community, Spiritual Warfare, Worship, Prayer, and more. All students live in the BSHOP neighborhood, and experience the richness and challenges of living in intentional Christian community. The learning experience is not limited to the classroom, but is taken to a variety of urban ministry settings where students have opportunities to tutor children, coach soccer, run after-school programs, serve coffee in the Pavilion Coffee Shop, etc.
Phase 2) Global Mission: January 2 – March 3. This phase gives students an experience of a life “on mission” in a foreign culture. All mission teams are sent to support and advance the mission of long-term missionaries around the globe. We work to build long-term partnerships so that our global efforts help to sustain and grow effective ministry among the people we are serving. Global outreach locations may include: Guatemala, India, Kyrgyzstan, Kenya, Cambodia, and more.
Phase 3) Sending: March 10 – May 3. The focus of this final phase is on debriefing all that was learned and experienced during the first 6 months of the school and preparing students for the next step. The “big win” for this school is that students are well equipped, empowered, and then sent to the next place God is calling them with the purpose of glorifying God and building his Kingdom. This phase will include leadership training through lecture and hands-on experience. Teaching topics will include: Contextualizing the gospel, creating healthy community, marriage and family, and more. Students will be coached through attainable leadership opportunities within the mission of the BSHOP. Depending on the student’s gifts, these opportunities could range anywhere from planning a neighborhood event to leading a Bible study to building a garden. We want students to dream big, partner with what God is doing, and use their gifts to make it happen. If students can do this on a small scale here, then they can live out the dreams God has for them wherever they are called.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org