Part III Discipleship: “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!”

It is a humbling feeling to realize that Jesus Christ did a pretty good job of being the savior and he didn’t need your help. After failing to effectively minister to the first struggling woman we encountered through the Bridge ministry, we knew that we needed to learn from our mistakes. We never again wanted our good intentions to HURT someone instead of HELPING them.

So we prayed.
We researched.
We reflected.
We studied.
We prayed some more.
We painted.
We cleaned.
We repaired.
We prayed.
And we blessed our donated house with scriptures all over the walls.


We knew that God was leading us. He was setting the stage for HIS help and HIS strength to work through our ministry. And we learned to be patient. People around us would ask, “You’ve been working on this for 2 years. Aren’t you tired of it?” “So when are you going to get a resident? It’s been a really long time.”


God’s timing is not our timing. Connections were being made. Relationships were being built. A message was being taught. The foundation was being laid for what God intended for The Bridge to be in our community. Each time we sat down to review our policy we rearranged, discarded, added, and built on what was becoming exactly what we had named it…


Mission Statement
The Bridge of West Tennessee, Inc. exists to bridge the gap between the world and Christ.

1. The Bridge will nurture and DISCIPLE women who desire to continue their journey in a Christian lifestyle as they nurture their children in the admonition of the Lord.

2. The Bridge will educate women in Biblical principles and Christian life skills.

 3. The Bridge will foster relationships with other local ministries and support their mission work locally and abroad as they work to bridge the gap between the world and Christ.


That is what the Bridge is about. But in a busy world with so many places to go and so many things to do…


As Christians, we want to see people change. We want them to seek restoration. We want them to turn their lives around. We want them to be followers of Jesus.

But we want it on our time frame, with our blueprint, neatly cut with our cookie cutter, and placed carefully inside of our self-constructed Christian box.

cookie cutter

If change takes too long then we quit. If habits aren’t altered on the first attempt, we give up. If attitudes are long to change, we walk away. If it doesn’t happen as we planned we are done.

And what is even worse than quitting or walking away or giving up is thinking we are JUSTIFIED in our impatience.
**After all, if they would just do it MY WAY, then everything would work.**

my way

The lesson we have learned is that true discipleship and lasting change takes TIME. Lots and lots of time.

It is messy. It is hard. It keeps you on your toes. And it forces your knees. It is exhausting and exhilirating. It is spontaneous and it is scheduled. It can be ugly, but it is so beautiful. And it forces you to commit to TIME. A real relationship and the rest of your life. TIME.

Time to talk. Time to pray. Time to laugh. Time to cry. Time to fall apart. Time to heal. Time to study. Time to understand. Time to fall down. Time to rise up. And time to grow in Christ.

“How long is your program”, you ask. The answer: As long as it takes.

We finally realized that if we don’t expect ourselves to be on a time schedule to “get it together”, then how can we possibly expect that of the struggling women we help?


The biggest obstacle women face when encountering our ministry is trust. Can they trust us to hang in there with them? Can they trust us to not throw our hands up and determine they are too big of a mess for us to handle? Can they expect us to experience “compassion fatigue”? Can they be transparent? Will we love them enough to look past their brokenness to see the potential God has placed in them?

After the first year in this ministry, the answer to all of those questions was a big fat NO!

But thank God he gave us enough TIME.

Time to talk. Time to pray. Time to laugh. Time to cry. Time to fall apart. Time to heal. Time to study. Time to understand. Time to fall down. Time to rise up. And time to grow in Christ.

And now we walk beside them. For as long as it takes. For as long as they need. Forever if necessary. Isn’t that what God wants from us?

TRUE DISCIPLESHIP. It spans across the rest of time.

Matthew 7:3  “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? “

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