Bridges offers an annual survey to measure your progress in the activities that lead to making disciples of Jesus. If we are followers of Jesus, this is one of the activities that marks our lives. Jesus gave his disciples this command: “Go and make disciples.” (Matthew 28:19).
Your first year of taking the survey provides a baseline. Do not worry if you have no idea how to make a disciple. Bridges has helped hundreds of people just like you experience the joy of helping others experience a vital connection with God the way Jesus modeled for us and made it possible for us.
But why measure this? We want to celebrate your progress. This is why it is an annual survey. It is the change in your responses over the years that enables us to see and celebrate your progress. So in the first year, do not worry about your answers. There is no wrong answer and not even a “better” answer. Just answer truthfully and simply.
Bridges will also help you define how you measure success in your ministry and help you develop the instruments you will use to measure your success.
For many of us, old measures of success are not working. We are learning how to choose more carefully what we measure, how we measure it, and the claims we make about those results. It is important to measure both group and individual, material and spiritual success, structural and personal, body and mind, physical and emotional, as both realms are intertwined in the whole human person in the community.
American culture has an emphasis on results. While not seeing “results” as the only criteria of success, Bridges believes that each Bridge Leader, Bridges and the churches of the future must be able to articulate to Americans the results of participating in our groups and of following Jesus.
The church is among the last of institutions in America to embrace the measuring of results in a way that allows others to determine whether the faith and the institutions of faith are making a positive difference. Bridges believes this needs to change, and, more importantly, can change.
Rev. Dr. Jim Milley has a B.A. in Psychology and an M.Div. in Theology, and he strongly believes that progress in maturity and preferred behaviors can be measured over time, both for leaders and their disciples. Churches have long measured bucks, buts, baptisms, and buildings. Bridges is committed to measuring new friends, new disciples, growth in discipling activities, new Christ-following groups, and growth in the activities that define a church without reference to buildings and choirs and full-time pastors. Dr. Milley’s doctoral thesis showed that Bridges A.C.T.S. services was able to move a person who had never made a disciple to living life through which she or he made a disciple after 18–24 months of continuous A.C.T.S. services consisting of on average of 1 hour per week. Bridgesfers has currently trained over 130 Bridges Leaders who have made 1,470 disciples from outside of existing church culture.
Bridges offers an annual survey to measure your progress in the activities that lead to making disciples of Jesus. You will also need to learn how to create other measures of success unique to your ministry.