A New Level of Kingdom Unity

Jeff Church Life 18 Comments

Yesterday was a historic day for New Bridge Church, where I serve with Dustin Pennington as Co-Lead Pastor. The picture above reveals the enthusiastic response of the people who gathered yesterday after a major ministry announcement was made at New Bridge. I chuckle as I write that because, technically, New Bridge is only twenty months old. We shouldn’t be having “historic days” yet. But we did. Let me tell you about it.

In October of 2015, the Holy Spirit initiated a process of leading Dustin and I to merge our two flocks into a new work. The details are many but, summarizing five months of transition time into one sentence, I will say that the two congregations were taken by God on a fast-paced, high energy ride into our shared destiny. The result was that a Baptist congregation and an Assemblies of God congregation became a non-denominational congregation who unapologetically established the authority of God’s Word and the necessity of the Holy Spirit as our two pillars for life and ministry. God established New Bridge as a signal flare to our community that Christians no longer had to choose between their bibles and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. As the organic Church in the book of Acts reflected a commitment to apostolic doctrine and the supernatural empowerment from the Holy Spirit, so should the Church of the 21st century. New Bridge embraced both the privilege and the stigma of breaking ranks with the status quo and answering the call of God to an open-ended, radical commitment to the leadership of our Lord as we advance the Kingdom together.

Yesterday, I announced to the people of New Bridge that the Father was doing it again.

Over the last four years, my heart has been knit with the heart of Billy Humphrey, Director of the missions base of the Atlanta International House of Prayer. My co-pastor, Dustin Pennington, has also cultivated a deep friendship with Billy and the people of IHOP Atlanta. As a matter of fact, it was Billy who initially bridged the connection between Dustin and myself – a connection which resulted a year later in the formation of New Bridge Church. IHOP Atlanta is a center for unceasing prayer and worship, a sending base for foreign missions, a skilled training center for multiple modes of ministry, and an instructional hub for Kingdom knowledge and action. Frankly, these people have been some of my favorite Christians that I have ever been around, and I have been deeply magnetized toward their unique calling for years. In the single most difficult season of my personal ministry, I spent about six consecutive months in the prayer room at IHOP Atlanta. It was there that the Father reacquainted me with His vastness and His immeasurable love for me. The more time I spent with the people there, the more I sensed the unfolding of an aspect of the Kingdom that I had never been aware of. Over time, New Bridge and IHOP Atlanta began to share ministry overlap. Billy and I preached in each other’s pulpits. Their musicians came and helped us with gaps and needs in our worship ministry. Many of our young adults went through their amazing three-month internship program. We were blessed on a couple of occasions to help out with equipment and technical needs that arose on their mission base.  Organically, the Father knit the two communities together and it has been beautiful to watch it happen.

Five months ago, the Lord elevated the communication of His plan for New Bridge and IHOP Atlanta. Through both practical and prophetic means, the leadership teams at these two faith-families recognized that we were being called to merge into a singular missions base here in Gwinnett County. Our individual strengths as two distinct Christian communities match perfectly with the needs of the other. IHOP Atlanta’s unparalleled commitment to non-stop intercession and worship, plus their fruitful missions program were two large gaps in New Bridge’s young ministry. Likewise, IHOP Atlanta wanted to offer a better platform for local church ministry – ministries for families, men, women, house churches, children, teenagers, etc.  New Bridge was flowing well in these practical areas.  Practicality would not have been enough for the leaders of the two communities to say Yes to a merge, however. The prophetic leadership of the Holy Spirit through multiple people became the wind that blew away any fog that might have clouded the vision.  In the end, the Father was very clear that we would commit to merge these two communities in order to advance the Kingdom of Jesus Christ as we move toward the end of the age.

Yesterday, Billy, Dustin and I announced to the two communities the calling that has been laid upon us. The enthusiastic response of the people came at a level that was, frankly, somewhat surprising to me. It simply revealed that the Father had been making things plain to many others besides the primary leadership teams of the faith-families. The day, as I said at the beginning of this post, was historic.

We have another five months or so before the merge is completed.  So many of you who support Transforming Truth with your prayers and finances should know that your support is about to give greater visibility through media to an expanding Kingdom-work in your generation. Transforming Truth will continue as long as the Lord continues to supply the funding for what we are called to do. We ask for you to continue to intercede for me personally in the areas of wisdom, vision, prophetic clarity and anointed communication from the Word.  The Father is doing something new. It will not be contained to Gwinnett County, Georgian.  He is unifying His Church, and the merge between New Bridge and IHOP Atlanta is yet another signal that He will not be boxed in by denominations and traditions.

The day of church trends is over. The day of uninspected church tradition is a thing of the past. God is working through His truth and His Spirit to unify the Church before the return of her Groom. We are unspeakably blessed to be a part of it.

We thought you would be encouraged to hear about it too 🙂

Comments 18

  1. Apologies Pastor Jeff for putting a damper on the celebrations, but I fear you are going down the “Latter Rain” road and that is not good I’m afraid; I trust that you will soon review your position and come back on track. Read a bit of the history and notice this route was rejected by mainstream Pentecostals. I do hope you will reconsider the matter, as I have so enjoyed your ministry in the Word over the years. Sincerely your Gwilym Joseph (member of the Apostolic church GB!)

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      I appreciate your input, sir. My response is simply to agree with two statements you said about yourself in your reply: “…I fear…I’m afraid.” I lived that way for a season and have no deeper regrets than those which came through that spirit of fear. Fear breeds isolation in the Body of Christ. We cannot love those whom we fear. Your concerns are noted, but not valid, brother.

      1. I think my use of the terms “fear” and “afraid” are a typical British way of putting things, being somewhat reserved; whereas perhaps a more direct response would have been This is a warning you’re heading down the wrong road! Aren’t you aware of the errors of the teachings of these New Apostolic Reformation so called apostles and prophets; there’s plenty of sound teachers out there exposing the false teaching, and I am totally amazed at how on earth you are allowing yourself to be taken in by such persons. Stick to the Word, and hold fast to what the Lord has blessed you with thus far. I do hope you will reconsider and draw back. Trusting the Lord’s blessing and guidance for you and the family. G R Joseph

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          Gwilym, you have created the very scenario in your mind about which you are warning me. My best guess is that your motives are pure and you are sincerely concerned, but I need to express again that your worries are fear-based and wholly unfounded. You are, as you say, across the pond in the U.K. It is apparent that you trust your discernment at a computer, having never met me, Billy Humphrey, Dustin Pennington or Gabe Palmer, more than you trust our discernment of the Lord’s voice. You have presumed to deduce off of a blog post what you assume we have missed in five months of pressing in to the Lord for wisdom and clarity. You have denounced what dozens of leaders here have embraced. In the time it takes to post a comment on a blog, you have overridden the hundreds of man-hours our teams have invested in honoring Christ in the initial stages of facilitating a Kingdom-merge between two local faith-communities located in the same city less than two miles apart. You’ve not sat in on a single prayer and communications meeting at New Bridge nor IHOP Atlanta. You have not been privy to any of our commitments, conflicts or confidences in the five-month process of seeking the Lord’s face as we respond in obedience to what He has initiated and called us unto. You do not know anything about either faith community, other than what you might have gleaned from our media streams. The NAR is not part of what we are doing, brother. You inserted that thought yourself, set it aflame, and then questioned how in the world we could be enjoying its heat. You are making connections that simply don’t exist here. I’m being honest when I tell you that I assume the best of your motivations but, since you inserted your views on my blog, I need to respond publicly and tell you firmly that you are wrong about what is happening here. Whatever you think of the NAR is your own business, but please refrain from assigning a negative reality that exists only in your mind to this great work of the Lord here in Lawrenceville Georgia. You, brother, are simply missing it on this one. If you would like to discuss further, please email me at the email address on the contact page of this website.

  2. I am excited to be a part of this move of God and am ready to link arms with each of our pastors to merge the armies and to advance the kingdom. We have come to this posistion for such a time as this.

  3. Be prepared for this is just a little sample of what is ahead. I feel in my heart that we are experiencing just the beginning of a true revival outpouring that will extend from coast to coast, even from continent to continent.
    Praying in gratitude for your humble, submissive and obedient hearts to God’s plans.

  4. Wow!
    Praying with you and for you, brother – our God is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”
    So “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

    David

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      Thank you, David. And thank you for being a constant in the last decade of changes in the ministries entrusted to me. If it wasn’t for that giant ocean between us, I’d like to believe you would be a first-hand witness to what He has done/is doing/will do here.

  5. This is a great encouragement to those of us in the Body of Christ who have been agreeing with the Lord’s Prayer for unity. We have a number of ministries here in Douglas County focused in the same direction; and family on staff at IHOP. God is up to something!!

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      Rob, we be;ieve that what we are doing is simply the “breaking the ice” phase of what the Father is doing all over the Bible Belt. He is reclaiming for His glory a region that has become the unfortunate beacon for human religion. May His touch continue to bless in Gwinnett and in Douglas county too.

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  6. First of all I want to thanks God for bringing us back on time. Very grateful to be home and see it happening again. God is an amazing God, never seize to surprises us and bring us to the next level. Thanks Jeff and Dustin for listening to God’s voice and not linger or hesitate. I can feel it, is big, bigger than any of us can imagine. Thanks again!!!

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