Church “living life on mission” assembles walls for Legacy Build
CHRISTIANSBURG, Virginia — As The Bridge Senior Pastor Will Fillingham witnessed his congregation come together Sunday in his parking lot with hammers in hand, he thought, “This is what the body of Christ looks like.”
Young and old, men and women, black and white — they were united with hammers in hand ready to build that walls that would be raised the very next day during the Millard Fuller Legacy Build for Katelyn Nester and her four children. That home will be dedicated on Saturday morning.
“There’s no greater joy that I have than to look out at our church and see the diversity,” Fillingham said on Tuesday. “It’s one of our values. We value generational and ethnic diversity. It hasn’t always looked that way, and we’ve been very very purposeful about it. And we grow just as fast with our ‘North of 60’ crowd as we do with our college crowd.”
It is the third time that The Bridge has built walls through Crossroads Missions’ Help Build Hope program, though this project was supposed to happen this past fall and go to a home in Kentucky. Instead, tropical weather delayed that wall build, and now they have the joy of being able to see the home being constructed with the walls this week in Hillsville, just 45 miles away.
“It’s fun seeing this one going just right down the road from us,” he said.
Sunday’s wall build not only drew a diverse crowd but also a large one. The Bridge is thriving and alive, buoyed not only by faith but by its mission to put faith into action as they did in that parking lot. They also promote putting faith into action in everyday life, not just through organized events.
“For quite a few years, we’ve really tried to build a culture that everybody lives on mission — not just in a sense of missionaries or international and global missions but that wherever we are, there Christ is,” Fillingham said. “Living life on mission is not just about the Sunday morning experience and sequestering ourselves in a building but going out into the community taking care of the needs of others and realizing it’s not just about us. We are the hands and feet of Christ extended.
“If people are going to know Christ, they have to know His Church — and they don’t know His Church if lock ourselves in buildings,” he said. “So we do projects like the house build as a catalyst, but we try to get people to do this kind of stuff on their own. It just becomes a way of life. You live life on mission. Whether it’s your neighborhood, your workplace or your classroom, we preach a lot that you are Christ in that environment. What can you do to shape, influence and bring about spiritual change?”