A year or two ago I joined the Arbor Foundation and received 10 “trees” as a bonus for joining and donating about $10 I think. I planted the “trees” (2′ sticks really) into small clay pots and then buried them in our front flower bed. Most of them grew well in the environment we had created for them. Although they did not bloom as a mature tree, the growth was encouraging to watch. I just put these trees into a more permanent spot in our yard and hope this year will be a good year for their growth.


  • Current environment (clay pots) were not beneficial to the tree’s long-term growth.
  • Moving the trees to another environment will help them mature.
  • The trees will be able to provide beauty to a larger area than just a small flower bed.
  • As they mature, the trees will produce seeds that will grow more trees!!

At The Bridge, we are about to move into a season of growth, both in our physical environment and in our spiritual environment. Our physical surroundings are changing daily with God’s creation coming to life. In our spiritual environment we are sensing a change as well.

I have been meeting with some great guys the past two weeks to discuss our Small Groups. Mainly,  how we can continue to meet the needs of our local body we call The Bridge and create the right environment for each person’s growth. Not unlike some of the trees, we have some groups that are “root bound” and need to be replanted so they can continue to grow and bloom.


  • As groups multiply your connections increase.
  • Fostering an open environment for guests at The Bridge within each group.
  • Fresh perspectives on Bible discussions.
  • Practicing the beginning of a Missional Lifestyle – calling over comfort.

We will have some exciting news about new groups starting very soon. This will allow everyone the opportunity to be a part of a community of grace and an environment that will help the spiritual grow and bloom. If you are not a part of a small group, let me know. It is our desire to see everyone in a group to grow Theologically, Relationally, and Missionally.

Scott Shoopman
Small Groups Pastor

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