Cornerstones of Faith: Crossbridge Church in Brickell is all about community

Crossbridge Church is a relative newcomer to the Brickell area and the spiritual landscape. Their tagline of “incarnating the Gospel in the city,” intrigued us. And their website made us want to learn more: “Our goal is to make Miami a great city….we believe that no particular church will accomplish this task. Only a movement will.” We asked Connection Pastor Sam Miranda to tell us about the focus of Crossbridge’s ministry. He has served in full-time ministry since 2001 and his current focus is on community life. He joined the staff of Crossbridge in 2009 to oversee the growing number of groups and the connecting ministries of the church. Miranda assists Lead Pastor Felipe Assis and Creative Pastor Marcus Assis who head up the church in Miami.

Q: Give us some background on the church. When was it founded?

A: Crossbridge Church was established in the fall of 2008 in response to the needs of an existing congregation named Immanuel Presbyterian that was waning in attendance and growth. Members from Immanuel were experiencing some difficulty during the last decade and were faced with some hard decisions, one of which was to sell their property and land in Pinecrest. In a final attempt to save the property, they reached out to a global church planting network called Redeemer City to City based out of New York. Redeemer then sent down some folks to evaluate the situation and report on the best way to move forward. Through much discovery and prayer the consensus was to transition the church in terms of focus, vision, pastor & church name from Immanuel to Crossbridge.

Q: Is this a national church? Is the Miami church one of many?

A: Crossbridge is part of the Presbyterian Church of America which was first known nationally in 1973. There are many PCA churches across the country with a combined communicant membership of over 40,000. Here in Miami we have about 20 or so churches involved in the South Florida Presbytery, which is an administrative body representing the local congregations of a district.

Q: Why did you decide to begin Crossbridge in Miami?

A: Here at Crossbridge we believe that the city of Miami isn’t primarily a vacation destination but a picture of what the future of this country will look like. It is a city with a melting pot of cultural flavors and a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. If Crossbridge can in any way influence this city with the gospel of Christ, it will serve as a model for other churches to learn how to navigate through cultural terrain.

Q: Where and when are your services held?

A: We have two Sunday morning services at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. in Pinecrest at 6605 SW 88 St. and one evening service at 6 p.m. in Brickell. The Brickell site was launched on Easter of 2010 and is growing steadily. We are located at 1770 Brickell Avenue inside of Immanuel Lutheran Church.

Q: What do you want to tell the readers of our newsletter about Crossbridge? Why should they attend?

A: Here at Crossbridge we want the community to know that we are not about the church in and of itself, but about the city of Miami. Most churches seek to resemble their place of residence while losing their spiritual identity, or disengage and remove themselves entirely from their place of residence to preserve their spiritual identity. Crossbridge strikes a balance by looking after the welfare of our city and bringing it joy by living out lives of love and service. To show in words and deeds that we want to serve our neighborhoods so that people around us will see our spirit and our motive while at the same time preserving our spiritual identity and distinctiveness. At Crossbridge we want the individual to know that what we’re seeking is to allow God’s story of grace through Christ to become our story and shape our lives. Sometimes that will come in the form of an offer and sometimes that will come in the form of a challenge but one thing is certain; grace changes everything. So if you’re seeking real life transformation, not just entertainment, then Crossbridge is the place for you.

Q: What are the services like?

A: At Crossbridge we understand that visiting a church for the first time can often be intimidating. We want people to experience great contemporary worship that is focused on Christ, transformational messages and a dynamic atmosphere. We encourage you to come as you are whether that’s a three piece suit or cargo shorts and a pair of flip flops. We have an excellent children’s ministry at both services in Pinecrest as well as at our Brickell service, providing a safe, fun and caring learning environment.

Q: You seem to be very involved in the community and there is a lot going on at Crossbridge. Tell us a little about your programs.

A: Crossbridge is not a program-driven church rather it is a community-driven church. What that means is that our desire to be authentic with our relationships in our jobs, schools, homes, etc… is where the gospel is fully experienced and showcased for those who do not understand it. In light of the value that we place on community, the main thing we highlight is our small groups that are spread throughout the city. People meet in homes and are challenged to serve each other collectively as well as our city through various non-profit organization partnerships. The small group is our unit of transformation.

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