"In a time of ministry transition I found that Dr John Studebaker is one of the few in the church in our generation who understands both the enormous significance of holy calling and the importance of practical, Spirit-led, step by step processes to move from discovering ones calling to truly living it in your personal vision, primary relationships, profession, and in your ministry. Â Time spent with John at Bridge Ministries will enable you to discover, deploy, develop, and delight in your calling in every significant area of your life. In the process you will identify the core truths about you that should guide your critical vocational and personal decisions."Â Pastor Bill Johnson, Ashland Ohio (October 2013)
“Staying at this Bed and Breakfast during a business trip added relaxation to my work week. The setting was very serene and peaceful. The hosts were helpful, encouraging and enjoyed making my stay special. Breakfast was so tasty and it was so nice to be treated so special.” Jeryl Birchmeier (September 2013)
“We had plenty of time to ourselves, but also enjoyed interacting with John and Julie. They were very helpful with getting the most out of our get-a-way. They even let us make a campfire on their private island.” Pastor Phil Carter (June 2013)
“My stay with the Studebakers was as wonderful as I had hoped it would be. They are so personable and caring. I was blessed with time with them as well as time alone to relect and grow in my relationship with God. I strongly recommend staying with these lovely folks. Take time to enjoy sitting on the porch and listen to the birds sing and the bullfrogs croak. I saw many kinds of birds during my stay. I can’t say enough about John, Julie and little JJ. May God bless them in their ministry.” Rhonda Hendricks (May 2013)
These testimonies are from Pastors, educators,Â or ministry leadersÂ who attended a LifeBridge Seminar. All of them can be contacted as references:
June 25, 2007
It is my privilege to pass on to you the joy it has been to work with John Studebaker and Bridge Ministries. I have personally participated in the LifeBridge Video Workshop and our consistory (board) has been going through the Bridge Ministries “ChurchBridge” church assessment process.
The LifeBridge Video Workshop has allowed some of our leaders, within a small group, to assess their past and present life and come up with a personal plan for living out their unique calling. The Workshop is clearly presented and easy to follow. I see the Workshop as a great tool for helping transform small groups into “mission groups.”
In addition, John has been walking us through the “ChurchBridge” process to help us assess our church’s most critical needs for growth and develop a great plan for the future. I’ve read many books and have gone to many seminars on leading congregations, but John is actually helping us through the process. I’m excited about where God is leading us and know that this process is leading us to God preferred future.
I appreciated John’s friendship and leadership. He has remained flexible and willing to step in where I know I am weak while letting me lead where I have strengths. We trust that God will continue to work mightily to fulfill our call as a church to make disciples and bring Jesus to a lost and broken world.
Mike Drew, Senior Pastor
First Reformed Church
October 10, 2007
I would like to recommend to you the ministry of John Studebaker and Bridge Ministries, Michigan.Â John has ministered as a special guest in our church and has conducted the LifeBridge Seminar for our leaders and members.
John’s approach is Biblically based and is very practical in its application.Â I like the subtitle to Bridge Ministries – “Preparing Christians for Real World Impact!”
Through the Life Bridge Seminar, your people will learn that each of us is a bridge builder.Â And each of us build bridges according to our own unique style.Â John’s workshop guides each participant through an assessment of their personal purpose and calling in life.Â He then helps each participant plan how they will fulfill their mission and vision.Â Â John concludes the seminar with practical advice on how each participant can use these methods to regularly re-access their personal strategy.
John’s published articles, “Developing Mission Communities,” and “The Authority of the Holy Spirit,” further defines his passion for the church to be a Spirit-led organism through which God reveals himself to the world.
You will find John to be a pastor’s friend and comrade.Â He will help you equip your people “for the work of the ministry.”
Rev. Dale Boyer
CityLinC Ministries, Battle Creek, Michigan
Dear Church or Christian Organization:
Our church staff of 18 people . . . found the process of writing our personal and corporate purpose and mission statements very helpful in focusing on specific goals and actions steps for this year. The Seminar was biblically-based and professionally executed.
I would recommend the Lifebridge Seminar to any church or organization desiring to serve God more faithfully and efficiently by seeking His purpose and mission, forming a plan and, with God's empowerment, carrying out that plan.
Please fee free to contact me if you have any questions.
Pastor, Horizon Christian Fellowship, Indianapolis
The Seminar enabled me to distill a fresh articulation of both my purpose and my mission statement. It was very effective. As a Pastor it helped me clarify my gifting and purpose to my congregation.
Pastor, Christ's Covenant Church, Utica Michigan
(The Seminar) used a combination of computer technology, video, lecture, and small group discussion to help our students explore their "calling" in life. (John) was able to integrate theology with reasons for developing a purpose and mission statement, and practially guide our students through a process of self-discovery.
James W. Mohler, Ph.D.
Chair, Christian Ministries Dept.; Director, School of Biblical & Religious Studies
Trinity College, Deerfield Illinois
Dear John and Ken,
I'm very glad I attended the "LifeBridge Seminar." It came at a strategic time in my life. I'm changing careers and your seminar crystallized my decision to follow what I believe is God's will for me.
The LifeBridge Seminar forced me to take a hard look at my Purpose, Mission and Vision. When I actually took the time to write these down a new determination came over me. My mission is no longer vague but concrete, and as a result, I no longer have to work so hard at fulfilling my mission, because it continues to carry me forward.
I highly recommend this seminar. For those who don't know what God is calling them to do, this will get the wheels of their mind turning and their hearts praying. It will spur them on.
It's great to know that a great and mighty God will even use little ol' me!
Nancy K. Burns
Equally Yoked Ministries, Dallas
Testimonies from the LifeBridge Cruise (November 2004)
“The seminar was fabulous, surpassed my expectations, and really gave me a way to combine my passions, interests, goals, dreams, gifts, and skills into a doable plan. I will immediatley present this to my church and lead a class as soon as possible” (Michele Sladko, Financial Service administator, Washington)
“A great way to bring focus into your service to God” (Matthew, Claims Adjuster, New Jersey)
“Praise to the Lord for the focus of Bridge Ministries in preparing us for real-world impact” (Tom Voehl, Researcher, Santa Barbara Calif)
“I feel this seminar has been very informative and encouraging and gives me the tools to fulfill my calling” (Sue, Medical Secretary, Illinois)
“Finally, a Bible-based program that walks you through success and significance” (Kim Hackett, Publishing specialist, Flushing NY)
“Inspiring to the mind, refreshing to the soul, great for the spirit” (Pamela Brown, Registered Nurse, Dublin, PA)
“A step by step process to develop a healthy, balanced, yet challenging and faith-stretching system of sensing and focusing and acting on God’s supernatural plan for my life (Tom, Engineer, San Diego)
“The Seminar was very interesting and intiuive. I found that the steps of the plan flowed clearly and easily. The Seminar allowed me to re-evalaute my life and implement changes” (Jennifer Hormell, Laboratoary Scientist, Ashland, NH)
“Combines individual passion to line up with mission/vison statements – real life application” (Shiela Perkins, H.R. Director, Denton TX).
I consider the seminar you did one of the best spiritual experiences I've had. It feels good to have some guidance in my life in the way of my purpose, my mission, and my vision. I am really working on achieving my vision! Thanks to Ken and John. I would and will encourage others to attend.
Kristi Haithcock, Dallas
The most important thing I got out of this Seminar was the development of a mission statement, knowing that now I can judge every decision I make from this day forward against that statement, so that I can be the man God is wanting me to be.
Bob Brand, Detroit
The LifeBridge Seminar was truly a life-changing event. It helped me piece all of my experiences together in a way that I could truly understand. It was also very interactive. John used every possible method to keep us focused and help us get involved.
Lisa Nicholson, Chicago
"Today I was able to look back at my past and as a result I could develop a real vision for myself as a member my family, church, and professionally as well."
Bill Orlowski, Detroit
The seminar impacted not only impacted my summer, but has continued to impact me as I have been married, graduated, and started teaching. Mostly, I think and pray about the mission that God has laid on my heart. Last summer it was to cross the language barrier through the power of the Holy Spirit and share Christ’s love and truth with students in Paris. God totally fulfilled that and glorified Himself!!!! As I returned and finished school/planned a wedding, I kept thinking about how this overall purpose of sharing God’s message through relationships (and possibly relationships with a language barrier) could work now. . . Anyways, yes, the seminar has kept me focused and has always brought me back to my own spiritual gifts, my passions, and helped confirm decisions to me. Thank you for spending that time with us. I think it was crucial.
Jamie Martin, Campus Crusade for Christ student, Indianapolis
The Seminar provides something every Christian needs to think about. A lot of time we just DO without realizing why we're doing it. In the Seminar I was able to synthesize what I'm doing with why I'm doing it. I recommend this for any person.
Laurent Morin, Detroit
“Our group found the Video Workshop applicable to each person's life situation. Personally, it gave me focus for my Christian Journey. I highly recommend this series!"
—Jon Whan, Ph.D., Former Public School Superintendent
“A real light bulb experience.”
"It was amazing that we were able to bring all it all together and actually have a written plan we can pursue."
“It helped me determine the direction I want to take after retirement."
"We were able to develop vision along with a great way to plan and direct ourselves in our pursuit of mission work"
"Very interesting - makes me really think about what I want to accomplish for God."
"I am planning to follow the steps I laid out and to use the re-assessment plan."
"Establishes that we have a beginning, a present, and a destiny orchestrated by God."Â
"The exercises during the past weeks made it easy to write my mission statement."Â
"I will use [the LifeBridge] plan in my daily life to focus on the changes I need to make."
"Writing my mission statement...gave a lot of clarity to my life and reaffirmed other things."