“Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!” (Psalm 34.3)
I am so grateful to the Lord for what He is doing at Journey Church! Seventeen months ago, at His leading, we launched the Journey Vision. As you recall, the goal of Journey Vision is to help us do better what God has called us to do. The Lord has called us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). From these, and other verses, we get our mission statement: forming followers of Jesus who impact their world.
Under Journey Vision, we want to fulfill this God-given mission with greater intentionality and effectiveness. We are on a journey with Jesus and want to invite others to come along! We want lost people to be saved, and saved people to mature in Christ.
Journey Vision helps us do this by focusing our efforts in four areas: worship, outreach, caring, and equipping. I want to share with you what God is doing in these areas so you can “magnify the Lord with me!”
God is at work in our Worship Journey. I am so grateful for the staff and the many volunteers who work together to provide God-honoring services of worship each Sunday. Members of the Creative Worship Team, the Music Team, the Audi-Visual Team, and the staff … and other volunteers! … each play a part in planning, supporting, and leading our worship services. We are seeing one of our Worship Journey goals being reached: an increasing number of people participating in the worship ministry of Journey Church!
God is at work in our Outreach Journey. The goal of our Outreach Journey is to use outreach events and existing church ministries to equip and motivate everyone at Journey Church to tell others in their own personal lives the saving message of Jesus. This is the most effective means of reaching people with the gospel of Jesus Christ: through personal, one-on-one connections.
Our big outreach initiative for the beginning of 2020 is designed to mobilize all of us, children through adults, to reach out, one-on-one, to people in our lives to invite them to The Passion Experience. The Passion Experience is our interactive Good Friday event. Each year we continue to develop this event. A new feature this year is a very clear presentation of the good news of salvation. All who come will hear the gospel.
Our assignment for March, after praying for our “invitee,” is to invite him/her to come on April 10. I have a twofold confession to make: I invited two people (not just one) and I already made those invitations in February (I didn’t wait until March). 😊
God is at work in our Caring Journey. Our goal in the Caring Journey is to truly care for one another as brothers and sisters as we journey together with Jesus. There are several ministries at Journey Church through which genuine care is given to those with particular need. However, the primary way in which we want caring to take place in the Body of Christ is through our Life Groups. If you consider Journey Church your home church, you need to be in a Life Group.
Early in the implementation of our Life Groups, we envisioned the expansion of Life Groups from our Sunday morning 9:00 meetings to gatherings during the week in homes. And God, working through people here at Journey, has brought this about! We now have Life Groups meeting each weekday evening except Fridays. The ministry of genuine care is spreading!
God is at work in our Equipping Journey. Our desire in our Equipping Journey is to help one another take the next step in our journey with Jesus. Equipping takes place in many ways at Journey: Life Groups, children’s Sunday School, youth group, worship services. Pastor John has also provided specific evangelism training in several venues. Pastor John and I also continue with Bible Exposition Training.
What especially excites me with our Equipping Journey, however, is the realization of one of our primary goals for this focal point of the Journey Vision: equipping men for leadership. We began Gear Up! in January for this purpose. It is an opportunity for all men, high school age and older, to be strengthened to lead where God has placed them. The first meeting of Gear Up! was so encouraging: 23 men attended, there were men in every age decade from teens through 70s, there was great interaction, and at the end of the evening men asked if they could invite other men to come next time! Yes, of course!
Well, at our second meeting (February 26), 27 men attended, we expanded the age range in the 80s decade, we had 9 new men attend, and there were three men from outside the Journey Church family! We again enjoyed food, fun, and real fellowship!
Let me add a few other evidences of God’s hand at work at Journey: Pie & Trivia Night in January was an evening of great fun for the whole family; the Student Football Party on February 5 was fabulous! … a well-organized and well-run evening that included students and adults (parents, youth ministry volunteers, and party-crashers [Sue Ann and me!]). There was food, fun, and lots of interaction, even between adults and students. Another note of praise is that several men recently shared with me the practical impact God’s Word through my sermons has had in their lives. That’s God’s hand at work!
Oh, and one last thing: God generously provided for Journey Church’s finances in 2019! We ended the year with $16,500 more in income than in expenses! Praise God!
So, you can see why I am grateful to the Lord for what He is doing at Journey Church! “Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!”