MY JOURNEY STORY
I grew up going to church, but I always felt like an outsider. Our church functioned more as a social gathering. My wardrobe was less than lack-luster, and I never fit in. I came to Journey for the first time last year. It was amazing. It was an open forum of smiles and warmth and general caring. No one looked at us as “THE NEW PEOPLE” or assessed our clothing. We weren’t in a fish bowl of criticism.
The message was REAL. It made you ACTIVELY think about your own life and your own person. It was a concise, to the core, thought-provoking message. It was a breath of fresh air and a chance to really pursue God away from the social pressures of life: “what is she wearing” “she isn’t on time” “she isn’t a very good singer” “she doesn’t know the books of the Bible in order.”
I feel like at Journey you can actually praise and worship. Sing your heart out for God, even if you’re tone-deaf. Journey to me has been my chance to truly pursue and know God. We talk a lot more, and He shows me a lot more, when I’m alone, in Bible study, or on Sunday mornings.
Another huge part of Journey for me was how easily you can get plugged into a group, an activity, a service, and really start your own journey. And the people that you meet are tremendous. They always are quick with a smile and a word of encouragement inside OR OUTSIDE the church building.
The sense of community and caring Journey provides are amazing and such a building block in being a Christ follower. Honestly, the best way to describe my thoughts and experiences with this church is by just saying: “It makes my heart smile and my soul glow.”
MY JOURNEY STORY
To me, Journey Church is a place where I can celebrate, worship, and express my love and gratitude to Jesus Christ. Journey provides a casual, comfortable atmosphere where I don’t have to worry about the dogma you sometimes get at other churches. For me, I feel Journey accepts me the way I am, and it allows me to relax and focus on Christ and his gift of salvation.
I attended a church but never made a connection with it or the people. I felt lost. I knew I didn’t want to go to an old school church like the one I grew up in. Those churches are fine, but I feel as if I can’t relate to the music (old hymns written in a style of English I can’t understand . . . I mean, honestly, it took me years to decipher what “bringing in the sheaves” meant) and often the atmosphere is stiff.
I like the fact that at Journey I can wear jeans and no one thinks I’m disrespecting God as a result. I am free to be myself and lay myself bare before my Lord without judgment from my fellow church goers. The end result of this comfortable atmosphere is that I now feel relaxed enough to actively pursue a relationship with God.
For the first time in my life I am earnestly excited every Sunday to get up and go to church. In fact, I actually find myself wishing Sunday would hurry so I can go to church. I have NEVER felt that way before. In the past I went to church because I knew it was the right thing or because I felt obligated. But honestly, most of the time I came home feeling as empty as I did before I went. For whatever reason I just couldn’t allow the Holy Spirit to enter into my heart. Journey has changed that.
As a result, my relationship with God has grown tremendously, and I can honestly say that I feel God’s love surrounding me in a way I never felt before. I’ve never been closer to the Lord than I am now. In fact, I now wake up with songs (the ones we sing at Journey) in my head!
I’ve grown closer to my friends, my family, and I’ve grown more confident in my faith, and that has allowed me to witness and share the love of Jesus and what He has done for me in my life with non-believing friends and loved ones.
I am more patient, kinder, and more loving. The messages I hear each week at Journey have real life applications. Instead of hearing messages of hellfire and brimstone, I’m hearing how God wants to love me and how I should love others as well. I’m learning how to be more Christ-like.
MY JOURNEY STORY
We started coming to Journey Church when our lives were in complete turmoil. We were going through the most difficult time in our marriage. We had left our previous church abruptly. I knew without question that the most crucial characteristic of my church-to-be would be a place filled with a gracious spirit. I was looking for a church that welcomed believers and non-believers alike and embraced differences among us.
I wanted a church where dialogue about areas of dissenting opinions could be discussed and debated lovingly while recognizing that we have the ultimate commonality in our Savior. I wanted a church that prioritized outreach to those struggling with their faith and their lives. My husband wanted a church that had awesome music and a strong mission for Christ. Thankfully, God pointed us to Journey immediately, and we didn't have to look any further to find the church that was right for us.
I didn't grow up in a church, and I didn't really start exploring my relationship with Christ until I was an adult. Unfortunately, many of my first encounters with Christians were ones filled with judgment, condemnation, and self-righteousness. I knew that this wasn't what God intended for us to be in the world. At a time when I was questioning whether or not a different kind of church was out there, we found Journey. Journey Church has reaffirmed for me that there is a place where God is present and working and where his followers are striving to become the body that He has described in Scripture.
It feels amazing to leave church every Sunday with an uplifted spirit and the motivation to improve ourselves and our world. Journey absolutely oozes positivity and everyone that I have gotten to know has been nothing short of warm and loving. Journey is a place where people are genuinely excited to be there and eager to serve the world for Christ. Journey sets a high standard for Christians but in a way that is free from guilt and full of hope.
Journey has provided so many opportunities for growth and has been the backdrop to many positive changes in our lives. We have experienced a deepening of our faith over the past couple of years, and Journey Church has been a large part of that. One of the best experiences that we have had at Journey is our home group. It is through this group that we have developed close friendships and a stronger sense of God’s desires for our lives. We challenge each other, encourage each other, and love each other, unconditionally . . . because that’s what Christ has done for us.
This church truly is a community where we are all learning and working together to make Journey Church a beautiful reflection of Christ in our world. I feel completely fortunate and thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful place.