September 4, 2018
In the last eleven years Journey Church has had 20 persons serve as pastoral interns, worship interns, youth interns, children’s interns. Where in the world are they? Literally, they have been around the world. They have served as missionaries in other countries, have led one of the largest university Christian campus ministries in Virginia, worked in the administration of Christian colleges, ministered on church staffs and the staff of a Rescue Mission, served on Christian youth camp staffs, started their own businesses (and almost half of them are still in college.)
Why does Journey pour into young leaders? As our strategic plan says: “We prioritize leadership development as crucial to the effective accomplishment of Christ’s mission to which we have committed our lives. We celebrate that God has gifted and called every person on this planet to make a positive difference in our world. We affirm all people have leadership abilities.”
Journey is expanding our church’s partnership with the Roanoke Rescue Mission to work cooperatively to enable people to become the leaders God created them to be. We are starting a new initiative called “Unleash Leadership”. On the fourth Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. people in our community are invited to come to the Rescue Mission where we will watch a video presentation by a world-class leader and then get into small groups and discuss how we may develop our own leadership abilities.
Whatever your age, would you be interested in coming to a gathering of Unleash Leadership? If so, email me here. I hope you’ll want to be a part of this effort to equip and unleash servant leaders!
September 11, 2018
God is absolutely at work among us! Last Friday, Celebrate Recovery launched with thirty-five participants. What a blessing to hear feedback from people about how God’s Spirit is already transforming their lives through CR. Then on Sunday, we launched the much-anticipated series called “Life’s Healing Choices.” This series will run through October 28. Also, many of our Journey Groups are resuming after summer breaks. I get the sense that God is giving our church a push of momentum! Now is certainly an opportune time not only to get involved but also to invite others to experience CR, our weekly worship, and Journey Groups.
The recent surge of momentum has reminded me recently of the biblical truth that discipleship is not just an event or a program. Discipleship, simply put, is the daily action of following and becoming like Jesus. Being a disciple is essentially being a student of Jesus and walking as Jesus walked. So, discipleship is not something you do. Discipleship is a pathway, or journey. Notice how many times in the Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) that Jesus says, “Come, follow me.” This is God’s invitation to the discipleship journey.
Consider then that the momentum in our church is another one of God’s wonderful ways of calling us to the great journey of being a student of Jesus. Are you up for the adventure of your life? Let’s follow God on the journey!
September 25, 2018
Recently several persons have asked me questions about church membership. Why would anyone want to be a church member anyway? The essential answer is—it’s God’s will for all people who belong to Christ. It’s really that simple.
Romans 12:5 says: “So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.” (NRSV) So, if indeed we are in Christ, we are members of His body, the church. That’s pretty straightforward.
Ephesians 2:19 says: “And so you are no longer called outcasts and wanderers but citizens with God’s people, members of God’s holy family, and residents of His household. (VOICE) If you are one of God’s people, you are a member of God’s holy family, the church. Again, pretty clear.
Bottom line—being a church member identifies you as a genuine follower of Christ.
Well, what if you think of yourself as a Christ-follower, but the fact that it’s God’s will that all believers in Jesus be church members isn’t enough for you? Your thinking is—what do you get out of the deal? Well, if you care about Journey Church, and you want to have a say in key decisions of the church, then you would want to be a member because only members get a vote on those things.
Suppose you think that becoming a member is too much like signing a formal contract. In Journey’s 101 Class this past Sunday, someone asked if they needed to sign their signature on their membership information form (the answer was “no”). Becoming a church member is not a legal contract; it’s a spiritual covenant. Biblically, a covenant is a commitment, a pledge, a promise to seek daily to live more and more God’s way. No contract could ever control that. It’s a matter of the heart.
Well, what if you don’t feel as if you’re good enough to become a church member? Welcome to the club! None of us is good enough to be a part of the body of Christ. It’s simply God’s gift of grace to us.
If you’d like to take the step of faith and become a member of Journey Church, you may participate in our next 101 Class on either November 3 or 4. What are you waiting for? Become a part of God’s family and Journey’s family!