Journey Christian Church is growing. Our average attendance in January 2009 was 393. Our average attendance for January 2010 was 550. The giving is great too. Our giving is up 25% so far this year (as compared with last year at this time).
We are all so excited about what God is doing here and we can’t wait to see what God’s going to do next.
I was away at the end of last week and during that time I reflected on some of the reasons we are growing. Let me share a few of those with you.
1. The people of Journey have a huge faith in God. These people expect big things from God each week and are willing to take huge steps to follow wherever He is leading.
2. The people of Journey have a loving spirit. They’re not perfect, but their love is consistently extraordinary. I wish I had time to tell you some of the amazing acts of love I’ve witnessed here, but it would take too long.
3. The people of Journey are not afraid of change because they understand that change is just a part of growth. In his book Tribes, Seth Godin makes the following observation: A recent study by the Pew Research Centre for the People and the Press found that about a third of all Americans have left the religion they grew up with. The study mistakenly uses the word faith, but in fact few of these people have lost faith. What they have done instead is change the system they use for re-enforcing that faith. When you fall in love with the system you lose the ability to grow” p.71, Tribes
The people of Journey are not in love with the system; they’re in love with the Savior so they are willing endure a lot of change to be in the center of His will for this church.
4. The people of Journey are not in love with physical possessions. We have a beautiful building that is only a few years old, but we are quickly out-growing it and talking about other options. I’m amazed at the willingness of the people to consider ALL options–including relocating. They are also very generous people who give sacrificially to those in need and to the Lord’s work.
5. The people of Journey love this church and can’t stop talking about it. We have a ton of visitors each week who came because they were invited by someone at Journey who is excited about what God is doing here.
6. The people of Journey love God and love to worship Him…passionately.
7. The people of Journey love God’s Word and expect me to preach it…truthfully.
8. The people of Journey are a joyful bunch of people. We laugh a lot.
9. The people of Journey believe in prayer. I’ve never been associated with a church that prays like this church prays. We just changed our worship service to include prayer as a major component of our worship service.
10. The people of Journey have committed to enjoying the journey, but to not enjoying it alone.
As a staff, we are praying consistently for the following three things:
1) Holiness–A moral failure in our leadership could be used by Satan to hinder God’s work here, so we have established a higher degree of accountability in our leadership team to protect our purity.
2) Humility–We remind ourselves how great God is and how average we are. He must increase and we must always decrease.
3) Unity–(I could have said “Harmony” to keep the alliteration going, but “Unity” is the more accurate word for what we are praying for). We have a great team and we all really like each other and enjoy serving together. We know that we must work to protect our unity and do what we can to nourish it.