• eliminatedistractions

    Eliminate and Create

    These two values direct our weekend preparation.

    If you stick around Journey for any amount of time at all, you will hear us identify two priorities for our weekend gatherings: 1) Eliminate Distractions, and 2) Create Environments. These two values are essential as we plan and execute the weekend environments at Journey. Let’s unpack them briefly:

    1. Eliminate Distractions

    Why are the lights so low? Why is the music so loud? Why can’t my crying baby sit in the service with me?

    These are common questions that we often get asked. We don’t do these things just because we thought they were cool ideas.  They are intentional.

    The lights are low during corporate worship because we do not want people to worry about others around them, who is looking at them, or what so-and-so is wearing. We want people to have undistracted attention on Jesus.

    The music is loud because we want people singing loud, not worrying about whether or not they can carry a tune, and not annoyed by the woman on the third row with the boisterous vibrato, or the elderly man (bless his heart) who can’t hear his own tone-deafness. Now, we do understand that some people have very sensitive ears, so we provide earplugs in the lobby. Also, it may help to know that we do abide by OSHA standards for noise exposure. Feel free to email me if you would like more information on those standards at You can also visit https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/noisehearingconservation.

    The crying baby, well, he certainly IS the cutest thing in the world. BUT chances are he is distracting those around him who are trying to listen to the Word of God being preached. Besides, we have an amazing children’s ministry and amazing volunteers who would love to cuddle that little guy and teach him all about the love of Jesus.

    2. Create Environments

    Our volunteers are our greatest commodity at Journey. Our volunteers are the ones that “get it”–the ones on mission with us to make Jesus famous in our city, nation and world. Our volunteers are really what make the environments what they are–the most life-transforming, memorable environments they can be. From the friendly face in the parking lot, to the high-energy worship leaders and story-tellers in the kids areas, to the raucous beats of our worship team, to the cleaning team that sneaks in and out of the building undetected every week, all of our volunteers help create an environment conducive for a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ. At the end of the day, everything centers around Jesus and making Him famous. If we have done that, then we have succeeded.

    The building itself is nothing to write home about. It’s a warehouse that serves a greater purpose–to make Jesus famous. But it’s the environment created every week by those who have bought into the mission of Journey and the mission of Jesus (to make disciples) that makes it something special. If you’re not on mission with us, consider jumping in on one of our ministry teams at Journey. Check out our ministries page for more information: takeajourney.org/ministries

    Henry Blackaby says, “Find out where God is at work, and join Him there.” Why not consider being a part of what God is doing here at Journey? He’s already at work. Come and join Him.

     

     

  • Winning On The Weekend

    A word to Kids leaders about what it takes to be successful on Sundays at Journey. Many of these ideas can be transferred to all ministry teams who serve on Sundays at Journey.

    This training video is for Journey Kids leaders and is about what it takes to be successful on Sundays at Journey in our Kids Ministry. Many of these lessons and ideas can be transferred to all ministry teams who serve on Sundays at Journey, so we encourage all volunteers and leaders at Journey to watch and be encouraged in how to be successful in your area of service on the weekends.

  • spurgeon-fi

    Spurgeon on Communication

    May we together be challenged by Spurgeon’s clarion call for clarity and cogency.

    Recently a worship leader friend of mine shared with me a thought from Spurgeon regarding the manner in which ministers communicate the truths of the Gospel. Though he wrote so many years ago to a culture much different than ours, Spurgeon’s indictment has remarkable application to the condition of our time. For worship leaders, pastors, and anyone who communicates the Gospel in some form or fashion, may we together be challenged by Spurgeon’s clarion call for clarity and cogency.

      “Brethren, we should cultivate a clear style. When a man does not make me understand what he means, it is because he does not himself know what he means. An average hearer, who is unable to follow the course of thought of the preacher, ought not to worry himself, but to blame the preacher, whose business it is to make the matter plain. If you look down into a well, if it be empty it will appear to be very deep, but if there be water in it you will see its brightness. I believe that many ‘deep’ preachers are simply so because they are like dry wells with nothing whatever in them, except decaying leaves, a few stones, and perhaps a dead cat or two. If there be living water in your preaching it may be very deep, but the light of truth will give clearness to it. It is not enough to be so plain that you can be understood, you must speak so that you cannot be misunderstood.

      We must cultivate a cogent as well as a clear style; our speech must be forceful. Some imagine that this consists in speaking loudly, but I can assure them they are in error. Nonsense does not improve by being bellowed. God does not require us to shout as if we were speaking to ten thousand, when we are only addressing three hundred. Let us be forcible by reason of the excellence of our matter, and the energy of spirit which we throw into the delivery of it. In a word, let our speaking be natural and living.

      I hope we have foresworn the tricks of professional orators, the strain for effect, the studied climax, the pre-arranged pause, the theatric strut, the mouthing of words, and I know not what besides, which you may see in certain pompous divines who still survive upon the face of the earth. May such become extinct animals ere long, and may a living, natural, simple way of talking out the gospel be learned by us all; for I am persuaded that such a style is one which God is likely to bless.”

      -Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students, p. 253.