• Keeping the Movement Alive

    October is here, and our excursion through the book of Acts is in full swing. As Pastor Jimmy makes his way through the major themes of the book, central to all of them is the idea that the Holy Spirit empowers disciples to be His witnesses. Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Most Bible scholars view Acts 1:8 as the key verse that unlocks the entire book of Acts. Jesus left us with his final commission and marching orders in Matthew 28:18–20. And He left us with a final promise here in Acts 1:8–that the Holy Spirit would empower us to continue the work Jesus began. In a very real sense, the book of Acts (and continuing right up through the age of the church that we currently live in) is all about continuing the movement Jesus began.

    This past weekend, Pastor Jimmy explained two primary ways disciples stunt the growth of the Jesus movement: 1) When we overcomplicate the system. This happens, for example, when we inadvertently teach people that they need eight years of seminary to lead someone to Jesus; and 2) When we devalue discipleship. If we are going to keep the movement alive, we must recover discipleship as the engine that drives everything we do as a church. It all hinges on discipleship.

    In light of the above themes, our worship team has worked hard to lead congregational songs that highlight these themes and provide continuity and consistency for our church body.

    Here are some of the setlists and songs that explore the themes of Holy Spirit empowerment, missional living, evangelism, and Jesus Christ as Lord, King, Savior, and God.

    1. Our Confession – Our Confession is a new Journey original song we hope to release in the near future. It explores the confessional nature of our faith–that salvation is found in Christ alone, that Christ died, was buried, and rose again, that He is our High Priest who ever lives to intercede for us, etc. The chorus says, “So we proclaim your name alone, Jesus the Savior of the world. The one crucified and raised to life, our hearts adore You.” Email me at if you’d like a copy of the demo.
    2. Send Me Out – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/send-me-out/id333329500?i=333330904 This is an older Steve Fee song that highlights the missional sending nature of God. It is a call to action for the church…and it’s really fun to sing! 🙂
    3. Salvation’s Tide – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/salvations-tide-feat-kristian-stanfill/id1067150683?i=1067151010 – This song is a powerful anthem that marries two important themes: the diversity of the body of Christ (and how that should actually drive us toward great levels of Christian unity and mission), and God’s desire to have worshipers from every nation, tribe, and tongue. Given the cultural climate of America right now, your church should be singing this!
    4. Love So Great – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/love-so-great-live/id1155329167?i=1155329234 This song is a super-singable, vertical expression of praise and adoration to the “Lord Almighty [who] outshines all the stars in glory.” It is a simple, yet powerful anthem.
    5. Glorious Day – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/glorious-day-feat-kristian-stanfill-live/id1206165615?i=1206165822 Glorious Day is one of those instant anthems for Journey Church. From the first chorus, I could hear people singing. It is horizontal in nature (expressing what God has done for me in testimonial style), yet has a unique vertical feature as well, addressing God as the one who has done this amazing work of raising the dead to life. It’s also super fun to sing! 🙂
    6. God With Us – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/god-with-us-feat-bryan-torwalt-live/id1067169182?i=1067169418 Another fantastic tune from Bryan and Katie Torwalt, God With Us expresses beautifully and artistically the truth that God came in human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. He is Immanuel. He is the one who feels every pain we feel, cries with us in our sorrow, laughs with us in our joy, and carries us when we can’t walk.

    Download all of these songs, put them in your playlist, and get in God’s presence. If you would like a demo of Our Confession, email me at and I’ll be happy to pass it along.

  • Speaking Truth When We Can’t Find It

    “I was really tired,” said Joel Houston, as he was asked what his inspiration was behind writing the song Behold for Hillsong United. He was recuperating from a massive tour, and he just got off an unbearably long plane ride from Los Angeles to Sydney just only to drive to a Hillsong staff conference, so writing a song was the last thing on his mind; however, when he got into his car to drive to the conference, he proceeded to drive two hours past his destination until he ended up in the middle of nowhere. Why? Because he was recording melodies on his phone instead of paying attention to the GPS, and that’s how Behold was written! Here is the link to the full interview from Worship Together: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dCpZ4UM_rw

    I think it’s safe to assume that we are tired 99.99% of our adult life. It’s not just a state of being, it is who we are as grownups, and as a result we end up reacting out of the flesh instead of the Spirit because of our exhaustion to the things of this world. We are restless for a living substance — something that will satisfy us and give us rest for our soul, and we are prone to wander to empty wells that will never give us lasting peace. This past Sunday at Journey Church, we hit on the topic of having self-control, and our Discipleship Pastor, Tyler Carroll preached the message. This is a subject that is hard to listen to since we all lack self-control in some areas of our lives, thereby requiring us to be honest with ourselves about our sinful habits. When we walk in the Spirit, obeying the Word of the Lord in everything we say and do, we will be successful in overcoming our struggles, but when we flirt with the line between what is good and what is evil, we are bound to fail.

    As a worship team, we endeavored to convey this spiritual battle for self-control through the songs we sang, and Behold was an obvious choice. In verse three, it sings “Behold I have a friend, the Spirit breathing holy fire within…my ever-present help speaking truth when I can’t find it.” When we are fatigued and weighed down by our struggles, we are powerless to seek out truth since we are so preoccupied by our own wicked thoughts. That is why it is so imperative to pray without ceasing, and to trust in the voice of the Spirit to light up our broken hearts and give us the way of escape so that we don’t fall into temptation.

    Here is the set list we compiled for the weekend:

    Never Gonna Stop Singing (E) – Jesus Culture

    Send Me Out (B) – Fee

    Behold (B) – Hillsong United

    Lead Me to the Cross (D) – Hillsong United

    What a Beautiful Name (D) – Hillsong Worship

  • Managing Time

    With time management being the central theme of the message that was preached by Pastor Paul, we as a congregation had to ask ourselves the overlapping question: how can we manage our time in such a way that honors God and places Christ at the forefront of all of our thoughts and actions within our daily lives? Time is one of the things that makes this life so precious. We only have one shot at this life. There are no do-overs or reincarnations. Time is a gift that comes straight from God, and we must therefore be good stewards of the time that God gives us, making the most of every moment in order to bring God glory and point people to the saving work of Christ through the way we conduct our lives.

    As a worship team unit, we wanted to convey how we are to worship God with everything, including our time management. In whatever way we choose to use our time, we are to run after God, pursuing His will and His vision for our lives to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to Him. Because of His goodness and His love, we are also to rejoice always and sing His praises, for our God is eternal, transcending both time and space. Ultimately, we are to surrender our time to the Lord because our time is one of the many “crowns” we ought to lay at the feet of Jesus, knowing that He alone is our satisfaction and the object of our adoration.

     

    Running (Hillsong)

    Never Gonna Stop Singing (Jesus Culture)

    Can’t Stop Your Love (Ben Cantelon & Worship Central)

    Crowns (Hillsong)

  • April – May Worship Gatherings and Song Sets

    Check out what we’ve been singing and studying at our Sunday gatherings.

    Throughout the months of April and May we have been studying the parables of Jesus, making our aim to live out the stories of Jesus in ways that propel us to deeper levels of obedience and mission. Additionally, we have challenged one another to live the B.L.E.S.S. life. B.L.E.S.S. stands for Begin in Prayer, Listen, Eat, Serve, and Share. The acronym provides a simple, measurable, and reproducible model for living intentional lives on Jesus’ mission. Who have you been blessing?

    Musically, we introduced three new worship songs: Break Every Chain by Will Reagan and United Pursuit, Jesus We Love You by Bethel Church, and Even So Come by Chris Tomlin and Passion. All three tunes make great corporate anthems for declaring the all-powerful saving nature of Jesus, man’s desperate need for a Savior, and the reality of the soon-coming King.

    April 3

    1. Hands Toward Heaven (NorthPoint Live)
    2. Our God is Love (Hillsong)
    3. Glorious Ruins (Hillsong)
    4. Break Every Chain (Will Reagan – Jesus Culture version)

    April 10

    1. 7 Years  (Lukas Graham – pre-service countdown – NOTE: We didn’t play the whole tune. Lukas’ story-telling approach to the song provided a thematic connection to the parable series “Tell Me A Story.”  However, the lyrical content of the original needed some adjustments and we actually ended up only playing about 2 minutes of the song).
    2. Relentless  (Hillsong)
    3. Do What You Want To  (Vertical Church Band)
    4. Spirit Come  (Journey Church)
    5. Break Every Chain  (Jesus Culture version)

    April 17

    1. Across the Earth (Hillsong)
    2. Glory to God Forever (Steve Fee)
    3. The Lost Are Found (Hillsong)
    4. Voice of Hope (Journey Church)

    April 24

    1. Relentless (Hillsong)
    2. Open Up the Heavens (Vertical Church Band)
    3. No Longer Slaves (Bethel Church)
    4. Jesus We Love You (Bethel Church)

    May 1

    1. Control (MuteMath – pre-service countdown – NOTE: Control is a great tune that can be used as a call to worship. The song echoes several phrases that could be interpreted as prayers. “Take control of the atmosphere,” and “It’s such a beautiful surrender.”
    2. All Our Love (Journey Church)
    3. No One Higher/The Stand (NorthPoint Live)
    4. Good Good Father (Kirby Kaple version)
    5. Jesus We Love You (Bethel Church)

    May 8

    1. Do What You Want To (Vertical Church Band)
    2. You Have Won Me (Bethel Church)
    3. Holy Spirit (Brian and Katie Torwalt, Jesus Culture version)
    4. For the Sake of the World (Bethel Church)

    May 15

    1. You Are Loved (Stars Go Dim – preservice and post service)
    2. Alive (Hillsong Young & Free)
    3. Open Up the Heavens (Vertical Church Band)
    4. Do You Know Jesus (Cindy Morgan and Jonathan Kingham)
    5. Break Every Chain (Jesus Culture version)
    6. Jesus We Love You (Bethel Church)

    May 22

    1. Brand New (Journey Church)
    2. Holy (Matt Redman)
    3. Lamb of God (Vertical Church Band)
    4. Jesus Son of God (Chris Tomlin)
    5. What a Savior (Hillsong)

    May 29

    1. Midnight City (M83 – preservice instrumental tune – NOTE: M83 wrote and popularized the song. It has been used on many television shows and advertisements and thus served to capture the attention of many who would likely recognize it. We played 2 minutes of it as an instrumental with the text of Psalm 47 and Psalm 34 scrolling on the screen. Then we rolled right into Found in You)
    2. Found in You (Vertical Church Band)
    3. Our God (Chris Tomlin)
    4. Soon (Hillsong)
    5. Even So Come (Passion, Chris Tomlin)

     

     

  • February – March Worship Gatherings and Song Sets

    Check out what we’ve been singing and learning at our weekend gatherings.

    Over the past eight weeks we dove deep into the Sermon on the Mount and made some key discoveries. Discoveries like…1) The judgment of self-righteous Christians has never led anyone to repentance; 2) Generosity controls anxiety and discontentment; 3) God loves our audacious prayers of faith; 4) The call to follow Jesus involves inviting others into a relationship with Him–being a disciple is synonymous with helping others become disciples.

    We introduced several new great worship songs, including No Longer Slaves by Bethel Music, Make a Way by Desperation Band, Lamb of God by Vertical Church Band, Do What You Want To by Vertical Church Band, He is Jesus by North Point, and My Victory by David Crowder and Passion.

     

    Feb 7

    Found in You – Vertical Church Band

    Holding Nothing Back – Tim Hughes/Jesus Culture version

    What a Savior – Hillsong

    No Longer Slaves – Jonathan and Melissa Helser/Bethel Music

    Good Good Father – Pat Barrett/Housefires

     

    Feb 14

    Open Up the Heavens – Vertical Church Band

    Celebrate the Day – Journey Church

    You Are Faithful – Village Church

    No Longer Slaves – Jonathan and Melissa Helser/Bethel Music

     

    Feb 21

    Closer – Hillsong

    This Is Amazing Grace – Phil Wickham/Jeremy Riddle

    Broken Vessels – Hillsong

    For the Sake of the World – Bethel Music

    O Praise the Name (Anastasis) – Hillsong

     

    Feb 28

    Hands Toward Heaven – North Point

    Amazing God – Brenton Brown

    With Everything – Hillsong

    Make a Way – Desperation Band

     

    March 6 – Guest band Exodus

    This is Amazing Grace – Riddle/Wickham

    Open Up the Heavens – Vertical Church Band (VCB)

    Lamb of God – VCB

    Cornerstone – Hillsong

     

    March 13

    You – Hillsong

    Do What You Want To – VCB

    Make A Way – Desperation Band

    I Surrender – Hillsong

     

    March 20

    Rule – Hillsong

    One Thing Remains – Jesus Culture

    Lamb of God – VCB

    What a Savior – Hillsong

     

    March 25 – Good Friday Gathering

    Video Opener – “What’s So Good About Good Friday?” Courtesy of Passion Resources

    This is Amazing Grace – Jeremy Riddle/Bethel version

    God Who Saves – Hillsong

    Thank You Jesus – Hillsong

    Man of Sorrows – Hillsong

    Calvary – Hillsong

    Mighty to Save – Hillsong

    Praise Him – Hillsong

     

    March 27 – Easter

    Video/Music Opener – The Hanging Tree – from the Hunger Games movie and soundtrack (many thanks to North Point Ministries for permission to use their original Hanging Tree video element)

    He Is Jesus – North Point

    Alive – Happy Day – You Are Good (Medley – Hillsong, Tim Hughes, and Israel Houghton)

    My Victory – David Crowder/Passion (with testimony by Monte Perron – check out more of Monte’s story by downloading his free e-book Ending the Cycle of Abuse on amazon.)

    O Praise the Name (Anastasis) – Hillsong

    Forever (We Sing Hallelujah) – Kari Jobe

     

     

  • Authentically Loving Non-Christians

    Matt Ferrell reminds us of the importance of cultivating genuine friendships with lost people and loving them where they are.

    At one of our recent Thursday night band rehearsals, Matt Ferrell shared with the team a simple opportunity he recently had to reconnect with a former co-worker from the Wilmington area. By simply being available to his friend over the years to listen to his concerns and questions and by displaying genuine love, Matt earned the right to share Jesus with his friend. Let’s turn now and hear in Matt’s own words the way he displayed genuine Christ-like love to his lost friend.

    1934943_10203669863226380_5513056382461084796_n

    12390930_10203669863306382_5632349428653110254_n Matt and Jaclyn are expecting their first baby in July.

    Jesus commands us to love one another. Not only are we to love fellow Christians but we are also to love unbelievers. But what exactly does this mean? I believe that the answer to that question can be found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 where we find what is perhaps the greatest definition of love given in scripture. It tells us that, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” Showing others the type of love listed in this passage will go a very long way in reaching this lost and broken world.

    Several years ago I worked for a small startup company in Wilmington, NC. While I was there I had the opportunity to work with many unbelievers. Some were self proclaimed atheists and others were agnostic. My workplace quickly became my mission field, however, you wouldn’t find me standing on my desk preaching to my co-workers! Nothing wrong with it if that’s your style but I took a different approach. My game plan was to love these people like 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Eventually, the way I talked, treated others, listened, etc. caught the attention of a couple of my co-workers which opened up some great conversations about our personal lives and eventfully we were able to develop more personal relationships outside of work. Eventually I became close enough with one particular co-worker and earned the right to share my story with him. I was able to share the gospel to an unbeliever who may have never been open to it or given me the time of day had I not demonstrated that I truly cared about him. He attended church with me and often had questions but always hesitated to that step of surrendering his life to Christ. As time went by I continued to pray for him and continued to be Jesus to him in any way that I could.

    After a year and some change I moved to Raleigh after accepting a new job. This co-worker and I stayed in touch closely at first but as time passed our conversations started getting further and further apart. God continued to put him on my heart and I prayed for him often. Recently he called just to chat. It was the first time we had spoken in about 4-5 months. He expressed that he wanted to come see me and that he would even come to church with me if he stayed a Saturday night. He also shared some personal things he was going through in his life and allowed me to comfort him and give some advice. I don’t think it was until recently that I realized the impact I had on him during the year and a half we worked together. I realized that the love I showed him really payed off! It earned me some real credibility with my lost friend.

    As far as I know he hasn’t given his life to Christ yet. He is a seeker. I know that Christ is still working on him and I am ready to be that vessel Christ uses in his life. I just have to continue loving him and praying that God will remove the blinders from his eyes so that he can see the love that Jesus has for him!

    This experience has shown me that loving one another goes a very long way and that we must practice patience while God works in the lives of those that we love.

    11012472_10152931563005753_8527041941643257606_n
  • January Worship Gatherings

    Find out what our weekend gatherings have looked like throughout the month of January.

    We launched into our January series “Sermon on the Mount” with great anticipation. Our teaching pastors have been plowing important biblical ground through chapters 5-7 of Matthew’s Gospel, highlighting important points such as:

    • What Jesus taught stands in direct opposition to the great American dream.
    • If you want to be one of Jesus’ disciples, you have to love the unloveable.
    • There is a direct correlation between Proximity and Probability. The closer you are with Him, the greater the probability of knowing His heart and praying His will.
    • “Your view of God is the most important thing about you.” A. W. Tozer

    In addition to the weekend gathering, the discipleship team has been leading a series of workshops on Wednesday nights casting the vision for missional communities (MCs) at Journey. Missional communities are “families of missionary servants sent by Jesus to make disciples who make disciples.” These pockets of missionary families possess enormous potential for reaching our city with the gospel. To learn more about MCs, go to takeajourney.org/mc

    Here’s a list of the worship songs sung at our gatherings throughout January.

    January 3 – Consecration Weekend (acoustic set)

    1. Brand New (Journey Church)
    2. Alive (Hillsong Young & Free)
    3. How Could I Ask For More? (Cindy Morgan)
    4. Good Good Father (Pat Barrett & Housefires)
    5. Do You Know Jesus? (Cindy Morgan and Jonathan Kingham)
    6. Grace (Jonathan Kingham) Communion song
    7. Broken Vessels (Hillsong)
    8. Here’s My Heart (Passion/David Crowder)
    9. This is Amazing Grace (Phil Wickham)

    January 10 – Sermon on the Mount series begins

    1. Teenagers and Rituals (Angels & Airwaves) countdown instrumental musicbed
    2. Revival’s Fire (Andy Cherry)
    3. Heaven and Earth (Hillsong)
    4. What a Savior (Hillsong) during baptisms
    5. Calvary (Hillsong) during baptisms
    6. God of the Redeemed (Bethel/Jeremy Riddle) during baptisms

    January 17

    1. Hands Toward Heaven (North Point Live)
    2. You Have Won Me (Bethel)
    3. Anchor (Hillsong)
    4. All My Hope (Hillsong)
    5. Glory to God Forever (Fee)

    January 24 (Snow Day – no gatherings)

    January 31

    1. Hands Toward Heaven (North Point Live)
    2. God is Able (Hillsong)
    3. No One Higher/The Stand (Fee/North Point Live/Hillsong)
    4. Good Good Father (Pat Barrett – Kirby Kaple version)

     

     

  • Consecration Weekend

    The full worship gathering from Consecration Weekend, January 3, 2016

     

    If you missed it, or if you wish you could experience it again, check out the full worship gathering from Consecration Weekend, January 3, 2016. Consecration Weekend is one of the most anticipated weekends of the year at Journey. It’s a time when we come together as a church and collectively ask God to set us apart for His glory and service for the upcoming year. Even though we are already one month into the new year, it’s never too late to take some intentional time to ask God to use you for his honor and glory in this new year. Ask Him to make you ever-conscious of his voice in your life, and that you will be relentlessly responsive to his promptings.

  • The Power of a Praying Worship Team

    Duane shares how important prayer is in the life of a worship team.

    Duane shares with the Journey Worship team about the importance of prayer, both for the individual believer and for the health and vitality of a worship team. Duane’s heartfelt passion and experience in the areas of worship leading, Bible study, and intercessory prayer resound loud and clear in this 13-minute teaching that will challenge you to take your prayer life to the next level.

    Click here for the prayer template Duane referred to in the video. Simply replace the Journey names with those on your own worship team (or other ministry team), distribute to every team member, and begin praying daily for each other. It will revolutionize how you minister together for the kingdom of God.

    The Power of a Praying Worship Team from Journey Church on Vimeo.

     

  • Summer Setlists

    Check out the summer worship setlists.

    Throughout the summer months we have continued making our way through “The Story,” looking at the grand narrative of the Bible. We finally landed in the New Testament on June 21st where we introduced a new song called “Heaven and Earth” off the last Hillsong album “No Other Name.” The song describes in vivid detail the glorious collision of heaven and earth through the incarnation of Jesus. As a prelude to the song, we opened with a powerful video from Dan Stevers called “True and Better”- a dramatic re-telling of a talk by Tim Keller.

    Believe it or not, “Heaven and Earth” was the only new song we introduced in the past 8 weeks. Sometimes you just need to give people a break from having to think too hard about learning new songs and just provide solid, familiar songs with which they can engage. 🙂

    Some Tweetable quotes from the messages this summer…

    “Jesus did not come to make my life easier…He came to make my life meaningful.” – Jimmy Carroll

    “Self is the great competitor for my love for Jesus.” – Tyler Carroll

     

    Here are the setlists from the past 8 weeks. As always, follow @journey_worship on Twitter for weekly setlist updates.

    June 7

    1. Praise Him – Hillsong

    2. God is Able – Hillsong

    3. Mighty to Save – Hillsong

    4. I Surrender – Hillsong

    June 14

    1. This I Believe (Creed) – Hillsong

    2. You Are Good – Bethel

    3. Holy Spirit – Bryan and Katie Torwalt/Jesus Culture

    4. Here’s My Heart – Passion/Crowder

    June 21

    1. Heaven and Earth – Hillsong

    2. Sing, Sing, Sing – Passion/Chris Tomlin

    3. The Wonder of Your Love – Hillsong

    4. No Other Name – Hillsong

    June 28

    1. This is Amazing Grace – Phil Wickham, Jeremy Riddle

    2. Heaven and Earth – Hillsong

    3. Your Great Name – Krissy Nordhoff, Michael Neale

    4. This I Believe (Creed) – Hillsong

    July 5

    1. Rise and Sing – Fee

    2. Alive – Hillsong Young & Free

    3. Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace) – Hillsong

    4. Christ is Enough – Hillsong

    July 12

    1. God is For Us – NorthPoint

    2. Heaven and Earth – Hillsong

    3. In Christ Alone – Keith and Kristyn Getty, Stuart Townend

    4. Stronger – Hillsong

    5. Jesus, Only Jesus – Passion/Matt Redman

    July 19

    1. Closer – Hillsong

    2. Brand New – Journey Church

    3. Beautiful Exchange – Hillsong

    4. Love and Mercy – Journey Church

    5. Jesus, Son of God – Passion/Chris Tomlin

    July 26

    1. Nothing But the Blood – Andy Cherry version

    2. Glorious Day – Village Church

    3. Calvary – Hillsong

    4. Man of Sorrows – Hillsong

    Spotify Pre-service Playlist

    1. Say the Word – Hillsong United

    2. Royksopp Forever – Royksopp

    3. Heart Like Heaven – Hillsong United

    4. Platscher – Paul Kalkbrenner

    5. Starve the Ego, Feed the Soul – The Glitch Mob

    6. Veridis Quo – Daft Punk

  • May Setlists and New Songs

    Check out our setlists and new songs from the month of May

    During the month of May we introduced several new songs around here. First, we introduced Matt Redman’s song “Holy.” As Pastor Jimmy preached a series of messages on the role of the prophets in the grand story of God, Isaiah’s encounter with God in Isaiah 6 became the backdrop by which “Holy” made its debut. The simple, yet profound nature of Redman’s ballad is singable from the first listen, while providing a massive view of God for a local gathering of believers.

    Next, we introduced the hard-hitting rocker “Our God is For Us” by NorthPoint Worship. The song echoes Romans 8:31, (“If God is for us, who can be against us?”) declaring and celebrating the faithfulness of God through every circumstance of life–a theme common to life at Journey.

    Finally, we introduced “This I Believe (The Creed)” by Hillsong. The song first appeared on their 2014 album “No Other Name,” and though we have introduced many of the songs on the album over the past year, we are just now getting to this one…and I think we’re all glad we finally did! The song is a consolidated version of the Apostle’s Creed, heralding the essential beliefs of the Christian faith. After only a couple of weeks it has already become a Journey anthem.

    May 3

    1. Celebrate the Day (Journey Church)

    2. Nothing But the Blood (Andy Cherry)

    3. Holy (Matt Redman/Passion)

    4. All My Hope (Hillsong)

    5. Here’s My Heart (Passion/Crowder)

    May 10

    1. The First and the Last (Hillsong)

    2. Amazing God (Brenton Brown – Anthony Evans version)

    3. Broken Vessels (Hillsong)

    4. Holy (Matt Redman/Passion)

    5. The Wonder of Your Love (Hillsong)

    May 17

    1. Ocean Floor (Audio Adrenaline)

    2. God Who Saves (Hillsong)

    3. God is For Us (NorthPoint)

    4. Calvary (Hillsong)

    5. Jesus, Son of God (Passion/Chris Tomlin)

    6. No Other Name (Hillsong)

    May 24

    1. This I Believe (Hillsong)

    2. God is For Us (NorthPoint)

    3. Holy (Matt Redman/Passion)

    4. Christ is Enough (Hillsong)

    May 31

    1. God is For Us (NorthPoint)

    2. Rise (Kari Jobe)

    3. This I Believe (Hillsong)

    4. Voice of Hope (Journey Church)

     

    Spotify Pre-Service Playlist

    1. Praise Him (Aaron Gillespie)

    2. Intro (The XX)

    3. Seek Your Kingdom (Kings Kaleidoscope)

    4. Ghostwriter (RJD2)

    5. Praise the Lord (Daniel Bashta)

    6. Furious (Jeremy Riddle)

    7. With Rainy Eyes (Emancipator)

    8. Future/Past (John Mark McMillan)

    9. Apogee (Tycho)

    10. All in Forms (Bonobo)

    11. My Lighthouse (Rend Collective)

    12. San Pedro (Mogwai)

    13. Project T (Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike)

    14. Crater (Tycho)

    15. Dive (Tycho)

    16. Hymn for the Greatest Generation (Caspian)

    17. Bowspirit (Balmorhea)

  • 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.

     

     

  • Burn Your Ships

    When it comes to being Christ’s disciple, there is only one direction to move–forward.

    Walter Henrichsen, in his book Disciples are Made, Not Born, tells the story of when Cortez landed at Vera Cruz in 1519. He had eleven ships full of men who had forsaken all that was familiar to charge headstrong into uncharted regions of Mexico. Henrichsen explains the scene:

    When Cortez landed . . . to begin his dramatic conquest of Mexico with a pocket-sized force of 700 men, he purposely set fire to his fleet of 11 ships. His men on the shore watched their only means of retreat sinking to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. With no means of retreat, there was only one direction in which to move, forward into the Mexican interior to meet whatever might come their way (Henrichsen, 40).

    Henrichsen draws the analogy to discipleship by stating, “In paying the price for being Christ’s disciple, you too must purposefully destroy all avenues of retreat” (40). When it comes to being Christ’s disciple, there is only one direction to move–forward. Jesus made a strong statement about retreaters in Luke 9:62: “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” The call to follow Jesus is a call to forward motion.

    So, what does it look like to resolve to move forward with Jesus? What does it look like to burn the ships of retreat?

    Luke 14 gives us some clues:

    1. Love for everyone and everything must pale in comparison to loving Jesus. – (v. 26)

    A buddy of mine whom I hadn’t talked to in quite awhile recently called me on the phone and the first words out of his mouth were, “How’s your heart?” He wasn’t asking how my blood-pumping muscle was doing. He was asking about the condition of my soul. He was asking if Jesus still sat on the throne of my life. I loved it. Now I’ve started asking it of myself and those that are close to me. It’s a question that really gets to the heart of discipleship. How’s your heart? Is it deeply in love with Jesus? Or are there competing loves warring inside you?

    2. Carry your cross.  – (vv. 27)

    As a 20-year old college student sitting in the wet grass of Shelby Farms, Tennessee at Passion One Day, I remember John Piper, face ablaze with the power of God, preaching from Galatians 6 about boasting in the cross. Comparing the cross to a modern-day version of the electric chair, he stood up and challenged 100,000 college students to be willing to die for their faith in Jesus–to abandon the American dream to follow Jesus’ call of discipleship. That moment will forever be etched in my memory as a line-in-the-sand moment. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, offering his own line-in-the-sand statement declared, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die” (The Cost of Discipleship).

    3. Count the cost. – (28)

    For Cortez, burning his eleven ships was actually far less costly than risking the retreat of 700 men. Though a significant monetary loss, the cost of setting his ships ablaze paled in comparison to the cost of failure should his pioneering efforts have ended on that Vera Cruz beachhead. The cost of following Jesus is significant. It requires careful contemplation and consideration. But it pales in comparison to the alternative. “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” (Mark 8:35–36)

    Believer, burn your ships!

  • April Worship Setlists

    Check out the worship setlists from the month of April.

    For the month of April we decided not to introduce any new songs, but instead to bring back some “oldies but goodies,” as well as to keep some of the newer tunes like “Anchor” and “Calvary” circulating in the setlists. These seem to be resonating with Journey people in a unique way. I believe it’s always good to frequently go back to the songs that have historically helped us engage with the Lord and have resonated at various seasons along the way.

    April 5 – Easter

    1. Aftermath (Hillsong United)

    2. Alive (Hillsong Young and Free)

    3. My Savior Lives (New Life Worship)

    4. Creative element using “Some Nights” by Fun, “Something I Need” by One Republic, followed by a This is Amazing Grace (Bethel Music, Jeremy Riddle, Phil Whickam).

    5. Man of Sorrows (Hillsong)

    6. Forever (Kari Jobe, Bethel Music)

    7. Calvary (Hillsong)

    8. Jesus Messiah (Chris Tomlin)

    9. Happy Day (Tim Hughes)

     

    April 12

    1. Praise Him (Hillsong)

    2. You (Hillsong)

    3. Arms Open Wide (Hillsong United)

    4. Calvary (Hillsong)

    5. One Thing Remains (Bethel Music)

     

    April 19

    1. Revival’s Fire (Andy Cherry)

    2. Endless Light (Hillsong)

    3. We Glorify Your Name (Passion/Hillsong)

    4. Forever Reign (Hillsong)

    5. Jesus Only Jesus (Matt Redman/Passion)

     

    April 26

    1. Closer (Hillsong)

    2. Can’t Stop Singing (NorthPoint, Seth Condrey)

    3. Glory to God Forever (Steve Fee)

    4. This is Your Life (Switchfoot)

    5. Anchor (Hillsong)

     

    What’s been on the pre-service iPod playlist lately?

    1. Our God’s Alive (Andy Cherry)

    2. Odds (Mutemath)

    3. Beyond the Veil (Lindsey Stirling)

    4. Before the Throne (The Modern Post)

    5. Sweetness of Freedom (Citizens)

    6. Hours (Tycho)

    7. Meteor Shower (Owl City)

    8. The Calm Before the Storm (Travis Motley)

    9. We Need Help (The Album Leaf)

    10. Psalm 18 (Citizens)

    11. Life in Technicolor (Coldplay)

    12. After All (The Digital Age)

    13. The Outer Banks (The Album Leaf)

    14. Search My Heart – Remix (Hillsong United – The White Album)

    15. Timestretch (Bassnectar)

    16. Hyper Paradise (Hermitude)

  • Fully Convinced

    Imagine becoming a dad at 100!

    I have a problem of saying dumb things to people. One of the dumbest things I’ve said is one that I often catch myself repeating, falling headfirst into my own conversation trap over and over again. Maybe it’s happened to you. I’ll be small talking with a friend or acquaintance when his or her parents happen by. What happens next is a textbook foot-in-mouth scenario. With total sincerity and goodwill, I’ll say something like, “Hey, is this your grandparents?” And my conversation buddy will consequently respond, “No (idiot), these are my parents!” Backstepping, I’ll usually follow that up with another dumb statement about the aging process and the effects of global warming, or sometimes I’ll wise-up and just shut my mouth.

     

    Because this happens to me so often, I can’t help but wonder how often it must have happened to Isaac in the Old Testament. I can just imagine Isaac with his buddies playing bocce ball on the desert sand when ole Abe walks up, 100 years his elder. One of his buddies asks, “Hey Isaac, is this your great granddad?!” “No, actually, this is my DAD! Thanks!” No milk and honey for you, pal.

     

    It’s hard to imagine how Abraham must have felt to find out from God that he was to have a son so late in life. And not just any son, but a son who would begin the lineage of a great nation from whom Jesus Christ would eventually come. We know from the Genesis account that Sarah, Abraham’s wife, laughed hysterically when she heard the news (Gen. 18:12). But Abraham had a different response.   Romans 4:20-21 says:

     

    20 He (Abraham) did not waver in unbelief at God’s promise, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 because he was fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

     

    Abraham had the perfect opportunity to doubt God’s promise. At 99 years of age, this was prime time for Abraham to spit in God’s face and say, “Guess what God, You forgot me! You failed to keep your promise! Congratulations! You strung me along for 99 years believing a stupid fairy tale. Funny joke, God!”

     

    That’s probably how you or I would have acted, but not Abraham. Romans 4:21 says that he was “fully convinced that what (God) had promised He was also able to perform.” The word “fully convinced” is the same word that Luke uses to open up his gospel, proving that what he was writing was “confirmed with the fullest evidence.”[i] Paul means very much the same thing, that Abraham was so convinced of God’s ability to keep His promises that it was as sure as a scientific formula. Paul even goes further by using a nautical metaphor, a metaphor for ships that would come in the harbor sailing full sail.   Confident captains propelled these vessels full sail despite storms and high seas because they were fully convinced that they would make it safely to the harbor.[ii]

     

    I just talked to a man yesterday who has been going through 15 years of storms and high seas – some, no fault of his, others brought on by his own choices. As a young man, he was convinced that the Lord had a great plan for his life, though as the years went on he tried to run from it. Now, after 15 years of struggles, he has a renewed “fully convinced-ness.” He believes again that the Lord is not through with him, and so do I.

     

    My wife’s life verse is Philippians 1:6 that says, “I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” I am fully convinced of this. I’ve seen it play out in my own life. I’ve seen it play out in the lives of others.

     

    No matter where you’re at in life, no matter what you may or may not be fully convinced of, know that His promise is sure. Whatever end of the spectrum of “fully convinced” you are on – whether you’re a Sarah, laughing hysterically at the promises of God, or an Abraham, standing undeterred on the promises of God – His promises stay the same and they are sure. Because “it is not the promise that fails, but our faith that fails when we stagger.”[iii]

     

    “Standing on the promises that cannot fail
    When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail
    By the living Word of God I shall prevail
    Standing on the promises of God”

    – Russell Kelso Carter, Standing on the Promises

     

    “My soul secure,

    Your promise sure,

    Your love endures, always.”

    – Marty Sampson, For Who You Are, Hillsong Music Australia, 2006.

    —————————————

    [i] Spiros Zodhiates, The Key Word Study Bible

    [ii] Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry Unabridged Commentary

    [iii] Ibid.

  • Fuel For Missions

    An appeal to the people of God to move beyond mere words and to let worship fuel the flame for missions.

    Years ago Matt Redman wrote a song called Mission’s Flame. In the song he offers an appeal to the people of God to move beyond mere words and to let worship fuel the flame for missions—to let worship propel God’s people forward into action. He says,

      Let worship be the fuel for mission’s flame

      We’re going with a passion for Your name

      We’re going for we care about Your praise

      Send us out
      Let worship be the heart of mission’s aim

      To see the nations recognize Your fame

      Till every tribe and tongue voices Your praise

      Send us out

    Redman projects an action-based purpose for the worship of God—to be the fuel that drives God’s people to go and make disciples. More often than not, however, worship resembles nothing of what Redman describes. If we sang what we believed, it would sound more like “Let worship be the food for my own soul. I’m not going anywhere so I’ll just enjoy the show!” Have you ever wondered what must enter the mind of God when He observes His people paying Him plenty of lip service on Sundays, but then showing absolutely zero follow-through Monday through Saturday? Amos chapter five gives us a glimpse into the mind and thoughts of God regarding this worship travesty.

      “I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them;
 and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them.
 Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
 But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

    The tone of these four verses is nothing short of severe. God, in His matchless glory, was reaching out to His people, helping them understand the gravity of the situation. Though their lips were offering praise, their hearts were offering nothing of the sort. Their songs had become noise. Their solemn assemblies were now carnivals. Social gatherings. Emotional experiences. Block parties where God received an invite just like anybody else, but wasn’t really expected to show.

    Verse 24 offers a little insight into how their hearts had steered away. He says, “Let justice roll down like waters.” When the Bible speaks of justice here it is suggesting that the people of God must appropriate the mercy of God to a hurting world. This is the idea of being God’s hands and feet, and it is contingent upon the fact that our actions match what our lips profess.

    God’s people knew nothing of justice during this time in history. They cared only about themselves. They were content paying lip service to God, singing Kumbaya, and checking the Sabbath worship checklist. But justice? That was the farthest thing from their mind. Missional living? Not a chance. God’s people had become nothing more than a holy huddle—a religious country club where insiders never left and outsiders were never welcome.

    This is why God responded the way He did. He called their songs “noise.” He said He “hated” their religious gatherings and festivals. He would not accept their sacrifices because they were offered with lying hands and their songs were sung from lying lips.

    When we translate the principles of this passage to the people of Journey Church in 2014, we must honestly reflect on and answer the following questions: Am I content with the Sunday morning “shot in the arm,” where the message and music makes little difference in my life the remainder of the week, or do I truly allow the Sunday morning gathering to be the fuel that propels my missional lifestyle? Am I content to view the worship of God as simply another duty of the Christian life, or will I finally begin to align the words I profess with my lips with the actions I portray with my life? Will I reject the false image of the Sunday morning social club and embrace it as a community of disciples being sent out to make more disciples?

    Many churches in the 1980s placed signs in their parking lots that served as a missional reminder to members as they exited the property. It read, “You are now entering the mission field.” As corny as it may be, we cannot escape the truth of that statement.

    What if we viewed every Sunday as a commissioning to a week of missional living? What if, as we exited the property, our immediate thought was, “I am entering my mission field. Here we go. Let’s do this!” I believe if we adopted that mindset we would see our city changed with the power of the Gospel.

    – Josh

  • What Is Worship? (Part 2)

    For many, the word “worship” produces mental images of music, singing, and the corporate gathering of believers on a Sunday morning. But is this how the Bible describes worship?

    Click here to read “What Is Worship (Part 1)”

    3. Worship will lead to work, but work can keep you from worship.

    In Luke chapter ten, we read about Jesus’ unique encounter with two sisters who incarnated both correct and incorrect attitudes toward worship. One focused on serving. The other focused on sitting. One focused on action. The other focused on adoration.

    This important passage sheds light on both the heart of worship and the motivation for service. While Martha sweated and slaved in the kitchen, Mary simply sat at Jesus’ feet. While Martha huffed and puffed, Mary sat quietly listening to Jesus’ voice. While Martha cooked and prepared food, Mary received spiritual food from the Bread of Life.

    Luke offers us an honest glimpse into Martha’s heart in verse 40 by stating, “Martha was distracted with much serving.” The word distracted literally means “to be drawn away” or “to be dragged about.” In other words, Martha allowed the urgent things in her life to crowd out the important things. She allowed herself to be dragged away from Jesus (the important) in order to attend to a beeping oven and a burning stove (the urgent).

    Now please don’t miss the point. I am not devaluing hard work and service (The Lord knows how much I appreciate coming home to a fresh, homemade meal from my amazing wife!) On the contrary, work is vital. God made us to work. He initiated work prior to the Fall. But we have predominantly misunderstood the role of work in the modern age.

    Interestingly, it wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution that we began to see the rise of the 40-hour workweek. The mindset of “working for the weekend” and TGIF soon crept into the church. In the process, work lost its redemptive value. Fast forward to 2014. Now, this factory mindset, when applied to “Christian” work and service, has produced duty-driven ministry—a punching of the religious time card to appease our heavenly boss because it’s what good Christians do. This attitude toward work divorces itself completely from God’s intention of the work/worship relationship.

    Simply put, worship will always lead to work, but work can literally paralyze you from worship. Don’t misunderstand: activity for God is a good thing, but it must be birthed out of our time with Him so that it is responsive rather than a responsibility. Or to say it another way: don’t place the doing before the being. Surrender always leads to service. When we get serious about intimacy with God, serving Him will be a natural result.

    In verse 42, Jesus made one of the most startling statements of His entire ministry. He said, “But one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen that good portion.” If you were to ask Jesus today what is the single most important thing I can do with my life on a daily basis, He would tell you in two words, “SIT DOWN!” God is not looking for people to serve Him. He is looking for people who want to know Him. He is looking for worshippers who will sit at His feet. Will you commit to sit simply sit as His feet?

    4. Worship is about a person, not a place.

    If you google the word worship, you will discover a bottomless pit of information, most of which has nothing to do with worship. Misconceptions about worship abound in titanic proportions. Most people associate worship with what happens in a church building or auditorium. This misconception runs amuck. In fact, this same misconception plagued the people of Jesus’ day.

    In John chapter four, Jesus had an encounter with a Samaritan woman that completely changed her life and her preconceived notions regarding worship. Samaritans were half- Jews—Jews who had intermarried with the Assyrians—and were therefore despised by the Jewish people. Because Samaritans were forbidden to worship in the Jewish temple, they simply built their own.

    Sitting at Jacob’s well under the hot Israeli sun, Jesus knowingly shattered several social and ethnic barriers in order to have a conversation with the Samaritan woman—willingly risking social criticism so that He could restore, heal, and transform a desperate woman. For this woman, the centrality of worship was a place—the temple at Mount Garazim. For Jesus, the centrality of worship was a person—Himself. Kindly and tenderly, Jesus began a demolition process on her understanding of worship that would proved to be life altering.

    She argued, “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:20-24).

    This whole conversation now hinged on these two words spirit and truth. What was Jesus saying? Kenneth Gangel sheds some light on this. “We learn immediately that place is irrelevant and that worship is not primarily in body—through physical motions and activities—but in spirit … an attitude of the heart which acknowledges God and his sovereignty over our lives. Furthermore worship must be done in truth—honestly, biblically, centered on Christ” (Kenneth Gangel, Holman New Testament Commentary, “John,” p. 76).

    Jesus’ challenge to the Samaritan woman was simple: If you focus on where, you miss the point entirely. Instead, worship is about who. Worship is about Jesus. Worship is about an attitude of the heart that recognizes Jesus as the center of life, and it must be filtered through the lens of the Gospel–that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

    Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman reveals this very important contrast: “Religion describes humankind’s search for God; the gospel describes the way God reached down to humanity” (Gangel, p. 77). Religion limits worship to physical places, activities, and techniques. The gospel rightly places Jesus at the center of true worship. Religion places the burden of “getting worship right” on the individual. The gospel says, “Jesus got it right, so make Him your focus.”

    As you examine your own heart, attitude, and understanding toward worship, how does it align with what Jesus taught the Samaritan woman? Are there moments where you erroneously limit your understanding of worship to a particular time and place? Are there moments in your day-to-day life that you fail to identify as worship?

  • What Is Worship? (Part 1)

    For many, the word “worship” produces mental images of music, singing, and the corporate gathering of believers on a Sunday morning. But is this how the Bible describes worship?

    What is worship? This question evades even the most devoted of followers. For some, the word worship immediately produces mental images of music, singing, and the corporate gathering of believers on a Sunday morning. For others, worship functions as a mystical, elusive world in which only the really spiritual people can hope to enter.

    As we seek to navigate this tricky world of worship, we must always come back to the Scriptures. Our opinions and preferences matter little in this debate. The Bible must form our thinking and understanding of worship as it does every area of life.

    A few years ago, Pastor Jimmy preached a 4-week series on worship that helped to solidify and clarify what we believe Scripture teaches about worship. I will attempt to summarize these four messages as succinctly as possible, but I would also encourage you to listen to the podcasts of these messages on the Journey website. The series was titled My Response (April 2012).

    1. True worship occupies the heart and mind with God.

    From the dings of push notifications and Facebook likes, to the alerts of scheduled reminders and texts messages, the digital age in which we live contains no shortage of interruptions. Our lives are absolutely flooded with distractions that seek to occupy a small slice of our attention. Our minds are bombarded constantly with focus-stealers that temporarily usurp our thoughts and become the object of our meditation. As sobering as it seems, I have just described worship. We worship that which occupies our minds and hearts.

    In Isaiah chapter six, we catch a glimpse of a very unique God-encounter. Isaiah, a man completely occupied with a grand vision of God, fell on his face in worship as he became absolutely swept up in the glory and grandeur of God. When God revealed Himself, Isaiah responded in worship. His response illustrates what it looks like when God becomes the sole focus of our attention and affection.

    When God occupies our minds, He then overwhelms our hearts. When He overwhelms our hearts, we live a life of overflow that pours out in praise, gratitude, adoration, thanksgiving, wonder, awe, excitement, and passion.

    Overflow is synonymous with proper response, and God’s revelation dictates that response. Matt Boswell, Worship Pastor at Providence Church in Frisco, Texas wrote, “The rhythm of worship is revelation and response: our beliefs about God’s revelation dictate our response” (Matt Boswell, Doxology and Theology, p. 18). Simply stated, worship is my response to His revelation.

    This may be a good time to ask yourself, what most often occupies my mind and heart? When I am commuting to work, where are my thoughts focused? When I am washing dishes, what is my mind dwelling on? Through the normal rhythms of life, do thoughts of God occupy my mind and heart?

    2. Worship happens in every sphere of life.

    North American Christianity often has an obsession with separating the spiritual world from the physical world. We see the evidence of this false dichotomy when people refer to church buildings as “places of worship,” or when we hear statements like, “I worship better to Hillsong.” On some level we understand what people are saying, but statements like these compartmentalize our lives to the extent that we lose the true meaning and heart of worship.

    A. W. Tozer said, “There is no such thing known in heaven as Sunday worship unless it is accompanied by Monday worship and Tuesday worship and so on” (A. W. Tozer, Tozer on Worship and Entertainment, p. 9). In other words, authentic worship happens in the daily grind of everyday life. We must not make the mistake, as people have done throughout the history of the Church, of creating false distinctions between the sacred and the secular. The Bible does not make this distinction. Instead, it views all of life as sacred.

    The apostle Paul explained in Colossians chapter three that our work can and should be done for the glory of God—as worship. He said, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him…Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving (Colossians 3:17, 23-24, NIV).

    God genetically encoded into us certain talents, gifts, and interests that He wants us to use for His glory. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” The word workmanship originates from the Greek word poema, from which we get the word poem.

    Do not miss the application. You are God’s poem. You are God’s work of art, and He made you to express certain gifts, talents, abilities and interests. This creative God desires that you produce meaningful and useful work, which then becomes an outpouring of worship. When this happens, the secular becomes the spiritual because it’s done for the eternal.

    Continue to Part 2

  • Volunteer Stories: Bayne Schulstad

    Bayne is a tech volunteer who has a powerful story of finding and following Jesus after 30 years of being a Jehovah’s Witness.

    Occasionally we like to tell stories of our volunteers on our teams, partially so you can get to know the people you serve with that you may not know very well, and also to be inspired by the great things God is doing in their lives. Below is an interview we did with Bayne Schulstad, a tech volunteer who has a powerful story of finding and following Jesus after 30 years of being a Jehovah’s Witness.


    Josh: Bayne, thanks for agreeing to join us today. Tell us what you do for a living.

    Bayne: I own a company called Triangle CompuDocs. I provide on-site PC and Mac Repair and IT Support to small business and residential customers for the Raleigh/Durham Triangle area.

    J: You certainly have bailed us out of a few computer faux pas here at Journey. Thanks, by the way. But house calls, huh? I bet you’ve had some priceless experiences.

    B: Ha! Yea. I once visited a new client in Louisburg and was welcomed at the front door by about 6 cats and a bowl full of what looked like spaghetti. Inside, the home had an obvious roach problem. I tried to power through, despite my discomfort, but when I opened the computer and 50+ roaches crawled out, I could take no more. As the homeowner stood there in her fast food manager uniform stating, “We have a roach problem,” I grabbed her vacuum and started sucking them up. Needless to say, I had the heebie jeebies the rest of the day. Oh, she is no longer a client.

    J: I have the heebie jeebies just thinking about it. Eesh! Tell us what volunteer responsibilities you have at Journey, besides vacuuming bugs.

    B: I am on the tech team at Journey. I run CG (computer graphics) and LiveStream. Occasionally you may see me pulling wires in the ceilings at Journey.

    J: Ah, yes, every church has the ceiling climber guy. Nice. Other than climbing in ceilings, what do you like to do for fun and recreation?

    B: I enjoy friends and family as much as possible. Of course one of my biggest hobbies is the same thing I do for a living, computers and technology. I have brewed beer for almost 15 years and really enjoy it. Unfortunately, I don’t get the opportunity to brew as much as I would like to.

    J: Interesting. I’m curious about where you buy your hops and how you store the leftovers. Do you believe in freezing them?

    B: I buy hop pellets. I have stored them in the fridge but typically end up buying more anyway. Fresh hops dropped on top of a cold Aviator at the brewery…Yum!

    J: Very nice! Bayne, some of our Journey folks have seen your Solutionary video and know some of your story. But a short video cannot do justice to your story. Please give us a little background about your upbringing, your family, and how you eventually became a Christ-follower?

    B: When I was 5, my mother became a Jehovah’s Witness. My father, although a good man, never attended church and believed living a good life is good enough. My sister never dedicated her life as a Jehovah’s Witness and now has strong faith as a Christian.

    I spent 30 years as a Jehovah’s Witness, but I was never really “all in.” I never felt a personal connection with Jesus. The beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses focus on learning and biblical education and have very little to do with praising God.

    By 2009, I felt very unsettled about the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I had a stirring in my heart, but I didn’t know what it meant. A client and friend, whom I had been trying to preach to, asked me some very thought-provoking questions about my beliefs. My answers to her were vague because I simply did not know how to respond to her questions. Little did I know, those questions spurred in me a strong desire to explore outside of the Jehovah’s Witness organization. She called me one morning and invited me to Journey. I was hesitant because Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught never to venture out like that. But something drew me in and I can only describe it as God’s hand helping me along.

    Journey was fascinating to me. The worship. The message. The people. It was like nothing I had ever experienced. I had a newfound joy in worship. Although I had given my life to Jesus many years before (as a 15-year-old), I knew that I needed to rededicate my life to Him—that I must accept Him and die to my sins daily.

    God’s love has washed me! I clearly see His direction and know He is much bigger than I ever imagined. Living a life of love instead of judgment has been very liberating. I strive to give all glory to God and to truly live a life of love, for God is Love.

    J: Man, you have a powerful testimony! I know your story has encouraged and challenged so many people. Bayne, many of us meet Jehovah’s Witnesses around our city, and sometimes it’s hard to know what to say to them. What would you say is the best approach to sharing the Gospel with a Jehovah’s Witness? For the average Christian, what do we need to know about Jehovah’s Witnesses that would help us engage with them more respectfully and legitimately?

    B: JWs teach that their organization is the only earthly organization that God (Jehovah) uses on this earth. Anyone not associated with JWs are considered worldly and part of a false religion. This belief makes it very difficult for JWs to listen openly to other ideas. The fear of losing friends and family paralyzes most JWs, especially lifetime JWs. They would not entertain stepping outside the organization for any reason.

    They do believe that Jesus is God’s son, that He died for our sins and that accepting Him is the only way to be forgiven, but they do not believe that Jesus is equal to God or that He is God. They believe that the Holy Spirit is God’s active force and is not a separate entity. But they also believe that you are not eligible to receive the Holy Spirit unless you are praying, attending JW meetings, preaching, reading the Bible daily, and studying their publications.

    I do not suggest that you approach a JW with the immediate mission of changing their beliefs. They do not respond well to this approach. Instead, attempt to fellowship and befriend them first. Again, this may be difficult since they will consider you worldly and a member of a false religion. But if Christians can befriend them, associate with them, and serve them, perhaps God will reveal their fears and the doubts they have about their teachings and open the door for deeper discussion about Jesus.

    J: That is great advice, Bayne. That’s really the heart of disciple-making. We are not trying to make religious converts. We are trying to make disciples, and disciple-making is beautifully relational. Last question: Tell us what God has been teaching you lately.

    B: Well, I am still learning to listen to the voice of God in my life. The biggest lesson that I am learning is patience. I want to know God’s plan for my life now, but He reveals His plan in His timing. I am learning to let go of the illusion of control and give it all to God. I am praying that He will one day lead my sons to Him—the true meaning of Him—and that He will allow me to have a relationship with them once again.

    J: Bayne, thanks so much for agreeing to do this interview. I appreciate your heart to serve Jesus and to make Him famous in this city.

    B: It’s my pleasure.

  • Volunteer Stories: Scott Hardesty

    Scott is a worship volunteer who has played drums and served since the early days of Journey Church.

    Occasionally we like to tell stories of our volunteers on our teams, partially so you can get to know the people you serve with that you may not know very well, and also to be inspired by the great things God is doing in their lives. Below is an interview we did with Scott Hardesty, a worship volunteer who has played drums and served since the early days of Journey Church.


    Josh: Scott, tell us what you do for a living?

    Scott: I am a financial analyst for Bell & Howell, a manufacturing company located in Durham NC.

    J: That’s awesome. That means you’re smart. I need to hang out with you more! So, tell us about what inspired you to start playing music. How did it originate for you?

    S: Sure. Well, when I was 5 years old, I got a mini set of drums for Christmas.  Around that time, one of my cousins had a record by the rock band KISS that she didn’t want and she gave it to me.  I instantly loved the record and began trying to imitate what I was hearing on my tiny drum set.  Soon after I was buying other records and learning to play along with them as well.

    J: KISS. Nice! I should have known. Well, tell us about the gear you typically use when you travel, or what you have at home.

    S: I own a set of Mapex Mars Pro series drums that I bought back in 2000. The decision to buy them was simple – I went into a music store & tried out every drum set they had (in my price range!) and picked the one I thought sounded the best.  I use Zildjian cymbals, most of which I have had for several years, including a 18” China cymbal that I’ve owned since 1989!

    J: Awesome! So, you mean you actually played them before you bought them? What a novel idea! 🙂 Seriously though, it seems these days people buy before hearing. Bad idea. Okay, so I can probably guess from your previous answer, but what are some of your greatest musical influences?

    S: Haha! As I mentioned earlier, listening to KISS was what made me want to play drums so I consider them, and their drummer Peter Criss, my biggest influence.  In the 1980’s I discovered the band Rush and their drummer Neil Peart blew my mind. His playing completely changed the way I approached the drums.  In the early 1990’s a friend of mine played a recording of the song “Metropolis” by Dream Theater, it was the most complex, difficult, and amazing song I had ever heard.  I became a big fan of the band and their drummer Mike Portnoy, and he is still one of my favorites today.

    J: Wow! Ole Mike Portnoy. Crazy good player. Interestingly enough, he recently said that he wasn’t as keen on drum solos anymore. Sounds blasphemous to me! 🙂 Okay, so you’re in a band called Joe Hero–that’s no secret. You guys are legends around North Carolina. Tell us a little about that. It really is a missional thing for you isn’t it?

    S: Yea, it really is. I started the band Joe Hero back in 2005 with a couple of college friends that I had been in previous bands with.  We were a 3-piece and released a couple of CD’s of original music.  The three of us were Christians but it was important to us to play in venues that were atypical for Christians to play in, so we played in mostly bars and clubs.  In 2011 we thought it would be fun to try something different, as well as possibly open a few doors for the band, so we added another guitarist and starting playing shows as a Foo Fighters tribute band, which we still do today.  I definitely think of Joe Hero as a ministry.  It is my prayer that we represent Christ well wherever we go. I feel like our impact is not as much with the audience but with the soundman, the booking agent and/or club owner, other bands, bartenders, etc.  For the most part, those are the people we interact with the most and tend to develop relationships with.

    J: So cool! What a great ministry that is. Anything you want to tell us about your travels through the years or other opportunities you’ve had?

    S: Well, I’ve been in numerous bands and played a lot of live events and studio recordings over the years, but one of the coolest things I’ve ever done was play in a ministry called ARC back in 1995-96, which was based out of Michigan.  For a year we toured the eastern U.S. playing anti-drug and alcohol assemblies in middle schools and high schools during the day. At nights and on weekends we would play Christian concerts.  It was a pretty grueling touring schedule but we saw a lot of people get saved, and best of all it was in ARC that I met my wife Haley!  She was from Florida and was a singer in the band.

    J: I love stories like that. Ironically, that’s how Tasha and I met too. Not with ARC, I mean,… because you would have seen us I think. I just mean that we met in a praise and worship band in college. Worship has a way of binding hearts together with such a strong bond.

    S: Very cool, I didn’t know that you guys met that way.

    J: Scott, can you tell me what you’re learning lately? What has God been speaking to you about?

    S: Currently I feel like God is teaching me to be at peace and be secure in Him, and trust Him with big and small details of my life.  Romans 8:1 and Matthew 6:25-34 have been important verses in my life!

    J: Good stuff! Well, bro, thanks for your time. And thanks for sharing your life with us at Journey and using your gifts for Jesus!

    S: Thanks!

  • Preparing the Horse

    “A horse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory comes from the Lord” Prov. 21:31

    “A horse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory comes from the Lord” (Proverbs 21:31).

    We say it often at Journey: Our goal on the weekend is to eliminate as many distractions as possible and to create an environment where people can authentically connect with God.  We want people to leave the weekend worship experience feeling like they just met with God–that an environment of excellence was created–that we did our absolute best to remove distractions and create environments for people to have a real, authentic encounter with God. So we prepare, and we rehearse, and we prepare and we rehearse some more. Because we think God deserves our best.

    There is a real danger here, though, isn’t there? The danger is to make this “striving for excellence” the end in itself–that’s why a verse like Proverbs 21:31 is so important. “A horse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory comes from the Lord.” If we forget where the victory comes from, here’s what can happen: Without warning, all our preparation can become the all-consuming passion. Our pursuit of excellence becomes the pursuit of our heart. And the final goal is the performance itself.

    That’s not to say that we don’t do our absolute best, because the reality is we are in a real battle. We’re in a battle for the souls of men and women on their way to an eternity without God. We’re in a battle for the minds of our students. We’re in a battle for families on the verge of disaster. So, we’ve got to suit up. We’ve got to get our horse ready for battle. We dress him. And we dress him nice. And we dress him with the best armor that we’ve got. Because he’s not just any horse. He’s a horse riding in God’s army. He’s a stallion that will strike fear into the enemy and muster courage among his comrades…

    But…we must make sure that the all-consuming passion of our heart is God Himself–the One to whom deserves our excellence. The pursuit of our heart must be to pursue Him, and the final goal must be Him.

    There’s a beautiful balance of human participation and divine dependence found in this verse. God invites us into the work that He is doing. And it’s our honor to join Him! We prepare our horse, and then we get out of the way. We get out of the way and let God have His victory. Because the victory belongs to Him. We can’t forget that.

    You know what victory is? It’s at the end of the day knowing that the Gospel was preached, lives were radically altered for eternity’s sake, Jesus was lifted up, the devil was kicked in the jaw and people left saying, “Wow! God was there!” (1 Corinthians 14:23-25)

    Let’s dress our horse and leave the victory to the Lord.

    – Josh

  • Behind the Song: King on His Way

    I’ve always been enamored by the concept of the return of Christ.

    I’ve always been enamored by the concept of the return of Christ.  I grew up on those old Thief in the Night movies in youth group – the ones designed to play on human fear and emotion surrounding Christ’s return.  They depicted what it would be like on the earth following the rapture and second coming of Christ (think of the Left Behind series a generation earlier, lower budget cinematography, moppier hair, and a much spookier more somber tone).  I always had a hard time digesting them.  Watching these films as a kid almost turned me off to the whole idea of the second coming.  And though I think there’s certainly a time and place for those types of films and that particular slant, as I read Scripture what strikes me about the return of Christ is that it’s most-often described as a celebration.  It’s filled with shouting and singing and jubilant ringing.

    The song King on His Way came about as I peered through the lens of Scripture concerning Christ’s return.  Scripture declares, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.  Death will exist no longer . . . Then the One seated on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making everything new!’” (Revelation 21:4-5).  What I noticed as I journeyed through God’s Word is that when He returns, a party is going to break out.  The Comforter, the Healer, the Life-giver will return, and when He does, death and disease and tears and sadness and brokenness and tragedy must flee in light of His presence.  That’s worth shouting about!  That’s worth getting excited about!  That’s worth praising and exalting the soon coming King of Kings!

    But maybe you know some people who won’t be joining in the song of the redeemed on that joyous day – people who, like you and I once were, are lost in their sin crying out for something to quench the eternal thirst in their soul.  When we think about Christ’s glorious return, may you and I be propelled into action to offer the thirsty, “the spring of living water as a gift” (Revelation 21:6) – that the very thought of the King’s return would drive us to compel the lost to come and gaze upon Him, the ancient of days.

    “But when Aragorn arose all that beheld him gazed in silence, for it seemed to them that he was revealed to them now for the first time. Tall as the sea-kings of old, he stood above all that were near: ancient of days he seemed and yet in the flower of manhood; and wisdom sat upon his brow, and strength and healing were in his hands, and a light was about him.” – (Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Book VI, Chapter 5)

     

    Josh

  • Brand New

    Journey original song “Brand New”, recorded January 5, 2014.

    This music video of the Journey original song “Brand New” was recorded at our Consecration Weekend gathering on January 5, 2014. We experienced a powerful time of intimate worship in the round as we looked back and celebrated 2013 and spent time praying in faith for the new year of 2014.