• Lessons From Solutionary Training Center

    A couple of lessons about the urgency of sharing the Gospel and not missing moments to share your faith.

    This video shares just a couple of lessons learned from the Solutionary Training Center, expressing the urgency of sharing the Gospel and not missing moments to share your faith.

    Solutionary Training Center meets on Mondays at 7:00pm at Journey Church. It is free to attend and open to anyone who wants to learn how they can have a greater impact for Jesus where they live, work, study, play, and shop. To get more information, email Paul Crouthamel ().

  • Why Go On An International Mission Trip?

    I strongly believe everyone should go on a short-term international mission trip at some point in their life.

    “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all of Judea and in Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”Acts 1:8

    “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always, to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:19-2

    I love international missions and love to lead teams on short-term international mission trips! In my opinion, every Christian should go on at least one short-term international mission trip. There are several reasons why I believe this.

    In the verses above Jesus is speaking with his disciples and even commanding them “to go and make disciples of all nations.” A disciple is simply a follower of Christ. I am a follower of Christ and so is everyone else who has accepted Christ as their Savior. This command was not only issued to His (Christ’s) disciples who were with Him during His ministry on earth, but this command was issued to me as well as you, if you are a follower of Christ! He also tells us “to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth.” The ends of the earth for me as an Executive Pastor over Missions at Journey Church, are the countries of Honduras, Uganda, and Venezuela. God has commanded me to take groups from Journey to these countries to make disciples!

    The second reason that I believe that every Christian should go on a short-term international mission is that the trip will be life-changing for you! Many of the individuals who travel with me the first time, feel that they are going to help the people who live in another country. Their minds change once they are engaged in the trip and with the people of the country – they realize that the people of the country blessed them more than they blessed the people. It also opens their eyes to the fact that Americans are “rich”. We are all rich in comparison to people who live in third world countries.

    The last reason that I believe that every Christian should go on a short-term mission trip is found in Matthew 22:39. “And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” One of my favorite things to do on a mission trip is to love on the people inside of the country. Jesus told us to love our neighbor as yourself. Everyone is our neighbor! Although we may not be able to speak the same language, showing God’s love to our neighbors allows us to communicate with them. Before every mission trip, I always tell the team members that I expect only three things of them. They are:

      1. Love the people
      2. Love the people
      3. Love the people

    So come and go with us on our next trip!

    – Mark

  • Camp KidJam 2014 Recap

    Another action-packed, Jesus-centered, camp experience for our elementary kids!

    For the sixth year in a row, Journey Kids took a group of elementary kids to Camp KidJam. Every year, both the kids and the leaders come home with fresh understanding of biblical truth and a renewed look at life. Of course, this year was no different. We traveled to Wingate University with our largest group ever, 37 kids and 8 leaders. KidJam challenged our kids with this year’s camp theme: “Move.”

    Every session, kids experienced exciting and messy games, engaging worship, entertaining stories, and an inspiring message. The verse for the week that the kids were challenged to memorize came from Philippians 3:14. “I move on toward the goal to win the prize. God has appointed me to win it. The heavenly prize is Christ Jesus himself.”

    In each session, kids were given a “Bottom Line” – a main takeaway from the message and story. This is similar to how in Uptown and throughout Journey Kids each Sunday, we impress a bottom line based on the story and small group activities. During the first morning sessions we heard the story of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus in Mark 1:1-11 and John 1:19-34. The story reminded us to listen to someone who is listening to God. The final story on the last night of camp was from John 3. It focused on the story of Nicodemus and his encounter with Jesus. The Pharisee continued to ask Jesus how the things Jesus boldly claimed were even possible. Jesus responded, “We speak to what we know, and bear witness to what we’ve seen.” The story taught us to believe in who Jesus says he is.

    Kids walked away from camp, like they do every year, exhausted but with a clearer understanding of who God is and who he wants them to be. The Sunday after we returned from camp, I was talking with a mom in the hallway. I asked her if her son had fun at camp. She told me that he did have fun, but that all he wanted to talk about was what he learned while he was gone. She continued, saying that anytime she asked about camp he would get so excited to talk about how God wants him to move at home, in his school, and his neighborhood. In fact, she told me it wasn’t until two days later that he wanted to talk about the “fun” parts.

    This was another incredible year at KidJam! We know this wouldn’t have been possible without the families of the campers, the prayers of Journey, and the generosity of church members. This year more than 10 kids were able to go to camp thanks to the generosity of Journey families who felt led to send a child to camp that may not otherwise have been able to go. We are extremely excited to see what all 37 kids do with their new knowledge and how they begin to move. We are already counting down the days to KidJam 2015!

    – Joe

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  • 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!

  • Honduras 2014 Recap

    We had a great mission trip to Honduras in June, full of great new experiences and sharing God’s love.

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    On June 14, Jeremy Davis and I left for Honduras at 6:00am. We arrived at our hotel in Honduras around 3:00pm Honduras time. To say the least, we were both very tired, but were looking forward to an exciting week there. I had been asked to come and teach Garifuna pastors and church leaders, and Jeremy had asked if he could come along with me the first week as he would be unable to come with the team during my 2nd week in Honduras (Jeremy has been with me 3 straight years to Honduras). I told him that I would love for him to come along with me!

    On Sunday morning, I spoke at Pastor Eduardo’s church in LaCieba, which was great. The remainder of the week I taught and Jeremy painted classrooms and the outside of special needs school in Corozal. The interesting thing about Jeremy painting all week is that Jeremy hates to paint and he also likes to talk and he was basically painting alone. The week was great for me, as I always love being with the Garifuna pastors and leaders. I think Jeremy also learned a little about himself that week – it was okay to have some quiet time! The other interesting thing about this week was that FIFA 2014 was going on during this time and Honduras played two games during this week. When Honduras was playing, the city, LaCieba, was basically at a stand-still. I ran (getting exercise) during the game on that Friday (June 20) and there was no one around – everyone was watching the soccer game. The Hondurans are crazy about soccer!

    On Saturday (June 21), it was time to take Jeremy back to the airport and pick up the Journey team. The team and their bags arrived safely at around 11:00am Honduran time. The team consisted of 14 people and more than half of them had never been on an international mission trip before. We arrived back at the hotel at around 3:00pm Honduran time and everyone was anxious for the week to begin. During the week, we helped to replace roofs on 2 churches and the roof on a pastor’s home. We also painted the pastor’s home. More than all of that, the team showed God’s love to the Honduran people. We had a great week! On this trip, we had two thirteen year olds. I must admit that I was a little reluctant to take 13 year olds on a mission trip, but they convinced me that they really needed to go! They were both troopers and were just great! The entire team was awesome and learned so much about themselves and God’s love during the week.

    I love the Honduran people and always love going back several times a year! If you have never been on an international mission trip, please consider going to Honduras with the Journey team next year.

    – Mark

  • 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

  • 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.

  • More Than Just Good Directions

    Jesus came, not simply to give good directions, but to bring us to God.

    “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.”1 Peter 3:18

    I love that phrase “that he might bring us to God.” It beautifully depicts two of the most profound tenants of the Gospel.

    • The Depravity of Man (that there was nothing we could do in and of ourselves to reach a holy God).
    • The Exclusivity of Christ’s Atonement (that Jesus is the ONLY way to the Father). Jesus stated in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, but by Me!” It’s not up for debate. He didn’t come to show us a way. He came to be the way.

    Throughout the ages many great teachers and prophets walked onto the landscape of history and attempted to show the way to God. And many of them did it successfully. However, none of them could claim to have the ability to actually bring people to God. This was a message and a function exclusive to Christ. Only Jesus could quite literally bring us to God–take us to God–carry us to God. He alone has bridged the gap, the great divide, between unrighteous humanity and righteous God. Only Jesus has rescinded our title as “enemies of God” and transferred us into the category of “friends with God.”

    I like Google maps. It does a decent job of helping me get from point A to point B. But it falls short. I would like it more if it chauffeured me to my location! If it physically took me by the hand and brought me there. Jesus came not simply to give good directions. He came to bring us to God.

  • “Crying”

    Intro video from the second week of the “Happily Ever After?” teaching series.

    Intro video from the second week of the “Happily Ever After?” teaching series.

    To watch the full sermons from this series, click here.

  • “The Bag”

    Intro video from the first week of the “Happily Ever After?” teaching series.

    Intro video from the first week of the “Happily Ever After?” teaching series.

    To watch the full sermons from this series, click here.

  • 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.

  • What Is Baptism?

    If you have made the decision to follow Jesus but have never been baptized by immersion after salvation, Journey Church has many opportunities throughout the year to go public with your faith through baptism.

    The Bible says that baptism is a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is also a picture of what happens in your life. When you go down into the water, it represents your old life being crucified and buried with Christ. When you come up out of the water it represents the new life that you now have in Jesus.

    To get more information about baptism or to sign up, click here.

  • 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)



  • 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.

  • Why Jesus Came

    A spoken word proclaiming the purpose for Jesus’ birth.

    We used this video as a part of our Christmas celebration on December 22, 2013. This is a powerful and poetic expression of why God sent Jesus, His Son, to earth.

    To read more about the life of Jesus and why He came, click here.