By Matt Dawson
Happy New Year Journey family – I’m so excited about 2015! I’m honored to be your pastor and wanted to quickly share a few things I’m celebrating this year and a few things I’m looking forward to in our future.
5 Things to Celebrate from 2014
1. Staff Transitions
If you didn’t know, we lost 4 staff members towards the end of 2013 and this entire year was a rebuilding year for our staff and leadership. It was hard, but not as hard as it could have been. We knew at the end of 2013 we were experiencing some GOD-LED changes that were out of our control, so we knew He would be faithful to walk us through that transition.
After experiencing this past year, I remain convinced that God brought us the right people and some incredible leaders to help us during the interim and are now in place to help us have an incredible 2015! One lesson I’ve learned: when God is leading CHANGE in your life – trust Him, He is faithful!
2. Journey Kids and Students
From CampKid Jam and Core Adventures to our weekly Intersection services and small groups – our kids and students heard the gospel and were challenged to embrace and own their personal faith in Jesus.
We started THE GARAGE this year for our 5th & 6th grade students and are averaging almost 20+ kids a week in this ministry alone. We’ve continued to see kids make decisions for Christ and get baptized! God is at work in the lives of our kids and students!
3. Local & Global Outreach
Here are some highlights:
- Largest number of travelers we’ve ever sent in 1 year went to a GO project (40+) and together raised more than $60,000 towards their travel and towards funding projects in Kenya, Peru, and West Virginia.
- 20 backpacks weekly for students at Blythe Elementary, funding and supplies to set us up for our Rooms In The Inn ministry, not to mention our local hygiene drive in December for Ada Jenkins – they were overwhelmed with your generosity!
- Over 100 volunteers provide a KID ZONE at our local 4th of July program in Cornelius.
I am always blown away by how our church partners to point everyone (locally and globally) to the absolute Hope of Jesus!
I will share the End of Year goal number with you on Sunday, but this has been the best 2 years of healthy stewardship and generosity I’ve ever seen I our church. With over $1.65 million dollars, we’ve been able to meet our Ministry and Mission Budget every year for the last 3 years and with the overage we’ve been able to pay down debt on our building, grow our online ministry, and set aside capital for future Journey campuses. WOW!
5. Absolute Hope
Over this last year, we’ve spent some time trying to make our mission statement more tangible and portable for our church. To humbly point everyone in our LKN Area to absolute hope! We really felt this all come together this Christmas as we talked about the Christmas story thorough the lens that Jesus was, Jesus is, and Jesus will always be our Hope!
5 Things to Look Forward to in 2015
1. Continued Growth
We believe that every area of ministry in our church is poised to grow this year. More travelers for GO, more engage families doing life together in Life Groups, higher engagement of our Partners in all ministries, and higher engagement and attendance in our gatherings. We are absolutely going to see monumental growth in every ministry this coming year!
2. Greater Resources
We want to continue to provide more helpful resources to our Journey family and to our online ministry. Better resources for those single, single again, married, parents, adopting parents, everyone! It is our commitment this year to assist you with greater resources!
3. Greater Local Outreach
We are going to own our local community in 2015. We plan to leverage every possible relationship and strategic partner in the LKN area to bring absolute Hope to LKN. More details will come in the next few Sundays, but we are looking forward to attempting something unprecedented in our local outreach as a church family over the next few years!
4. Local Expansion
We are committed to expand our influence in the LKN area by planting additional campuses. This will be one of our greatest challenges as a mid-sized church, but we are convinced that God is moving us in that direction. We may not have all the answers to every question that comes up, but we know we are going to take steps in this direction. Pray with us as we follow God’s vision for Journey.
5. More Stories of Life Change
God is moving and at work in the lives of those in our church, and those who come in contact and are ministered to by our church. We want to share more stories together as a community from people whose stories are being changed by absolute Hope! What if everyone of your friends, coworkers, and neighbors’ lives were changed by absolute Hope? What if we as a church, collectively, were able to share and celebrate those stories together? We can not wait to share more of these stories with you!
As you’ve celebrated this past year, share your story of change with us (God is always at work doing even incremental changes in us). You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t wait to celebrate your story with our church!
If you want to hear specifically about the vision for Journey Church, then don’t miss a single Sunday in January. Join us for We Can’t Stay Here and pray with us as we attempt what only God can do in and through His church!