Message Preview | Don’t Be a Baby | Part 1

By Matt Dawson


“I have a lot more to say about this, but it is hard to get it across to you since you’ve picked up this bad habit of not listening. By this time you ought to be teachers yourselves, yet here I find you need someone to sit down with you and go over the basics on God again, starting from square one—baby’s milk, when you should have been on solid food long ago! Milk is for beginners, inexperienced in God’s ways; solid food is for the mature, who have some practice in telling right from wrong.
So come on, let’s leave the preschool finger painting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ.”   Hebrews 5:11-14, 6:1 (MSG)

To be honest, these verses feel awfully CONDEMNING! Especially if there are areas in my life that I feel stuck in my growth and relationship with God.

However, after a great deal of study on several passages that use similar language – I’m convinced that God is not calling us OUT but calling us UP! 

There is a GRAND WORK of art that is available to those who continue growing in their faith. We do not have to settle for OR feel stuck in prolonged infancy.  God has more for us!  God has so much more in store for His children then we are taking advantage of because we’re stuck at the KID’S TABLE!

I hope you’ll join us this weekend as we start a new series entitled “Don’t Be a Baby!” We will discover WHY the scriptures use this language when describing what’s at stake when we remain spiritual babies and WHY God has so much more prepared for us and our future! It’s time to GROW UP IN CHRIST!

Childish vs Childlike Faith

By Matt Dawson


If you’ve had the opportunity to be with us for the past 2 weekend, we took a look at how we can better understand and reach the Next Generation (or today’s church).

Don mentioned a very famous phrase spoken in “Christianese” that is centered around Matthew 18:3. For those who grew up in church, you’ve heard it a thousand times. “Child Like Faith.”

However, as we approach this new series entitled “Don’t Be a Baby” it’s important to discuss the differences in CHILDLIKE Faith and CHILDISH Faith. They sound ALIKE, but are very different in actual definition.  As we prepare for this new series, let’s talk about these 2 faiths.

CHILDISH Faith
The best way to describe a childish faith is one that based on conditional trust and a stubborn heart. It’s very us-centered, outcome oriented, and self-serving.  One with childish faith will say “I must have answers in order to trust You” and “I must get MY WAY in order to follow You.”

The primary issue with a childish is that it simply cannot withstand the grown-up problems we face every day.  Because it’s rooted in self and fueled by desired outcomes, we simply cannot GROW with a childish faith.  We’re STUCK.

CHILDLIKE Faith
The best way to describe Childlike faith is one that is based on complete trust and quick repentance. It’s God-centered, purpose driven, and focused on the Kingdom. One with childlike faith will say “I TRUST you even without all the answers” and “I’ll follow you even though I may not like the outcome.”

The primary benefit for Childlike faith is that God is now the center of everything. No matter how complicated and complex our lives become, we trust that God is always at work and He can be trusted to meet every need.

MIX and MATCH

People often experience both childish and Childlike faith as they are growing in their relationship with Christ.  It plays out in many ways throughout our lives.

  • Susan exercises childlike faith to help her overcome her natural anxiety, BUT is STUCK in childish faith when it comes to tithing and financial stewardship. She’s experiencing some growth in one area, but struggling in the other.
  • Bill exercises Childlike faith in his career, trusting God to take care of his future, BUT is STUCK in childish faith when it comes to his relationships and sexual temptations. He feels he’s growing in one area of his faith, but doubting God in the other.

As we dive into this new series “Don’t Be a Baby”, I want you to consider the areas of your life where you exercise a Childlike Faith and the areas where you’re stuck in a Childish Faith.

I hope to see you Sunday!

Message Preview | The Next Generation | Part 2

By Don Gentry


Not Me

That is not my responsibility!

If you work in management, that phrase is one of the most frustrating phrases out of an employee’s mouth that you can hear. We have all said it in one form or another. Many of us actually say it to God on a regular occasion.

On Sunday, we are wrapping up a two-week sermon series on how to reach the next generation. Church people are notorious for thinking it is someone else’s job to serve, someone else will take care of those kids, I can’t stand kids, or the most spiritual thought is, “I am not called to serve children and youth.” These are all variations of “It is not my responsibility.”

I hope you all come out on Sunday to hear what the scripture says about children and the next generation. I am not saying you are going to change how you talk or how you view your responsibility, but maybe after you view children through the eyes of God you might change how you are going to serve them.

Jesus was the first children’s pastor. He changed societies view of children two thousand years ago. What he modeled and taught is still changing the worlds view of children. I am not even talking about church anymore.

I hope to see you all on Sunday as we learn how each of us can take an active role in impacting and inspiring the Next Generation.

Model It!

By Don Gentry


We are doing a two-part sermon series on how we can reach the next generation. We really need to understand the we are reaching the “current generation.” If we fail to reach this generation then the next unborn generation is without hope.

As we think about reaching our current generation we need to wrestle with the question of how do we reach them. There are two primary modes of reaching the current generation. The home and the Church. If we want to reach anyone for Christ these two components must work in unison.

I will forever be an advocate that parents/home trump the church when it comes to learning about God. I am talking about church going people. I am not addressing people living far from God. There are stories of people being saved and reached for Christ without having a good home life or Christian parents. That is an entirely separate conversation. When the church and the home are combined children/youth will gravitate towards what mom and dad do, not what church does or says. Let me explain.

If you ever say or think, “do as I say not as I do,” you are a hypocrite. I am not saying we must be perfect, but we do need to learn to apologize and repent when our actions don’t coincide with what we say are our beliefs. Don’t use the old excuse that I am just human and I am a sinner. The church is then designed to come alongside and support whatever is being taught in the home, not to replace the home.

Whether you are a parent or an adult that attends church the “next generation” is watching. Kids are always watching! They are watching you in the lobby at church, listening in the hall and parking lot, they are watching how you interact with others, they are listening when you are on the phone, watching how you drive, sneaking in on you while you watch TV and surf the net, on and on I could go. What you model is what they learn and do!!

Kids are sponges! They soak up everything, so be careful what you are leaking. The church is here to help lead the “current generation” to God, but the church can’t make up for toxic waste that was leaked at home. Please hear me, I am not preaching perfection or guilt; godliness and holiness should be the desire of our hearts. Kids will always be able to tell if they are expected to live out of a list of rules or if they are expected to live out of a love for Jesus. If you wonder what they are learning, just watch what is leaking out of their sponges.

Love you all and hope to see you on Sunday!

Message Preview | The Next Generation | Part 1

By Zack DeBerry


Have you ever made the following statement, “If I knew then what I know now?” I know I have on multiple occasions in my life. There are so many things we learn in life by many different means, whether knowledge or experience. We have all wished we could do things a little differently in our lives perhaps. As we start a new series at Journey I hope you will keep that phrase in mind.

This new series will be focused on the Next Generation of our Church, Communities, and
Families. The young adults and children at Journey will one day be the leaders of our church and in our society. But what if I told you ‘One Day’ wasn’t really some abstract day in the future? What if I told you the young adults and children in our church are more than capable to be the leaders right now? It’s a crazy thing to think about, but the reality is that the future of Journey in being shaped right now in KidStreet, in The Garage, and at The Path.

The question is not about when, but rather about how. How will we influence our young adults and children to point people to the Absolute Hope of Jesus in everything they do now? That is the call to us as parents, leaders, and partners at Journey. We have been entrusted with a responsibility to train the Next Generation and empower them to be the leaders that God has called them to be, not just “Someday,’ but TODAY and into the future.

We will talk candidly about what our call from God to empower our young adults and children means, and how we can help them as they seek to be all that God calls them to be. I hope you will join us over then next two weeks and feel free to ask questions you have about this vital topic.

Message Preview | Read Your Bible – Galatians | Part 5

By Randy Belk


I have the privilege of wrapping up the Read Your Bible – Galatians series this Sunday.  Over the past four weeks we have looked at how being a follower of Christ is based on faith plus nothing else, how we are free from the law, and how we operate from freedom, not for freedom.  Along the way, we have talked about the importance of reading your Bible and how to use the SOAP method.  As we bring the series to a close, we are going to spend some time looking at the practical application of how all of this should be lived out in the life of a believer.

Over the years, I have had many conversations where I explain to folks that becoming a follower of Christ is easy, but being a follower of Christ can sometimes be difficult.  God didn’t make it difficult, we did.  We have added rules, regulations, and expectations that can make following Christ seem like an insurmountable hill.  In Chapter 6, we will see how that is not what God intends for us.  This past Sunday Matt Dawson spoke about how we live from a place of freedom.  In Chapter 6 Paul tells us what that looks like in real life, and I promise you it’s not hard.  It may be a little counterintuitive, because it means being led by the Holy Spirit, instead of leading ourselves, but the end result is a life that draws us closer to God, frees us to live the life God wants for us, and allows us to truly focus on the well-being of others, as we put their needs ahead of our own.

I encourage you to be with us Sunday, or join us online at http://journey.churchonline.org/. I also encourage you to read ahead.  Go ahead.  Read Galatians Chapter 6 and try out the SOAP Method. See if you have the same observations that I have.  If you don’t, that’s ok.  That’s one of the cool things about being led by the Spirit.  He speaks to us in unique ways that addresses where we are in our walk with Him.  I look forward to seeing you all Sunday morning.

Get the Most Out of Your Bible Reading

By Zack DeBerry


As we enter the last week of our Read Your Bible Series here at Journey Church, I think it is helpful to continue to talk through some practical steps to Reading the Bible consistently and getting something practical out of it as you do. In just 5 chapters we have touched on so many different elements of the Christian life and really honed in on the heart of all the Gospel. The Bible from cover to cover is about Jesus. Everything from Genesis to Revelation is about proclaiming the person and work of Jesus Christ. So, the question is how do we unpack that truth as we read the Bible in our daily life?

I thought the best way to answer that question would be to just give you some tools that you can use as you read the Bible in your daily walk. Most of these are not new or groundbreaking, but just things that have helped me to dig a little deeper as I read.

1. A Bible – This one is obvious, but I would recommend getting something you can enjoy reading. There are vast amounts of “versions” of the Bible these days, but my preferences are the New Living translation (NLT), Holman Christian Standard (HCSB), and The Message (MSG). I also use the Bible App on my iPad rather than a bound version.

2. A Plan – This is another thing that is necessary in my opinion. A plan doesn’t have to be
restrictive, but it is helpful to give you some direction. You wouldn’t start a trip to a new destination without consulting a map of some sort. Reading the Bible is the same and having a reading plan is like having a map to get you where you want to go. I use many of the free plans within the Bible app personally, but you can use whatever is out there whether it’s a Read the Bible in a Year or something topical. There are so many great reading plans available and it is very helpful as you endeavor to get the most from your reading.

3. Some Other Tools – This is a personal preference for you, but the other thing I use and would recommend using is some other tools. I tend to get the most from commentaries and podcasts, so that is where I go the most. I have several Bible teachers I follow with podcasts and will often listen to what they have to say about scripture as I am reading. I also use an app called Logos. Logos is an app with a lot of commentaries and books that are available to help you dig deeper into your reading.

Those are my 3 main things I use as I venture to get the most out of my reading. The main thing is commit to a process. Everyone’ process may be different, but just commit to finding something that works for you. For me it’s in the morning time with some coffee. It is how I try to start everyday with the knowledge that there is something that I may face that day and the only way I can get through it is to lean into the words that I read in the Bible. I pray that this series has challenged you to continue to read the Bible and to dig deeper everyday as we all seek to discover God’s truths and live them consistently in our life. I hope that as we close this series you would find a process that helps you read and discover all that God has for you in His words found in the Bible.