Intentional Focus and Rest

By Matt Dawson


In case you’ve been out of touch for the last 8 weeks (or living under a rock) – I’m heading out on an 8-week sabbatical starting this Friday.

What is a sabbatical? It’s really simple. It is a designated, focused time away from daily responsibilities. It’s different than a Sabbath time of simply resting; it’s a time set aside with FOCUS and INTENTIONALITY toward a purpose and plan.

Last year, I heard the testimony of a pastor who had just recently come back from his 3rd sabbatical in 21 years of serving at his church. The purpose of the sabbatical was to intentionally REST before taking another BIG STEP as a ministry. I LOVED this approach and started having this conversation with our Advisory Team. Considering, where Journey is, it seemed like God was giving us a plan.

Most people wait until they are exhausted beyond belief and already a dry well spiritually before they take a sabbatical.

I’m so thankful to be a part of a growing ministry that sees the value in giving me this REST before we take another BIG STEP in humbly pointing everyone to absolute Hope.

PRAY!

As Don said on Sunday, we really want you to pray with us. Pray for rest as a family. Pray for rest emotionally and intellectually from the day to day duties of leading an organization. And pray for VISION as we long to return and see God doing more than we can ask or imagine, as we continue to lead HIS CHURCH into the future God has for us.

We look forward to seeing you all in 8 weeks!

3 Ways YOU Should Prepare for Easter at Journey

By Matt Dawson


As we approach this coming weekend, many are looking forward to Easter morning at Journey.  Some are just looking forward to the break from school, or a vacation that is coming up.  Others are not really looking at this weekend any differently than any other weekend – let’s just be honest about that.

I want us to really begin to prepare ourselves for an incredible weekend together at Journey Church.  As we approach this special Sunday (a Sunday set apart to celebrate AN EVENT that is the Cornerstone of our faith!), I want us to do the following over the next 4 days together . . .


1. Get Your Heart & Mind Ready

We are so busy and living such margin-less lives, if we’re not careful, this celebration can slip right past us.  Begin to pray today and over the next several days about what God wants to say to you this year at Easter.

If you’re carrying around a heavy burden of stress, or anger, or just frustration in life – give that to God and ask Him for peace.  If you’re struggling for purpose and direction in your life – ask God to reveal HOPE to you.  Don’t allow this amazing weekend that we celebrate the gift of LOVE that Jesus gave us by His death and resurrection to PASS YOU BY without intentionally preparing your hearts and minds for it.

2. Invite/Re-Invite your TOP 5

Have you made your top 5 list yet?  If not, do it today!  

Who are the people God has placed in your circle of influence (co-workers, neighbors, friends, family, people in your network group) that He wants you to invite?  Statistics show time and time again, that so many more people are open to visiting a church (with someone they already KNOW) on Easter and Christmas more than any other time of year.  Don’t let this opportunity pass you by!

If you’ve already made that invitation and they have not committed – DO IT ONE MORE TIME!  You re-inviting them may be the thing that changes the course of their lives as they know it.  Never underestimate what God can do through a simple invitation!

3. Engage/Love OTHERS on Sunday

It’s easy to come to church and enjoy the service we have planned for you.  It’s going to be a powerful day!  But it’s also a day that our house will be filled with many, many guests.  Folks that are looking for a place to belong, looking for a friendly face, looking for HOPE.

Easter is a Sunday that we can all do better and engaging and expressing LOVE to people we don’t know.  To see that person in the lobby (get out of our comfort zone and conversation with close friends) and speak to them.  People are 10x more likely to come back to a church where they feel welcomed (and not judged) and loved.

We don’t want to just be glad they decided to come and join us for Easter services, we want to make sure they know THAT WE EXIST TO HUMBLY POINT EVERYONE TO ABSOLUTE HOPE!


Take advantage of this week, and put all 3 of these things into practice from now through Sunday morning.  I promise, you will never regret getting your heart & mind ready, inviting those in your circle to join you on Sunday, and loving others (those you don’t know) when they decide to come and join us!  It may just be the BEST SUNDAY you’ve had in a long time.

I’m looking forward to seeing each and every one of you this weekend!

010 The Journey Online Podcast | The Importance of Having a Top 5 w/ Matt Dawson

The Journey Online Podcast

At our last Partner Night, we debuted the idea we’re calling Top 5.  Your Top 5 is basically answering this question: Who are the 5 people you are PERSONALLY humbly pointing to absolute hope?  We believe that your Top 5 is an incredibly effective way to help make the mission of Journey Church more personal for you.

In today’s episode, Zack DeBerry is joined by our Lead Pastor, Matt Dawson to talk about the concept of a Top 5, why it matters that every single Partner at Journey has one, and what the Top 5 concept could look like lived out in LKN.  We hope you enjoy it!

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Weekend Preview | God’s: Part 3 – God’s Plan

By Chris Denning


Click Here to Subscribe on Spotify


The past few weeks we’ve been talking about the difference between ownership and stewardship.  We’ve talked about how everything we have comes from God, including every single one of our resources.

Now, we could understand both of these things, but still not be able to become a great steward of God’s resources if we lack one key thing:

Intentional Investment

Even if we set everything up in our lives to make this shift, to use everything we have as God would like it done, we wouldn’t be able to be good stewards without intentional investments.  We have to CHOOSE to make intentional investments in our lives, specifically with the people that are around us. 

Intentional investments means we’re not only being mindful about the stuff God’s given us, but also about the people God has placed in our lives.  Making the choice to invest in the lives of those around us using what God has given us is good stewardship.

To take the idea a step farther, we need to expand our understanding of “God’s Resources.”  When I say that, especially when we’ve been talking about finances you probably think of:

Money.  Cars.  Houses.  Stuff.

You wouldn’t be wrong, but I want to challenge you to expand your thinking a little bit.  In reality, God’s Resources includes these things, but it also includes: 

Relationships.  Opportunities.  Chance-Encounters.  Business Meetings.  Kids Soccer Games.

God supplies us with the materials we need to make an impact in this world.  To make that a little more “Journey”: God supplies us with the materials to humbly point everyone to absolute hope!

God provides us with the opportunities to connect with those around us, so that we can bring hope to them.  God gives us the ability to talk to other parents during our kid’s events so that we can point them to hope.

When you think about it, this is really all about perspective.  That conversation with another parent at your kid’s soccer game could just be another random conversation, or it could be a divine appointment that God has orchestrated specifically for you.  This subtle shift in our view of life will change how we live and how we see other people.

Making intentional investments helps to bring purpose to our lives.  Intentional investments allow us to begin to see God’s plan for our resources, beyond just tithing and giving to those who need it.

Let me talk to Partners for just a moment.

Intentional investments is how we make our mission personal.  Opening our eyes to those just around us changes the “everyone” in our mission to people.  Specific people, like the people around you, in your life right now.

Humbly point Samantha to absolute hope.

Humbly point Josh to absolute hope.

Intentional investments are how we will see 3 new campuses, 3,000 stories of life change, and $300,000 given to the LKN community.  We need to change how we live if we want to see these things, not for us, not for Journey, but for the fame of God.

Let’s open our eyes to see those around us, how we can make intentional investments in them, so that we can fully live out God’s plan for our lives.


Join us this weekend at 9 or 11am

(Click for Directions)

or Online at TheJourneyOnline.tv at 11am

Message Follow Up | We Can’t Stay Here: Part 3 – We Have to Go

We Can’t Stay Here: Part 3 – We Have to Go from Journey Church on Vimeo.


by Matt Dawson


Ready . . . Get Set . . . Go – NO

Go . . . Get Set . . . Ready – YES

What an amazing weekend we had together as a church looking at what God wants to do among us.  It takes steps of faith, going when He calls us to GO, praying for discernment along the way, and getting ready for God to do what only He can do.

However, this is not just a way to try and force God to act on our behalf.  We have to be clear about what GOD is calling us to do.  We can jump off a cliff with all the faith in the world that God will make a way for us, but IF HE DIDN’T CALL US TO JUMP OFF THE CLIFF, then we are facing a hard lesson when we hit bottom.

So, how can we be sure of what God is calling us to do? 

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4 Ways to Humbly Point Everyone to Absolute Hope

By Chris Denning


If you’ve been around Journey, you’ve probably heard us talk about what we’re about:

We humbly point everyone to absolute Hope.

I love how this mission doesn’t really have an end point, nor does it wholly depend on what we’re able to do, but rather it’s centered around who Christ is and how we should respond to Him with our lives.

However, after hearing this for a while, you might be asking yourself what this practically looks like.

“How can I humbly point everyone to absolute Hope in my everyday life?”

I want to help by offering four simple actions that you can start doing today to help you live out our mission in your everyday life. I believe that these four simple things will help you grow in your faith and become more like Christ as you humbly point everyone to absolute Hope.

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Message Follow Up | We Can’t Stay Here: Part 2 – We Have to Change

We Can’t Stay Here: Part 2 – We Have to Change from Journey Church on Vimeo.


By Matt Dawson


Growing always brings CHANGE.

The Church of Jesus Christ is a LIVING THING.  It’s either growing and changing or it is stagnant (you can call stagnant things something else… DEAD).  Jesus was as clear as could be: GO and make disciples of EVERYONE!

Matthew 28:19

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

Churches that experience success have a natural instinct to protect that success and resist change.   They become risk adverse because they have much to lose.  Meanwhile, church plants, missionaries, para-church organizations, with less to lose are willing to risk everything to innovate, take risks, and even fail in pursuit of the BEST POSSIBLE FUTURE.

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005 The Journey Online Podcast | We Can’t Stay Here w/ Matt Dawson

The Journey Online Podcast

2014 was an awesome year for Journey Church, but 2015 is positioned to be even greater!  God has done some big things over the past few years, but we’re excited about what God is going to do in the next few.

In this episode, Zack DeBerry talks with Matt Dawson about our series We Can’t Stay Here, about the vision for Journey Church, and especially answering several “Whys” behind some of the mile-markers of our vision.


005 THE JOURNEY ONLINE PODCAST | We Can’t Stay Here w/ Matt Dawson

(RSS – Click Here to Listen)

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Message Follow Up | We Can’t Stay Here: Part 1 – We Can’t Stay Here

We Can’t Stay Here: Part 1 – We Can’t Stay Here from Journey Church on Vimeo.


By Matt Dawson


If you were not able to attend our service last Sunday, you missed one of the greatest weekends I’ve had the chance to experience. 

There really is NOTHING LIKE celebrating what God has done and is doing together with your church family!  I hope you felt the same way – trust me, you’re going to want to take a few minutes and WATCH IT!

I ended our time together with these words:

Your pastor is ready… your leadership at this church is ready… we are going after all that God has in store for us – we will risk everything and never give up as long as there are people who need the absolute Hope of Jesus!  Are you ready?!”

It’s a powerful thing to stand with my brothers and sisters in Christ – our PARTNERS in mission and ministry – and boldly ask God to ignite passion in our hearts and launch us into His vision for our church.  

I’m honored to be your pastor and cannot be more excited about this moment in the life of our church!

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Weekend Preview | We Can’t Stay Here: Part 1 – We Can’t Stay Here

By Chris Denning


Click Here to Subscribe on Spotify


2014 was a BIG year for Journey.

We’ve seen incredible growth not only in attendance and generosity, but we’ve seen God do some incredible things through Global Outreach, in the Lake Norman Community, and even with our students at Journey.  With as awesome as 2014 was, we’re going to see the seeds that were planted flourish in 2015.

We’ve had one of the best years our church has ever seen, but 2015 is setup to be even greater!

In 2015, we’re going to be taking even bigger steps forward to be the church God has called us to be.  To humbly point everyone to absolute Hope.  And we’re going to start  right here in the Lake Norman Area, with those closest to us: our friends. Continue reading