By Zack DeBerry
One of the things that I treasure about Journey Church above other churches that I have been a part of is the transparent and authentic culture that exists here. Everyone is real and will be very open with you about anything you may want to know. No one acts like an expert, but there is a sincere desire to be open and honest about everything.
This is especially true with our guests. We welcome the feedback and the opportunity to answer ANY questions that they may have about Journey or faith in general. I like to believe we have a true AMA Culture at Journey.
What is an AMA Culture?
One of the big trends right now in Social Media is the AMA phenomenon. AMA means, if you don’t already know, Ask Me Anything. What it means is simply any question about anything is fair game. An AMA culture means that we fully expect people to have honest questions and we intend to answer those questions as honestly as we can.
An AMA culture is about realizing that there are questions and part of the reason we exist as a church is to help answer those questions. This is NOT to say we have ALL the answers, but we do feel a call to treat every question as important and of value to the individuals that are asking the questions.
Why is an AMA Culture Important?
We take this very seriously because we believe that if there is one place you should be able to come with your questions, it’s the Church. For a long time a lot of churches have acted like they have given people all the answers, so there should never be any questions.
This has caused more problems than it has helped to eliminate in many churches. What people need most from a church is a community of people on a faith journey together that are open about the fact that they don’t have it all figured out.
The beauty of the AMA culture is the realization that there are really NO Experts, but all of us are seeking God’s Word and His Plans in all we do and say. We all have questions everyday in our lives and we are all seeking answers to those questions.
As a church it is our job to create an atmosphere and a culture where everyone feels comfortable enough to truly ask anything. If we have not created a place where people can come and ask the deepest questions of their heart, then we have missed what we are called to do as a church.
We need to look no further that Jesus in the Gospels to see that we need to create a culture where people feel free to ask questions. In the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) Jesus was asked roughly 80 or so unique questions and He never hesitated to answer them.
There was something about Jesus that made people feel comfortable enough to ask Him whatever they were thinking. One account that comes to mind is found in John 3 where a very religious guy named Nicodemus begins a line of questions to Jesus about how to begin to walk with Him.
Jesus doesn’t get offended, but treats Nicodemus’ questions as valid and important and explains the process to Nicodemus. John 3 kind of leaves you hanging as to what happens to Nicodemus, but after Jesus is crucified and Joseph of Arimathea takes the body to the tomb we find out an amazing thing about Nicodemus. Here is what it says:
“Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away. With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes.”
John 19:38-39 (NLT)
What started as an AMA session resulted in a devoted follower of Jesus Christ.
THAT is why we must create and fight to sustain an AMA culture at Journey. Not to answer every question, but to create a place where everyone can feel safe to pursue a lasting relationship with Jesus and feel free to NOT have it all figured out in the process.
This weekend, we are doing a live QnA to close out our series, Who Changed the Rules. We want an honest AMA session about anything we’ve covered in this series, including marriage, dating, LGBT questions, sexual sin, divorce, or anything else that falls under relationships. NOTHING is off limits.
If you have a question you’d like to ask (all questions are kept anonymous), then Text it to (704)-659-5101 or Email it to QnA@TheJourneyOnline.com. We’ll do our best to address every question we get in, so send your question in today!