(Posted on the Journey’s website🙂
Thank you for your encouraging comments. I will reply over here just to keep things grouped by topic.
First, you are right to point out that the “big C” Church is making some impact. God’s kingdom continues to move forward — with or without us.
But I believe that, flowing from worship (and as an act of worship) an outward missional focus is essential. I want it to be prayerfully intentional, not accidental. I’m sure there are inspiring stories within our church of, as you say, individuals making an impact; I want these to be our central defining stories, not stay behind the scenes. I want us to go to those outside the church, not try to get them to come to us. (That is, after all, what Jesus did for us.) And to reach our post-Christian society, in which the church is starting from a position of distrust and resentment, it will take more than lone disciples to soften their hearts toward Jesus — it will take groups praying and creatively reaching out, giving visible witness to the gospel as a communal reality, not just a personal preference.
I do not expect the Journey to suddenly say, “This is our new defining center.” But I do hope for some receptivity, especially in light of the strong declarations that Jeff made at the time about the now-forgotten “church, why bother” series and in light of the strategic initiative that the Journey’s denomination is attempting, the effort to turn its churches outward. I feel a bit of a pest, but I cannot avoid this call of God and the need to be an advocate for my non-church friends, who are representative of a larger world. God is inviting us!
Thank you again for responding to me. I hope that some in leadership in the Journey would do the same. As I said, I would welcome the chance to do so face-to-face.