Last Wednesday, as David and I announced that it would be the last time we met at the warehouse for Awaken, we welcomed two new members to our group. It was the first night for upcoming 6th graders to join us. Each school year brings excitement for us as leaders to get to welcome new young men and women into our amazing group. This year is no exception. I had watched and listened over the past several weeks, and on Wednesday of last week, as these two fresh faces were welcomed in by our current group. These middle and high school students have got it. They are being the Church to others.
What do you think of when you think of church, or for that matter, of Journey Church? Do you see it as just a place you go to every Sunday (or every other Sunday…or every third Sunday…)? Do you associate it with God? Or, honestly, do you associate it with doing something good for the week?
When I was a kid I associated church with the place my parents took us to every Sunday morning and night as well as on Wednesday evenings. It was what we did. As I grew up and became more involved, I began wanting to be at church. I wanted to be around others and I wanted to be involved. It had become fun. But, when I got serious about my relationship with Jesus Christ I wanted to be at church for another reason altogether. I wanted to learn more about the God I served, I wanted to serve Him and fellow believers, I wanted to sing to Him and about Him, and I wanted to be around others who felt the same. Going to church was no longer going to a building for me. It was being with a gathering of people who come together to worship the living God and to learn about and live out the teachings of Jesus.
Journey Church is moving to a new facility this weekend. But Journey Church isn’t a building. It isn’t fun programs or cool music. Journey Church is a body of believers who want to serve God and grow deeper in their relationship with Him. It is a body of believers who want to help others do the same. The students of Awaken welcomed new students last week and I have no doubt that they will walk alongside these two as they grow in the ministry and in their faith. It excites me immensely because I know as we settle into our new community, and therefore hopefully welcome new students from that community to Awaken, I know this group will welcome newcomers with open arms as well.
Will you join us in doing the same?
Let’s get excited to welcome new men, women, and children into our body of believers! Let us pray for those who will come visit us for the first time, second time, and possibly join us weekly. God has amazing plans not only for Journey Church but for each of us who attend as well. We are the body of Christ. We are the Church. Let’s go and show Red Bank the love of Christ together.
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of His household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the Chief Cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in The Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19-22)