The Journey's Core Values. Part 1: Celebration
In no particular order, those values are Celebration, Community, Creativity and Mission.
I’d like to begin with Celebration.
Over the past several hundred years the “church” has become more and more associated with a building and a gathering. We (the church) have catered to the consumeristic demands of popular culture, and by doing so have created a sub-culture of religious entertainment that attempts to compete with the world. In my last post I talked about seeing the church as a bridge instead of a store. It is my belief that The Journey must push against the tendency to compete with culture and provide gatherings that reflect sincere, authentic expressions of celebration and worship to our God.
When we gather, we are not gathering to be entertained, we are gathering as the body of the living Christ and celebrating together all of the good things that God has been doing in our lives the past 6 days. We gather to celebrate together.
If I go to a birthday party, I don’t expect to sit down and be entertained. I expect to participate in the celebration!
The same should be true of everyone who gathers to celebrate on the Lord’s Day. When we gather we bring our prayers, our praises, our joys, our concerns, our burdens, our hurts, our pains, our struggles, our victories, our defeats, our laughter and our tears and we offer them up to the Lord. We sing together, we read God’s Word together, we listen for the voice of the Lord together, and we share in baptism and communion together.
I feel that the debate that has been raging the past few years concerning attractional vs. missional models of church, while important, has missed the point: we don’t need to decide which model we will embrace, we need to do both!
The church gathered in the first century. The church needs to gather in 21st century. We need time to come together as one body and celebrate.
This is what we intend to do at The Journey.
We plan to begin gathering monthly in September at the Shoal River Middle School and move towards weekly gatherings by January 2012. When we gather we will celebrate with music, and prayer, and the arts, and Scripture and teaching and the sacraments. But we will not do it passively. We will be active participants together.
Everyone is invited to the party.
But if you come, you have to dance.