The Final Month: Day Twenty-Three

Posted: July 24, 2012 in The Final Month

I kid you not- I feel like I’m still writing on last night’s entry. Today was without a doubt the fastest and busiest day of this month. It was a good day, though, as both Sarai and I were able to spend a lot of time with some of our students, and tonight two of our church softball teams played each other, which is always a fun time of fellowship and good-natured competition. A good day, but too fast. It was also a good day because another family has felt compelled to support us in our endeavors to plant Life Journey Church, which raises our support to 56%!

For those of you that are perhaps new to this story or looking for more information, Life Journey Church is a budding church plant located in Crozet, Virginia. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, LJC seeks to minister to Crozet as well as the surroundings communities within Albemarle County. I’d like to take a few minutes and just explain in a (somewhat!) concise manner exactly what Life Journey Church is, where it’s headed, and how it’s getting there. More info is available at our website (www.lifejourneyva.com), so feel free to head over there…

The leadership of LJC currently resides within Walt Davis, but upon my arrival we will share the duties, responsibilities, joys, and burdens as equals and fellow elders. We see in God’s word that Paul and Barnabas appointed elders (plural) in every church (singular) – Acts 14:23. Though the argument for a plurality of elders far exceeds one simple verse, that one verse is sufficient to support such a concept. Rather than forming a hierarchy of leadership and subordinates, Walt and I will be equal to one another, accountable to one another, committed to serving each other and the rest of LJC. More on this later.

The goal of Life Journey Church, and therefore the end focus of everything we do, is to spread the fame of God. While this begins with us in Crozet, the dream is to quickly become a church who plants churches that plant churches, all for the glory and fame of God. Yep- it’s that simple! The marching orders that Jesus left for His followers was to evangelize, form communities, disciple, repeat. We aim to achieve this by purposely and intentionally loving people who currently have no relationship with God, by training people who are committed to God via focused discipleship, and by equipping and sending the followers of Christ from among us who have been called by God to serve in any capacity.

We may not have a lot of bells and whistles within LJC, but we are firmly committed to several core values. We strive to see lives transformed by God in such a powerful way that it results in uninhibited worship, prayer, and joyful service. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and we’re prayerfully expectant that God will continue to pour out His grace upon those who need Him in Crozet. We also aim to display authentic relationships with God as well as with those around us. There will be no masks, no display of holiness on one day of the week but not the rest. We’re going to be transparent and real in our daily lives as Christ followers. We’re also determined to stand committed to the inerrancy, infallibility, inspiration, and relevancy of God’s Word in our present context. We plan to be radical in our ministry to our community and world with our time, energy, and money. In doing this we also seek to passionately help every Christ-follower to achieve God’s vision for their own lives. Lastly, we are going to pursue intentional multiplication through one-on-one evangelism and discipleship, our community groups, and subsequent church plants.

Walt and I are in firm agreement that community groups are the life’s blood of LJC. We seek to be a church of community groups, rather than simply a church that has community groups. A community group is simply a group of people who are meeting in a home each week. It’s how LJC came to be started, and we believe it to be an integral function of our church. Currently we have two community groups, with a third to develop after my arrival and hopefully a fourth one soon thereafter. The purpose of the group is to meet weekly in smaller groups to discuss the application and relevancy of the previous Sunday’s sermon. There will also be elements of prayer, confession, encouragement, testimony, fellowship, etc. Three weeks of the month these meetings will be as described; the fourth meeting will be either a fun night or a service night (which is fun too!). As the number of groups grows, eventually each week there will be multiple groups serving the community of Crozet, multiple groups growing in spiritual maturity and in closer relationship with one another through discipleship, and multiple groups enjoying activities which make great entry-ways into the fellowship of LJC. In our Sunday Gatherings these community groups will come together for corporate worship which implements prayer, testimony, music, and the proclamation of God’s Word. This is the very scaled-down version. I’ve certainly not done justice in this paragraph to our community groups.

Currently LJC holds a Sunday Gathering each week at the clubhouse on the local golf course. When the pre-launch phase concludes with our Grand Opening on September 9th, we will meet for the next few years at the local high-school. As the auditorium seats 1600, this gives us plenty of room to grow! As elders, Walt and I will both share the responsibility and privilege of preaching God’s Word to His people. Our plan is to alternate weeks so that we have two weeks of preparation between sermons rather than the typical one week. We’re both excited to work with each other, as a functional plurality of eldership will allow us to share the workload, strengthen the others weaknesses, and hold each other accountable in their spiritual walk with Christ as elders of LJC.

And so that’s the extremely simplified version. Now and continuing after our launch, we will be meeting weekly as a church family and we’ll be meeting during the week in our community groups. Walt and I are sharing the leadership together as friends, brothers in Christ, and elders who have been equipped and called by God to birth this vision of a community of Christ-followers dedicated to spreading the fame of God. Please, please continue to pray for us not only this week but faithfully up to and beyond our launch. Without the powerful moving of the Holy Spirit, we’re simply spinning our wheels. And if you’d like to invest personally into this vision, we’d certainly love to add you to our support network!

 

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