Get to know a few of our stories…




Pete

I have been in and around church all of life being the son of vicar!  I’ve been church treasurer, musician and helped build a new church.  However, it is fair to say that my perspective on church has changed in recent years having felt somewhat disillusioned with the traditional model of organised religion.  My faith has always mattered to me, but with hindsight I feel that was focused around doing church rather than journeying and sharing life with others.  Two words have been on my heart lately, they are “so what?”  This has challenged me to ask what is the impact of all my “doing”.  I want my faith to have an impact in my community – not just an activity for Sunday morning.  These changes of perspective have been a challenge for my family and me but we are feeling called to our own community and sharing life with those in close proximity. I am feeling at home identifying with both Journey and FLTR.  –Pete




Sarah

Am I the only one who walks into a room and sees all the things that are out of place?  It can be a helpful skill in producing quality work!  But If you relate, do you do this with people and relationships too? I tend to. It’s a funny thing when we’re made for Heaven – we can desire and even expect things to be perfect here on earth as well.  I’m learning that while we’re in this broken world, a lot is not going to be ideal. Focusing on the broken things can leave you feeling heavy, disappointed, and frustrated. This tension is meant to push us to look for hope in God!  He loves us perfectly, and His plan (even in messy situations) can be trusted.  God is teaching me how to use that desire for the ideal to help others draw near to the One who is perfect, loves us perfectly, and journeys with us in our struggles.  Journey is a group of people who are learning to accept the unique ways we are all created and join those differences together to make our world a better place. – Sarah




Heidi

I understand what it is like to feel as though your attempt at being a Christian is inadequate. Keeping the shame of this to myself, I used to be unable to seek the support of my church. This changed when I discovered Journey Communities. With them I have experienced authenticity about the challenges we face in our walks of faith. In addition to feeling accepted, despite my failings, I have come to appreciate Jesus’ love for me more fully. Journey Communities has also helped me to recognise and celebrate Christ’s breakthroughs in my own and other people’s lives. These changes have increased my confidence and enabled God to lead me into a course of study and a new vocation. Whilst this has not been easy, the emotional and spiritual support offered to me by the leaders and members of Journey Communities has helped enormously. As we Journey together, reciprocating this encouragement has become a natural progression in my walk of faith. I hope that others will find their lives enriched by authentically sharing the trials and joys of following Christ. –Heidi

My faith has always mattered to me, but with hindsight I feel that was focused around doing church rather than journeying and sharing life with others.

-Pete



Christie

Like you, I was frustrated with the amount of time I spent inside the church building as a church leader. Isn’t the whole point of the church to be a light out in the open for all to see? I’d spent years studying theology and still came up short in feeling prepared to actually know how to make a disciple like Jesus instructed. Since my time with Journey, even though I’m one of the leaders, I’ve grown in my ability to confidently get after these things we call discipleship and multiplication. I’ve had to navigate my own insecurities in my giftedness and abilities as a woman. My time with this network of relationships called Journey has helped me discover that God really has called me to lead and that He is quite ok to use women in His great big plan! If you’re at all frustrated and lacking purpose, I’d like to Journey with you so you can find your purpose too! –Christie




Simon



Like you, I was frustrated with being powerless to make a real difference. I saw my faith in Jesus as a personal quest. When I found no success there, I became skeptical of my faith and the claims of Jesus – “there was no power in what the scripture said”, I thought. I turned to look for material success and found plenty for a period of time. But God didn’t give up and He pursued me through my personal successes and failures. –Simon




Steve

I’ve grown up always asking if something can be done differently or more creatively.  Church is one of those places that things are done the same way for ages because ‘that’s just how it’s done!’  In my previous professions as teacher and music/arts director, I asked this question all the time – so why not ask it for the church? This question is what God used to lead me here in 2010 to explore doing church in a new way with a fresh ‘page’ to write on. Ten years on, it still drives me to imagine how the church can be what Jesus meant it to be – an authentic place to change and creatively grow by the power of the Holy Spirit, our Father’s great love and Jesus’ sacrificial leadership. This journey has been hard – as a journey of authenticity requires we peel back the layers of our ‘old, humanistic’ self and take on the life that Jesus offers. If you are looking for a group of people to authentically and creatively learn to be church with, the Journey family may be just for you. – Steve




Jeff

I understand how it feels to have less than a full life. Sure, I was achieving a lot in life but rarely did it satisfy – at least not for long. I was consumed with people’s opinion of me and that led me to a constant state of restlessness. This grew into anxiety and depression. As I began to grow in my faith, I came to trust that my identity was not formed in the opinions of men, but in the invitation to be a son of God. The Proverbs say, “The fear of man is a snare, but those who trust in the Lord will be safe.” I still love to achieve, but my successes need not define me. If I’m honest, I’m still tempted from time to time but each time Jesus and my community at Journey help to remind me that I am affirmed in my relationship with God and that frees me to achieve for His glory and the encouragement of others!  – Jeff




Ryan

My experience of church growing up was something that you participated in once a week and often felt like you were consuming. It was a task you checked off and for me, left me with a faith that wasn’t steadfast or secure. However, I would read stories of the early church in Acts and how they would share and do life together. It left me wondering how did the church become an hour a week thing instead of an all day every day thing? I desired church to be this way and then the Lord led me to Journey. At Journey we are a family on mission, a community wanting to grow together. It has given me so much life to be a part of this church. As I have journeyed as a member of JC, I have has opportunities to grow in gifts of the Spirit, teaching, and have been able to serve on the leadership team all because the expectation isn’t that I show up and consume, but rather that I show up ready and available to love and be lead by the Spirit. –Ryan