The Journey Church can be described as a diverse family of Christ-followers who are journeying together towards knowing God and making God known. This is expressed through our values that we are pursuing in the goal of fulfilling our mission. Our Values are what we consider to be core expressions of Biblical truth in the life of our local church. We have identified 12 areas that we are eager to pursue with passion. These are as follows:
The Gospel is simply the good news that is wrapped up in Jesus Christ and what He has done. It is the power of God for the salvation of all who believe (Romans 1:16). So what does it mean when we say Gospel-centred? It means the Gospel remains the central theme and defines our message and our mission. The method (how we communicate the message and fulfil our mission) must support these and not detract from them.
The Word: The centrality of the Bible is undisputed. The Bible, as God's Word, is what we measure our belief, life and experience against. This is what the early Church did as they 'devoted themselves to the apostles teaching' (Acts 2v42). Paul instructed his Churches saying, 'Devote yourself to the public reading of scripture, to preaching and teaching' (1 Tim 4v13). So fundamental was the spread of the Word in the New Testament Church, that Luke described the growth of the church in these terms: 'The word of God kept on spreading' (Acts 6v6). So, along with worship, the preaching of God's Word is the primary ingredient in our Sunday meetings. and this is the standard against which we measure our teaching, life and expression of our faith.The Spirit: The early Church was born through a powerful experience of the Spirit (Acts 2), and was a community that pulsated with the life of the Holy Spirit. The book of Acts records repeated instances of people being filled with, and operating in the power of the Holy Spirit, and Paul even defines the Church as people "being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit" (Eph 2v22). To this end, we try to allow the Holy Spirit to lead our meetings, we eagerly desire the spiritual gifts, and we have regular opportunities for being filled with the Holy Spirit.
At the heart of the Gospel is God making worshippers. We are committed to joining God in this task as well as creating an environment where people can come together to worship God in a way that is an appropriate response to His infinite worth. When we get a glimpse of the majesty of God, our hearts are ignited with a passion for Him and His glory. Here are some ways that we seek to express passionate worship in our meetings:Healthy Hearts: The Worship of God goes beyond the external expression of worship to addressing our hearts before a holy and majestic God. So we realise that there are times when we need to check our hearts to see that they are healthy and that we're not just kidding ourselves, so that our passion is genuine and our worship a joy to God.Joyful Attitudes: Healthy hearts are happy hearts! Both the Old and New Testaments paint a picture of lively and joyful church meetings that include singing, clapping, dancing and even shouting! We want people in our meetings to feel free to worship God in whatever form they choose, but our bias is towards extravagant praise and tender worship.Willing Contributions: The Bible also presents Church meetings that are characterized not just by preaching and singing, but also by multiple contributions from different people: "When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the Church" (1 Cor 14v26). During the time of worship, we warmly encourage anyone from the congregation to bring contributions like these. This makes for pretty exciting meetings! God is at work through the entire body and not just a couple of upfront professionals!"Nothing you do on a consistent basis is more like the activity of heaven than worshipping God with His people" (Don Whitney).
1 Corinthians 10:31, "Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God's glory." This verse is a challenge to every Christ-follower in terms of their life, but also in terms of how we do what we do as a Church. In actual fact, this serves as a principle for all of life.It also leaves no room for half-heartedness since God is worthy of all praise and honour, and how we work and serve as a Church is really a reflection of our true worship which also stems from God's free grace to us in Christ Jesus. Therefore it is the expectation in our Church that whatever we do, we do with our whole hearts and for joy of God.
We are striving to develop an atmosphere of friendliness and loving acceptance. This flows directly from our theology of grace. Here's how it works:God's Grace to Us: Salvation is by grace. This means that salvation is a free gift from God to us that we cannot earn by works. God's love for us is complete, unchanging and unconditional. We are accepted just as we are, whether we do well or badly, sin or stay pure, we are completely accepted because the righteousness of Jesus has been given to us as a gift.Grace towards each other: Jesus said that we should love each other as he has loved us (Jn 13v34). This means that we also accept one another unconditionally, not on the basis of performance, but on the basis of grace. Grace makes for a secure, free and joyful Church of people who don't need to strive to impress God or each other....because we are 100% accepted already!
We are deeply committed to building a diverse Church that includes many different cultures, languages and age groups, which is expressed in leadership, worship and in every area of our life together. This is not an attempt at being politically correct or a 'rainbow nation' – rather it stems from our theological conviction that the Gospel smashes all human divisions and sets all men as equals. We also believe that diversity glorifies God more than uniformity."There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal 3v28) and "With your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation" (Rev 5v9).Did you see it? Who could make us all one – only Jesus! Who has the ability to be relevant to all nations – only Jesus! God is more glorified by diversity than by uniformity because it reveals His Lordship over ALL things!
It is always an easy thing for us to get so caught up in our own lives that we don't realise the need that is all around us. But since we want to have hearts "after God's own heart", we believe that a reflection of God's heart and an expression of the Gospel's application in our lives would be "remembering the poor" (Deut 15:11; Isaiah 58; Gal 2v10).
The race that we are running is not an individual time trial; rather it is a relay race where success includes getting those behind us to the tape as well as ourselves. As Joshua found out, this does not happen automatically: "Joshua died...after that another generation grew up who did not know the Lord" (Jud 2v8f).By being generationally aware we will seek to honour those who have gone before us as well as seeking to be faithful to those coming after. This will involve establishing top-notch kids and youth programs that will establish the next generation in the Gospel and prepare them to pass it on to the generation after them (Psalm 78:4-8).
We consider hospitality to be an essential part of who we are as a church. It is a Gospel issue since we have experienced the love of God that has been poured out in our hearts and it is an appropriate expression of that love. It is a Biblical issue since the primary metaphor for the church in the New Testament is that of a family and we are determined to maintain and protect the family atmosphere of our church. It is a Practical issue since the mission that God has called us to is about real people with real lives, and one of the best ways to be on mission with God is through being hospitable.
This is a very high value in The Journey Church and has a direct impact on everyone who wants to be part of the church. Serving is a fundamental characteristic of the Christian life, and we take our lead from Jesus himself who did not come to be served, but rather to serve (Mt 20v28). We don't just serve in order to get the job done, but rather to imitate Christ, to serve others, and to develop godly maturity. This is the difference between consumers and contributors. At The Journey Church we are all contributors, understanding that 'we are joined and knit together by what every joint supplies...as each part does its share (Eph 4v16 NKJ).
According to Jesus' commission in Matthew 28, the Church is supposed to be an outward looking full-on mission agency. Because of this, we don't have a missions department since our task is equipping people to be missionaries in whatever context they are in. Jesus told us to go and make disciples and so we are determined to see that become a reality where we are!
We believe that God has placed us here deliberately. We are a local Church, planted deliberately because we are passionate about the Gospel's impact on this part of Joburg. Jeremiah 29:7, "But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare."