This Sunday was both one of the best we’ve ever had and one of the most difficult all at the same time. It was great in that it was some of the most powerful and passionate worship we’ve experienced, but difficult in the message we shared.
Journey of Faith is a young church – we’ll be 4 this summer – and we’ve had a lot of help getting things started. Our biggest help has come financially from our district. They help support our budget and it allows for us to be able to do the things we do at Journey. Since a large portion of our worshiping population is young (almost half are under the age of 35) and there are lots of people who are new to this whole church thing (meaning “tithe” isn’t in their vocabulary yet). To help us overcome this, our District has supported us the last three years. We were expecting our support to drop this year – a little.
Two weeks ago, we received news that our support would drop almost $70,000. We were planning for a $25,000 drop. You can see the dilemma here, right? It’s not because our District doesn’t want to support us or that they don’t believe in us, but they are struggling financially as well and just cannot commit to helping us like they would like to.
All of this comes as the culmination of what we are now beginning to see is some serious spiritual warfare. Since September, Journey has been under attack. You might remember that in September, Pastor Bob was involved in a car accident that caused some health issues for him, leading to surgery that caused some other complications and he’s still dealing with the effects of that yet today. I went through loads of stress in trying to buy a house last fall, only to have the deal fall apart at the last minute. It seemed to brighten up when I was able to buy it as a foreclosure, but then it struck again when the former owner of the house decided to sue the bank that foreclosed and is now trying to get her house back, dragging me into a whole legal mess that I neither want nor can afford (I just bought a house, remember?!). Those events were enough to knock Pastor Bob and myself (Journey’s only two staff) off our game. The financial crisis was an attempt to push us over the edge.
So Sunday, we shared the news with the people at Journey. It was not a doom and gloom message, but rather one of reality and that while, yes, Satan wants nothing more to see Journey stumble and fall, we can overcome if we come together and make a difference. We challenged everyone to consider how they might be a part of making Journey all that it can be and we truly believe that 2010 will be our finest year, because we’re going to pull together and make it happen!
- You Are Good – Israel Houghton – We needed to kick off with a reminder that no matter what, God is there and he is GOOD!
- All We Need – Charlie Hall – A great reminder that whatever our circumstances, all we need is God.
- From the Inside Out – Joel Houston – A powerful song and a perfect lead-in to the message (“And the cry of my heart is to bring you praise from the inside out, Lord my soul cries out”)
- Savior, Please – Josh Wilson – The only song we could sing following a message like we heard. We ended up using it as the prayer on the fly – Pastor Bob came up and we kept softly playing as he shared some of the prayers we were going to lift up, and we used the chorus as the prayer – it was one of the most powerful worship experiences we’ve ever had.
- Sing to the King – Billy Foote – While we’ve used this song a lot, it seemed like the right song to end with (The line Satan is vanquished and Jesus is King seemed very appropriate).
Overall, while Journey is facing some pretty big hurdles this year (which I’ll explain more in a later post) we are confident that we can rise up and be the church that God has called us to be.
This post is part of the Sunday Setlist Blog Carnival where worship leaders from around the world share what they did in their services. Check it out over at http://www.theworshipcommunity.com/sunday-setlists-81/.