OK, so I know that these sort of things usually happen around December or January, but today is a special day: One year ago, I accepted the position of Director of Worship & Arts at Journey. I thought it would be appropriate to take a trip back throught the last 12 months and look at all we have accomplished.
- May 31, 2006 – I was interviewed by the Leadership Team of Journey. This was my first real interview (I never had a ‘formal’ interview at my previous congregation) so I was understandably nervous. I arrived way early and talked with Bob Barber about what I should expect. He briefed me and got me all excited for what he thought would be a short, easy interview. 2 hours of the most intense grilling I’ve ever been through later, it ended. It was actually a good feeling to have gone through such a rigorous process because it showed me that they want to know who they are going to hire.
- June 1, 2006 – I was offered the job. I began praying hard about the decision and asking God to help make things happen.
- June 5, 2006 – I accepted the position. We worked out the details and set July 1 as my start date. I found out at this time that worship starts on July 9… no time to spare!
- June 25, 2006 – My last Sunday at Trinity. There’s a nice farewell reception and send-off. It’s really hard to leave someplace where you’ve worked for the past 7 years. I’ll always miss them!
- July 8, 2006 – Our first rehearsal – and just one day before our first service. In just a week we were able to round up 4 vocalists and a bass player. I played piano and drums from the keyboard.
- July 9, 2006 – Practice Worship begins with 63 in attendance. With little advertising and a short time, we had a respectable crowd and the Journey begins.
- July 23, 2006 – Our first series, Road Trip, begins. We even managed to shoot some relatively decent video spots for illustrations – definitely setting the bar high from the beginning!
- July 27, 2006 – www.JourneyWired.org is launched. Journey hits the information superhighway with a modest website.
- July 29, 2007 – Journey is in the Byron Days Parade and Festival. We got some community exposure and generated some interest – and had lots of fun giving away thousands of snow cones!
- August 2006 – It’s decided that Journey will stay at Celebration Cinema. The relationship we’ve developed over the summer and the great location make it perfect for us.
- September 14, 2006 – Leadership Community begins. We start bringing our leadership and volunteers together monthly to worship, plan, and grow.
- September 17, 2006 – Worship Begins! Journey officially begins worship every week at Celebration Cinema. Our first real service has 106 in attendance!
- December 1, 2006 – We invited our friends and neighbors and packed a theater to watch the Nativity Story.
- December 24, 2006 – Our First Christmas! Journey celebrates with a morning service with record attendance (125) and an evening Carols by Candlelight service at our Mission House (the house on our future property) and pack 50 people around the piano.
- December 31, 2006 – We celebrate New Years’ Eve by giving all the volunteers the week off and having a party for worship, complete with a buffet and swing band to celebrate our first 6 months! Another record attendance (130)!
- January 2007 – Plans are underway to incorporate Journey of Faith and establish us as our own congregation.
- January 9, 2007 – After being an avid follower of the blog world, I finally decide to become a contributing member. Beyond the Noise is launched and the world will never be the same!
- February 4, 2007 – A freak late winter blizzard shuts down most of Grand Rapids and the surrounding communities. We’re forced to cancel worship for the week. While it’s not the ideal, everyone does enjoy the surprise break.
- February 16, 2007 – We ditch MediaShout as our projection software and run to ProPresenter on our new Apple. Will things ever be the same?
- February 22, 2007 – Bob & I trek to Granger, Indiana to visit our friends at Granger Community Church and learn a thing or two about their video and projection system – they’re great hosts and a ton of fun too!
- February 26, 2007 – After much poking and prodding, Bob Barber, Journey’s Lead Pastor, makes his mark in the blogosphere.
- March 4, 2007 – In the middle of our “Battle Within” series, we bring Sara Grivas of ‘Darkness By Default’ to teach on Lust. It’s our first controversial subject and our congregation handled it great – most were glad that we kept it open and honest and loved the fresh approach.
- April 7, 2007 – Journey’s first major video production is shot at Grand Rapids International Airport. It’s the first of what will be many great videos we’ll be producing. While I’m not too enthused at being cast at the last minute, it does turn out pretty good!
- April 2007 – It’s a rough month for Bob and his family – his brother-in-law dies and his nephew is murdered in California. Family takes priority, so he heads for California over Easter.
- May 14, 2007 – Bob and I leave for a leadership retreat in Ohio for a few days. It’s great to unwind, review the past year and gear up for the next one.
- May 2007 – Our biggest marketing campaign yet hits the community: Mailings, commercials, and fliers are going everywhere! This past Sunday we have 26 visitors!! And most came because of the marketing efforts!
Looking back over this past year has been great! It’s amazing to see just how far we’ve come and all that God has accomplished in and around Journey. I’m humbled to think that I’ve gotten to play a role in the past year and I look forward to what He’s got in store for the future.
The Journey so far has been great – I can’t wait to see what comes next!