The Journey Church – A Place of Acceptance – An Emerging Church – Westminster, CO

A Place of
Inclusion

The Journey Glossary

(A concise, alphabetical explanation of many of the terms we use at The Journey)
 
Ancient Spiritual Practices: We can bring the Kingdom of God (God’s empire of the heart without boundaries or physical power) into our everyday lives through the ancient spiritual practices. These include prayer, communion, Lent, sign of the cross, scripture reading, tithing, and others. You can view these here.
 
Blessed to Be a Blessing (Genesis 12:1-3): The pain and brokenness of humanity from Genesis 3-11 desires a response from God. God does not condemn, but instead blesses us. God chooses to bless humanity through the person of Abraham. But God does not simply bless Abraham and his descendents. God tells Abraham to bless others with the blessing he has been given. This is the main message of The Journey. We are not blessed because we are special. We are blessed by God in order to bless other people. Blessed to be a blessing!
 
Community (2 levels):
A) The Journey community: all of us here together learning to love and know each other
B) The community around us: the world we live in. We reach out to the culture around us with ZERO pre-determined intention but to simply love people. We do not care for the communities around us in order to bring them to The Journey. That is not the end game. The end game is simply to show God’s love and compassion to people.
 
Conversations not Conversions: We will never try to convert anyone to a point of view,
whether theological, or even a belief in a particular form of Christianity. We simply want to open up room for dialogue among all people, no matter their beliefs, race, gender, sexual orientation, church background, or cultural background. Our goal is not to convert people. We just want to open up dialogue with anyone about spiritual things. The goal of those conversations is to learn from each other and appreciate our similarities and differences.
 
Essentials @ The Journey (Only 2): “The Trinity” and “Grace” are the only spiritual essentials we profess. We place high value on the story in the ancient scriptures that Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father are all equally God. The story reaches its zenith when God comes down to earth in the person of Jesus and dies for us, essentially giving us his “grace”, so that we may participate with him in his kingdom work here on earth. Beyond the “trinity” and “grace”, we see everything else as various shades of gray to be discussed openly and honestly. We do not hide from difficult issues, but neither do we judge or condemn people for their different beliefs.
 
Everything is God’s: We teach that 100% of what we have is God’s. We encourage the ancient spiritual practice of “tithing” (giving 10% of our income to care for the community), because we believe it puts money in perspective and helps us live unselfish lives with all we have. We do not make rules about money at The Journey. We simply encourage people to give to the mission of the community, not to fund bigger buildings or large church budgets. Giving financially to The Journey is just a small portion of our “stuff”. We believe everything one possesses is a gift that can be given away (apartment, house, car, food, clothes, even our time). It is all God’s.
 
Jesus Creed (Love God and Love Others): The Jesus Creed is an idea (and book by Scot McKnight) that we take very seriously at The Journey. The Jesus Creed was delivered by Jesus to tell people what is the most important thing to Jesus (Matthew 22:36-40). We simplify this to simply says “Love God and Love Others”. That is the mark of The Journey. We love God and we love others. Everything we do and talk about comes out of that simple phrase.
 
Kingdom here and now: We do not see the Kingdom of God as a destination or a place. In the past, religion has taught the kingdom is a far off place we will someday inhabit (often called heaven or the afterlife). We do believe that there is a heaven where we will all be in community with God and each other, but we also believe the Kingdom Jesus talks about in the biographies (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) is right here right now. We believe it is a way of life that changes everything around us. Christ’s Kingdom does not have geographic boundaries, military, power, might, or the need to control people. The beauty is that we get to participate with Christ in bringing this Kingdom (Empire of the Heart) to the world by mirroring Christ’s humility and compassion to the world. We help carry Christ’s kingdom of justice and grace to the poor, outcast, and marginalized in our culture.
 
Knowledge Equals Experience: In religion, gaining knowledge is about studying and understanding the Bible so people can “know” more about the Bible, Bible facts, and various other aspects of religious knowledge. But the Bible speaks of “knowing God” as “experiencing God”. At The Journey we speak of knowledge as experience. The goal of following Jesus is not to grow in head knowledge, whether it be the Bible or anything else religious. The goal for us in our teaching and in our way of life, is to experience God daily as we learn what it means to follow him. We may gain head knowledge as we do this, but that is not the goal. Experiencing God and helping others experience God’s love through care and compassion matters much more than head knowledge.
 
Leadership Structure: We believe in multiple, equal pastors, both male and female, who work together to humbly serve the people of The Journey. We do not believe the bible teaches the idea of a “Senior Pastor”, but instead that it teaches a plurality of pastors (see our “Biblical Eldership” sheet on the website and information table on Sundays). This leadership structure fosters humility in the pastoral team and in the community as a whole.
 
No Spoonfeeding: The Journey will not provide teachings or programs that tell you what to believe. Instead, we ask everyone at The Journey to do some work, both physically and mentally, to find their spiritual niche. Members of The Journey have to work, both on their own spiritual lives and in the life of the community through service.
 
Pigs vs. Chefs Analogy: Most people in religious institutions are really just treated like pigs. They are herded into a building and then are fed slop week in and week out. Whatever is thrown to them they “buy into” and gulp up because it is what they expect and what is expected of them. Often, in fact, people go to these religious institutions in order to have a place to nod their heads and agree with whatever slop is being poured into them. They are not challenged with new concepts or given the freedom to really think for themselves. They are told what to believe. The Journey does not view the community as a place for pigs to get their slop.
 
Instead, we see the community as a large kitchen. There are “helper chefs” all around. We call them Care Ministers and Pastors. But they are not preparing or delivering the food. They make suggestions, helping process information and provide insight and care in the midst of making the meal. However, they do not make the meal. The meal is prepared by the people. They have meats (for the non-vegetarians), vegetables, fruits, and spices. Rather than being spoon-fed, they are given a space (kitchen) to put things together and understand life in a larger context. They are not taught what to believe, but given insight into how to believe so they can make up their own minds on various life issues. We use this to help people see themselves as chefs. They are not spoon-fed in any way. They are given ingredients, but they need to work. They must think for themselves. They must accomplish things on their own. This includes being a part of groups, including starting groups that naturally fit them, and helping the world through compassion and love.
 
No “The” before minister or ministry:  We are all called to be full-time ministers.  Yes, there are pastors at The Journey, but their role is to humbly serve and wisely lead the community (see graph below).  Everyone is equal at The Journey, as we work together to bring God’s love and compassion to the world around us.
 

Off The Grid: The Journey is more than just “different” or “unique”.In comparing ourselves to other churches, we like to say that we are “off the grid”. We cannot be classified. The way we have chosen to live in community with each other does not have a designation.

We see three levels to this uniqueness at The Journey.
LEVEL 1 (Atmosphere): This is the most obvious level. People will notice when they come to The Journey that we have a different feel within our service. We want you to experience God with your senses. So also we change up our service every week so it is unique and different than the week before. However, this is only a small part of what makes us different.

LEVEL 2 (Theology): We look at theology (the Study of God) in our own way as well. We are open to questioning the answers rather than answering the questions. We do believe there are absolute truths, but we believe only God knows them. What God has asked us to do is use the ancient scriptures to learn how to live with each other and love each other the way Jesus loves. We are open to different interpretations theologically and spiritually.

LEVEL 3 (Morality): This is the level that people come to after dealing with theology. We start to live in different ways. No longer is morality centered in “doing the right thing” or “staying away from certain bad things”. Now morality is centered in how we treat people, our own bodies, and God’s earth. Morality at The Journey is about what you do, not about what you stay away from in your life. We do not have rules to make people stay away from things. Instead we have grace to push people toward loving, caring for, and giving grace to others.

Sacred vs. Secular:  The Journey does not put up false barriers. God is everywhere and in everything. He can be seen in anything in life. Likewise, anything can be used to honor God. We do not see any space as being “set aside” for God. Instead, we see our own personal lives as set aside for God and all things in the world have the capacity to be holy. Thus, we do not label any place, person, or time as “evil” or worse. God can be seen in anything and his redemption can come out of any evil situation.

Salvation is a process, not a decision:People don’t just “find” God and see a light and go to their knees crying. Instead they slowly find their place in the Kingdom of God and the love of community and they change over time. Salvation is a community-driven process for people. Individual decisions can often mask the need to find God in the midst of a group of Christ followers committed to bringing God’s salvation (love and compassion) to a hurting and confused world.
Sunday is not special:
We are not going to pretend we are something we are not. If we act or talk a certain way on Saturday night and don’t think it is “sin” then we will do it on Sunday morning. Worship is life. We do not see worship as happening on Sunday mornings. Worship happens at any time anywhere. If you come on a Sunday morning you will see us dress, talk, and act the same as we would on a Saturday night. We do not see a difference.

Total Equality: We believe everyone is equal. We believe those who have no money are as valuable as the rich. We believe all races are completely equal. We believe in complete gender equality, including in our pastoral team where we open it up to both men and women to participate as pastors. We do not see any gender, race, or culture as submissive to any other. We are all equal under God.

We are all Creative: Everyone creates. We have a creative God who made us in his own image. Yes, The Journey celebrates the artists who create in amazing, tangible ways, but so also we believe that every human soul has, at their core, a creative side. We encourage everyone to bring out their creative side in whatever manner possible.

We are Spiritual, not religious:


Religion

 

Spirituality

People: Seen as conquests to win in the large game of salvation.

People: Seen as individuals in which to show Jesus Christ’s love. A real relationship with God matters.

Individual: People make a personal decision for God and get “saved” for a future heaven.

Individual: Community is the place to find relationships with God and others in order to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to the world today.

Church: A building where people meet.

Church: A community of people who come together with God.

Rules: Black and white and given by the church hierarchy straight from God. Life is lived in black and white terms.

Rules: Life is filled with grays and must be navigated together with God as our anchor.

Morals: Spelled out as very specific issues, often politically motivated. Morality is based on what you do and don’t do.

Morals: Deal with how people are treated and how God’s justice is brought into the world. Morality is based on how the Kingdom of Heaven is brought to the world.

Leadership: Hierarchy leadership gives power and authority to a few who make decisions for the whole.

Leadership: Servant leadership empowers the people of the church to become ministers and engage the world with God’s love.

World: The church is a safe place to meet away from the outside world.

World: The church is a safe place to find community in order to reach out to the outside world.

Change: Temporary change brought through guilt and fear. Often guilt goes beyond sin issues and touches on issues like money and time spent in church.

Change: Permanent change brought through love and community. (Guilt may be present, but it is brought by God, not the community)

Religion is about winning (arguments, wars, etc.)

Spirituality is about unity

Marked by arrogance

Marked by humility

Marked by judgment

Marked by Biblical tolerance (putting others needs above your own, no matter their race, gender, culture, background, creed, or beliefs)

 
 

Come and Visit!

Every Sunday, 9:30 am and 11:00 a.m.
Kid’s Church & Nursery available at both services
Front Range Community College

3645 West 112th Avenue
Westminster, Colorado 80031

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