The Journey Fellowship | Sunbury, OH
- Jerry Funston
- Jan 14, 2010
- Series: Church Profiles
- Categories: Church Planting Articles
Briefly describe your story of your call to plant a church
The Journey is actually a replant. Shortly after arriving at a 3 year old church plant as the second staff person, the lead/planting pastor failed morally, devastating the church.
After praying for a period of time with my wife we felt called to take the failed church plant and start over in a new and healthy way.
What were the biggest challenges you faced in planting your church (and/or currently facing)?
Replanting is hard, in many ways the stink of failure has to be aired out and eradicated. Helping people see that the Gospel is the key as opposed to the latest fad or marketing technique. We have also faced a real need to effectively separate from the broken, failed church, this is an ongoing challenge.
How did you become involved with Acts 29? What have been the biggest benefits of being in the network?
Early in the timeline following the moral failure I was connected to an Acts 29 planter, who directed me to contact Scott Thomas as "the guy" who could advise us through the replanting process.
The opportunity to have a group of men from diverse contexts to learn from has been extremely beneficial. Our assessing team has been a great encouragement. Also, the multitude of resources that A29 offers have answered many questions before they were ask.
What advice do you have for men who are wrestling with the decision to plant?
Don't do it unless you are certain that it is the Lord's call in your life. If you can do something else and not be disobedient to the Lord, do it.
In particular the replanting process is challenging, being certain that it is the call of the Lord is what allows me, and sometimes all that allows me to move forward day in and day out.
How do you pastor your family?
Hopefully, I start by demonstrating Christlike love for them. I take seriously Paul's call to love my wife like Jesus loved the church. It means that I sacrifice regularly for her, and look for ways to serve her.
Practically, we try to eat and pray together regularly, at least 5 nights a week. We pray with our children every night at bedtime. Importantly we seek to make church not be just dad's job, but a valuable time for the whole family.
Outside of the Bible, what is the most helpful book you have read for church planting?
Our core is comprised of some families left over from the failed initial plant, and others from our community who have gathered around a clear vision.
What are some examples of God's grace that you have seen in your life and/or the life of your church?
God's grace is abundantly evident in my salvation. I am growing in my understanding of my own depravity and am continually amazed that He would save an idiot like me.
Our church's story is one that has the grace of God firmly in the center. He has taken, the sin of man, and out of it produced something amazing that is bringing Himself glory.
How can we pray for you?
Please pray for the protection and health of my family, we have certainly felt the press of the enemy over the last year. Pray for the Gospel to be the DNA of the Journey.
Location: Sunbury, Ohio
Launch Date: April, 2009
Mission, Vision, Values of Church:
All Travelers Welcome
We desire to:
Follow the Son - wherever the road may lead.
Walk with People - with both the already and should be following.
Impact our Community - by shining the light of the Gospel into the dark corners of the world.
What is your philosophy of community in your church and what does that look like practically in your church? Of evangelism?
Our philosophy of community is we desire to be a church that walks with people through the windy road of life. Practically we offer missional community groups, centered in neighborhoods. These groups are designed to become missionary outposts reaching their neighborhoods, and are designed to multiply, spread and ultimately create the need/opportunity for campuses in new locations.
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