Why isn't there a dress code at Journey gatherings?
See above ... everyone's welcome as they are. Some people like to wear "church clothes," and some people don't.
Over the centuries, different Christian traditions have had different styles of dress and worship and speech. We don't believe that God fits into any box, any style, any tradition. We're comfortable. We want you to be, too. So, wear what you like.
What is worship like?
It's different...not necessarily bad different or good different. Mostly...it just is very rarely the same. There are some things that worship always includes (we just structure them differently each week) like ...
MUSIC - We don't have a choir (except on a special occasion or two) but we do have a wonderful, small, volunteer worship band led capably by Renee French. Sometimes we sing a hymn, sometimes we sing a praise chorus, sometimes we don't sing at all and we just listen to instrumental music, and sometimes there are visuals on the screen accompanying a familiar song. Often we have guest artists who may lead us in worship or may share with us the music God has given them while we listen and enjoy and worship...Music is not a designated section of worship for us at Journey, it is the thread that runs through all of worship and provides the soundtrack for our worship experience.
SCRIPTURE - Jesus valued and embraced the Hebrew scriptures, so we also choose to value and embrace the place that the teachings of the Bible have for us as a community of people who are doing their best to live like and follow Jesus. So... scripture has a place in every Journey worship service whether it is read, sung, displayed on the screen or acted out dramatically.
PRAYER - We have spoken prayers, silent prayers, guided prayers responsive prayers, written prayers, musical prayers, dramatic prayers, video prayers, and more...Prayer is the amazing privilege we have to talk to God toe to toe...and prayer is a part of every service.
CHILDREN - all children are part of a special time in each service when they are called to the front of the room for "blanket time" led by one of our capable adults, who loves kids and knows how to talk to them. You never know what will come out of the children's mouths during this time and that is why it is one of the most delightful parts of the service. After blanket time, younger children (up through first grade) are given the opportunity to finish the worship hour in a classroom together with age appropriate learning activities. Nevertheless, all children are welcome in worship at all times.
SPEAKING/TEACHING - We are fortunate to have an engaging and insightful communicator in Rick Diamond. Rick speaks most of the time or occasionally a guest will speak. There is a time each worship service when our speaker will share their thoughts on the passage and issues for that day's service. It is often funny, always culturally relevant, sometimes uncomfortably challenging, occasionally head-scratching, but never fails to help us know how we can practically do our best to follow Jesus every day.
INTERACTIVE STUFF - We believe worship, to be worship, needs to be engaged with all of the senses given to us by God when we were created, so there are times in every service when we have the opportunity to see, hear, touch, taste and smell the presence of God with us. We might write on a piece of paper and take it to a paper shredder in the room, watch a movie clip, share communion, respond to a discussion question, light a candle, walk a prayer labyrinth...and on and on...really... and on and on...we do this stuff...and believe that it helps us listen to God and talk to God.
Sooooo...it is different...not for the sake of being different, but to help us as a community experience the presence of God and figure out how we can love God and love our neighbor.
What is Journey's theology of worship?
Well at Journey, worship is not a gathering or an event...it is a way you live your life...how you treat your family, how you do your job, how you handle your relationships, the way you spend your money, and what you do with the gifts God has given to you. Paul the 1st century preacher and apostle said that the offering up of our hearts, minds and souls to God was worship (Romans 12:1-2) so, when we gather at Journey, it is worship, but just one part of worship...it is encouragement, practice and accountability for the living out of our faith daily.
Why is the Living Room decorated differently every Sunday?
Oh my, my, do we have creative folks, and they love to help us set the vibe and atmosphere for the theme of our worship for the day by using color, fabric, lights, candles, props and all manner of interesting objects. We usually do 6-8 week series in worship and there is a usually a visual them for each series, and then adaptations of that setup for each Sunday in the series
Why do you use non-Christian as well as Christian music in worship?
Just because a piece of music or a song wasn't written for the church doesn't mean it is bad, and just because a piece was, doesn't necessarily mean it is good. All of music is God's...we believe it is a God-given gift and God can use U2's "Forty", Paul Simon's "I am a Rock" or Sufjan Stevens' "Chicago" as well as "Amazing Grace" or "Lord I Lift Your Name on High". Many of the cherished hymns of the 18th and 19th centuries were lyrics set to borrowed melodies and songs from the pubs of England and Ireland. Many of our Journey folks don't come from church or religious backgrounds and they find it difficult to relate to traditional hymns or choruses. We have many of our Journeyers, who love and enjoy hymns and contemporary Christian music. Music is simply a vehicle for listening and communicating with God and we want to use everything that God has made available to us.