New Here For A New Year
January 3, 2018
As we launch a new year of ministry for our growing community of people on our life-changing journey with Jesus, I have some exciting NEW things to share with you. There’s a lot to share so you may want to sit down and grab a Snickers or a cup of coffee…or better yet both!
- New Saturday Surge
This is the weekend to start attending worship on Saturday evening for all those who are taking us up on our “90-Day, Service-Back Guarantee.” We are seeking to create as much room as possible for the surge of new and returning folks we always see in the new year on the Sundays during January. Usually, we see a 10-20% increase in attendance during January. We are hoping to lessen the capacity issues by asking people to worship on Saturday instead of Sunday morning. And to entice you, we have God’s favorite chicken to seal the deal: Chick-fil-A. That makes me smile and makes me hungry! Join us this Saturday at 5PM and be the first to hear this.
- New Sermon Series Starts This Weekend
Are you looking for a better connection, a closer relationship…maybe even a “growth spurt” with God this new year? Have you ever wondered how a person grows in a relationship with God anyway? We are excited to begin a new series called Growth Spurt this weekend. This sermon series will help you understand the five catalysts that cause our faith to grow. Join us as we start the new year with a growth spurt!
- New Discover Your Journey
This weekend we will pilot a new first-step initiative called Discover Your Journey. For those who are new to Journey or those not connected beyond the worship gathering, I will be sharing some basic but helpful information about our history, mission and ministry strategy, as well as introducing a unique and personal growth plan for every attender. DYJ will meet in the Volunteer Room at our Apopka campus immediately following each worship service this weekend. DYJ will last no more than 20 minutes. Children checked in to our children’s ministry may remain in their classes during this time, and may (should) be picked up as soon as we’re finished.
- New Man Zone Session Starts On January 17
Man Zone is an environment where real men and real faith intersect. We are starting a new 6-week session that will help us understand “A Man And His Traps.” In these six sessions, we will explore some areas of common temptations and struggles for all men, as well as some strategies for dealing with them. Guys, if you really want to be a new you for the new year, then you need to join us for these below-the-surface conversations that will probe our hearts. The format of Man Zone is a large-group teaching session usually led by me or Pastor Randy Green, followed by small-group discussions led by table leaders.
Man Zone will continue to offer a morning session at 6AM on Wednesdays with plenty of hot coffee starting on January 17. And I’m happy to announce that starting with this session, we are adding a Thursday evening option as well, that will start at 7PM. The Thursday evening sessions will start on January 18. Both the Wednesday morning and the Thursday evening session will take place in the Student Center. Pastor Randy Green and I look forward to having you join us at Man Zone in 2018!
- New Faces On Staff
Over the last few weeks we have been blessed to welcome some new staff members to our ministry team at Journey. Last weekend, we were all introduced to Pastor Dustin Aagaard, our new Family Ministry Pastor, as he preached in our weekend worship gatherings. What a great addition Pastor Dustin is going to be to Journey!
But there are some other new staff members that I’m also excited to introduce to you as well.
Melissa Mashburn is our new Director of Weekend Experience. Melissa will be overseeing all areas related to our weekend worship gatherings including our connections ministry, worship support volunteers, guest follow-up strategies, and helping to create a welcoming environment for all who attend on the weekend. Melissa will also oversee our communications strategy. Melissa has served in similar roles with other growing churches, and brings a proven and experienced perspective to these vital areas.
Karina Lopez is our new Director of Communications. Karina joined our team in mid-December, and comes to us with a great background of serving in both local churches and ministry organizations in the area of digital design, website communications, social media strategies, and creative content development. Karina brings some fresh eyes to how we communicate our message to the growing and diverse population in both our community and our church.
Gary Wilkerson is not a new face to Journey, but he is serving in a new role. Gary and his wife, Thelma, have been part of Journey for many years. Gary served on the building committee during the construction of our original Apopka campus building back in 2002. It seems fitting and natural that Gary would now serve as our Facilities Director. Gary brings decades of experience as an electrical contractor and instructor in construction education. Gary recently completed a brief stint as a Field Agent for FEMA during the recent hurricane recovery efforts.
There are other important realignments and assignments with others on our staff, but we’ll save those for another day. For now, I know you join me in welcoming each of these gifted team members who will help lead us to new levels of engaging, serving, communicating and equipping as we seek to make disciples who love God, love people and serve the world.