At about 5:45 in the morning sometime this past June, I found myself sitting in front of my brother-in-law's sweet computer thinking and praying. I had ridiculous jet lag because we had only gotten to D.C. the previous afternoon. I remember praying and asking God what His plans were for VCS for the coming year. I remember that I just starting writing down ideas and then a vision for each of the ideas.
The thing I spent the most time thinking about was the idea of a youth church. Because of the diverse student population of VCS we frequently have kids that come to know the Lord from various cultural and religious backgrounds. Many of these kids come from homes where they have never been to a church. This could be because the family simply never went or because they were hostile towards the idea. The issue is that when these kids come to know the Lord at VCS they often have opportunities for discipleship but many never actually attend churches.
As the summer progressed I somehow managed to misplace my idea notebook. When we got back to Vienna we jumped straight back into things with school, chapel, and soccer. And then we had Spiritual Emphasis Week. As the week came to a close I discussed ideas about follow up with teachers and our speakers. In my heart I clearly heard God reminding me of the vision he gave me early one morning in the summer. I shared this idea with a few teachers and our secondary principal. Everyone thought it had amazing potential and so we started planning. What we came up with was The Journey: A Youth Church.
The Journey is intended for, but not limited to, these types of students. We want students who come to know the Lord from non-Christian backgrounds to experience a church community. Having The Journey be connected with the school provides an atmosphere of familiarity for both the students and the parents. Yesterday we announced the idea of The Journey to the students and we have had an amazing response. I think the coolest thing for me was discussing this idea with a small group of students. One girl said that she had come to know the Lord during her first year at VCS but has never been involved in a local church. She said that she was so excited about this because it was a church that she would feel comfortable being a part of. I seriously got choked up.
With the goal of reaching our kids in the context of their world, we decided to start a facebook group and a website. We already have 30 or so kids who have joined the facebook group and kids are leaving comments about being excited about things.
As you can imagine, this thing has taken a lot of work on the part of numerous individuals. The beauty of things is that God puts certain people in certain places to be used for His purposes. Myself and another teacher have been the main idea people but we have several people who have been involved in publicity and graphic design for things. We also have a tech (snort) guy handling our website. So this whole thing is pretty exciting.
Please be in prayer for The Journey. Our first meeting is Wednesday December 3rd. I'll post a bit more about the vision of The Journey as well as our structure and idea about the order of things later.