Pastor Matt’s 2010 Church Tour–The Journey

Posted: June 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

A number of church planting coaches advise planters to visit as many other churches as possible.  It is a way to worship without the pressure of thinking about your own sermon, attendance, etc. as well as a way to check out what is going on in the wider kingdom.  Lord willing, I will visit close to a dozen different churches this year and will be uploading posts as I go.

The first one up is The Journey in St. Louis.  Here is a little about the church from that not so trusty resource Wikipedia:

The Journey church is an interdenominational Christian church located in St. Louis, Missouri. The church is theologically conservative and culturally liberal. Services are offered at multiple locations in the city. Locations include Tower Grove in South St. Louis, Hanley Road Baptist Church in Clayton, and Missouri Baptist University auditorium in West County. Services have also recently been added in Edwardsville, Illinois. The congregation has seen relatively rapid growth from a handful of attendees in 2002 to over 2,000 attending services at the multiple locations in 2009. It is a member of the Acts 29 network of churches and serves as a church planting institution.

The Journey church was founded in 2002 by Lead Pastor Darrin Patrick. Initial services were held in private residences and then community centers. As attendance increased, the church formed a relationship with Hanley Road Baptist Church of Clayton and began operating out of their offices and having services within their sanctuary. The Journey also began having services at Maplewood High School in their theatre auditorium. As the congregation began to grow, other pastors were brought up from within the church through internships. These pastors include Jonathan McIntosh, Steve Miller, Joel Lindsey, and Steve Mizel.

In 2006 the church bought the former Catholic church Holy Innocence on South Kingshighway in South St. Louis across from Tower Grove Park. This became their central campus. During this same time period, the church also began holding services in West St. Louis County at Missouri Baptist University. In 2008 another campus was added to the Edwardsville, Illinois area.

I visited The Journey’s Tower Grove campus on Sunday May 2nd.  The church assumed and renovated an older church building adding a good sound system, plasma tv’s for those with difficulty seeing the stage and a large rear projection screen for sermon notes and worship song lyrics. 

A friendly group of volunteers welcomed attendees with very small card stock bulletins.  Fresh gourmet coffee was brewed in the atrium and passed out for free, an awesome smell to welcome worshipper, by the way! 

Worship began promptly at the scheduled time with announcements, a call to worship, prayer and a praise song. 

Darrin Patrick then appeared and preached a 45-minute sermon which was part of a series largely drawn from the wisdom literature of the Hebrew Bible.

After the sermon and another prayer the praise band led the church in singing 3 more songs.  The 4 songs sung that morning were a mix of modern praise songs and re-worked hymns. 

The Journey has a great feel to it, the band was gifted and Darrin is a down to earth preacher that I enjoy.  Parking is an issue at The Journey and signage from the street is difficult to spot. 

However, still an awesome experience and I really covet an older church with character like the Tower Grove campus.  Next up, The Village in Dallas, Texas.

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