Summer Teaching Series

Encounters with Jesus teaching slide

What do you expect from an encounter with Jesus?

Imagine for a moment that you’re moving through your normal day and you find yourself face to face with the one who is both Son of God and Son of Man. What’s your narrative? What happens next?

Do the clouds part and the light shine so bright that you can’t see? Does he teach, coach or correct? Does he tell you a story that is loaded with hidden meaning? Or does he ask you about the seemingly mundane parts of your life?

What do you expect from an encounter with Jesus?

A mountaintop experience unlike anything you have ever witnessed before? Maybe. Maybe that’s exactly what we should expect because an authentic encounter with Jesus will change us forever. It will shake us to our core. It will cause us to see our God, ourselves and our world with a completely new set of eyes.

Only thing is…these encounters often happen in the most unexpected places. In the moments when we are not prepared. In the moments that seem, well, unspiritual. They take place at the shopping mall, at a friend’s house, at work, at a party – really, anywhere life happens.

Question: If Jesus bumped into you on the street and offered to buy you a cup of coffee – what would happen next?

Join us at Journey this summer as we find out!



According to You!


What’s your experience with Jesus?

Is it defined by church? By one hour a week in a clean, air-conditioned building? Is he someone you briefly acknowledge a couple of times a year – when the holidays come, school is out and the crowds verge on chaos?

Maybe he’s more than that for you. Maybe he is someone you have come to know. Someone you could talk about for hours; someone whose life you have studied and whose motives you have admired.

Possibly you find the question hard to answer. Could it be, you have multiple experiences that come together in a strange collage? Experiences with people who call themselves, “Christian.” Experiences in various worship gatherings we call, “Church.” And experiences with the “character” of Jesus, we find in the biblical text. I have to admit, reconciling these things has, at times, been difficult for me. The words, “Jesus, Christian,” & “Church” are not always appropriate synonyms.

In response, we can easily lose sight of the question. We can find ourselves struggling with things that honestly have nothing to do with Jesus. So, I ask the question again…

What’s your experience with Jesus?

Have you ever invited him to hang out with you on your day off? Have you ever sat with him in a local coffee shop? Or paddled down the river with him in a kayak? Have you ever shared with him your greatest dreams and fears over lunch?

Have you invited him into your home? Are you comfortable with him moving in? Is it OK if he wants to rearrange more than the furniture? Really…

What’s your experience with Jesus?

If you sat down with someone who had never heard his name, what would you say? What stories would you tell? Of his life? Of yours? How would you describe his heart and what he has done to yours?

At Journey, we have  started a new series entitled, “According to Mark.” It’s a look at the heart of Jesus through his life and mission as told by Mark. It’s not an abstract retelling of Jesus’ life. It is a life changing story written by someone whose life Jesus changed.

Take a look…pick up a Bible and spend an hour with the “Gospel of Mark.” As you read, ask:

1. What’s God’s heart in this story (as revealed by Jesus)?

2. How can I express his heart in the world around me?

No matter what your previous experience with Jesus has been – it will change. You will come to know him with new eyes. And his story just might begin to be told…

According to You!

Hug the Tree

BeTheTree logo 2.10

“Be the Tree” is so much more than a cool logo. For the youth ministry at Journey, it is their mission! Our Youth Pastor, Jeff Bradburn, uses the image of the inverted tree, along with this phrase to constantly remind the students of the opportunity in front of them. You remember the story of Zacchaeus and the childhood song that so many of us grew up singing, don’t you? Sing along with me:

“Zacchaeus was a wee little man

And a wee little man was he.

He climbed up in a sycamore tree

For the Lord he wanted to see…”

And what happened? Because he climbed the tree, he encountered Jesus, received the love of the Lord and his life was forever changed. And so we come to the battle cry for The Passage Youth Ministry, “Be The Tree!” What if every student in this ministry became the tree for those around them? How many Zacchaeuses would the Father bring home? What if every follower of Jesus lived for this? To became the tree…a tool that God uses for people to see and encounter Jesus!

In an effort for our youth ministry to continue growing in their mission, we are heading toward the final stages of completing a youth facility to house them. It’s been a tremendous thrill to see this building go up, knowing how it will be used by our students and made available to the community around us. This building will definitely help our students continue to “Be The Tree!”

Well, early this morning, I headed up to this new facility so I could get a check to one of the sub-contractors that is completing a project today. It’s my day off, so Brycen (my 4-year-old little boy) and I had just started our “Daddy Day.” I pulled up to the parking lot, got Brycen out of the car, went inside, signed a check and then headed over to The Passage building. As we walked in, Brycen stopped to take a long look at The Passage logo that is stamped into the stained floor. I paid the contractor, then Brycen and I headed back to the car. As I was getting him settled in the car, he looked at me and said, “Daddy…does The Passage sign say, ‘Hug the Tree’?”

HUG the Tree? Really?

Well…guess I still have some work to do to get my little man on mission with us!

be the tree

TQ Music


I love seeing those I love succeed! I love celebrating with them, giving them a high-five and bragging about them fearlessly. If you’ve ever been at Journey, there’s a good likelihood that you’ve heard me do this. I tend to regularly brag on my God, my three kids and our church family. It comes from this overwhelming emotion that can’t help but be shared. It’s what drives the new father to relentlessly post picture after picture on Facebook of his newborn, simply because it’s the most amazing thing he’s ever seen.

So…let me tell you about my friend Tquan. I have had the joy of calling him my friend for about a decade now. In that time, he has taught me, cared for my heart, modeled Jesus for me, and inspired me to live more authentically…more radically in pursuit of Jesus. He is truly a treasure, a man I would trust with what is most sacred to me. And on top of all of that, he is simply the coolest person I think I have ever known. He just has this thing that makes you want to be around him – to be a part of whatever it is he is doing.

What Tquan is doing and doing well is music! A few years ago, he walked away from full-time youth ministry and dove headlong into pursuing a life of leading people to the throne of God through music. God is blessing this, bringing many opportunities for him to perform, lead worship or simply play at local coffee shops. A couple of summers ago, The Passage youth ministry here at Journey invited him to lead the worship at their Disciple Now event and it was amazing!

If you haven’t ever heard Tquan, you need to! His music and ministry will touch your heart and challenge your life. Recently, he was invited to an event that could continue to open new doors for his ministry and you can help.

Click on this link and check it out! If you like what you find, consider joining him as he pursues furthering the reach of his ministry and the advancement of the kingdom. Here’s what you can do…

On the music page of his site, you can download Tquan’s NEW CHRISTMAS SINGLE “Let the World Rejoice” and GET %50 OFF his album “ALL I NEED”. The proceeds will go toward travel expenses for Shine, an event held by Actor’s, Models and Talent for Christ (AMTC) in Orlando in January 2013.

Check out TQ Music & Ministry. Spread the Word and celebrate with us!


Built To Last

The Passage finally got their foundation! After seven years of being a nomadic group of students who have moved from an off-site building five miles away, to a neighboring rental facility next door, to currently sharing space with our Journey Kidz children’s ministry…now, their long-term home is a very near reality. Our family at Journey couldn’t be more excited – not just because our youth ministry will have a place to call their own but primarily because of what they will do with it. The connections that will be made there, the hearts that will be cared for and the reckless love shared in the name of Jesus!

Last week, I stood at the edge of the construction site, watching truck after truck empty its cement into the huge trenches that crisscrossed this foundation and I was amazed at how sturdy this building would be. It’s not just a cement pad but underneath are enormous concrete beams that run several feet down into the ground. As I watched, I thought, “This is a building that is being built to last!”

And I think about Jesus.

I think about those beams supporting the foundation for a building that will house amazing moments in the near future and I think about Jesus – our cornerstone and our foundation. I think about how the name of Jesus is held up over everything else for the students in The Passage ministry and for the adults at Journey. How he is continually shown to be our hope and our life.

When we have him, we are more than secure! We are built into a structure that others will marvel at. He is our foundation of faith and supports our walk with God but he is so much more. When Jesus is truly present, he redefines everything for us. With Jesus, we have what we are looking for. With Jesus, the mystery of scripture is revealed. With Jesus, we find our true identity. With Jesus, we experience true family. With Jesus, we become a people of radical love. With Jesus, we can ignite the heart of a broken world.

I love watching this building grow!