AFTER MUCH PRAYER AND DELIBERATION, THE LEADERSHIP AT CENTRAL AND JOURNEY HAS RECOMMENDED A DATE OF JANUARY 1, 2018 FOR JOURNEY TO BECOME A CHURCH PLANT.
WHY A CHURCH PLANT?
Continue the Movement
Central Baptist Church seeks to unleash leadership and celebrate the growth of Journey Campus into maturity and multiplication as a church plant.
Part of the Biblical vision of Central is to plant healthy, vibrant churches to continue to facilitate our goal of gospel multiplication. By launching local bodies of believers under local leadership, we continue to personalize and contextualize the gospel in new and accessible areas while raising up, and sending out, new leaders. Launching church plants also allows both the church plant and the sending church to replicate the vision to more and more generations.
The campus model has provided a strong church preparation phase and a strong church launching strategy for Journey, by ensuring that the new faith family has a healthy foundation for the future. In a culture where the vast majority of church plants don’t make it out of the first 3 years, Journey has been able to focus foundational efforts on building a healthy culture of ministry and worship, while growing in maturity in leadership, finances, and facilities to now be not only self-sufficient, but to also be positioned to excel into the coming decades. The support, guidance, and leadership of Central Baptist Church has enabled this to occur.
The leadership of Central and Journey recommend that Journey transition from a campus to a church beginning January 1, 2018.
Journey’s continuing mission is to “reach those the church has not yet reached and lead them into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.” The long legacy of Central Baptist Church is to measure success not by “seating capacity” but by “sending capacity.” As we have grown numerically, we seek to expand this vision & continue this mission forward to reach our community and the world with the gospel of Christ.
- Leadership - Now approaching Journey’s 7-year anniversary, we have grown from initial dependence upon Central’s systematic leadership, to building a strong and healthy leadership base of our own. Alongside our efforts toward reaching new people, we have successfully raised up new leaders to carry the responsibility of the mission forward. We have a solid base of senior leadership, as well as a vibrant and healthy community of mature leaders serving on staff and as volunteer ministry team leaders.
- Finances – Journey was birthed in 2011 out of a college ministry requiring significant financial support. This December we will celebrate two years of net surplus at the end of each budget year, making Journey financially self-sufficient. We have developed a strong, growing history of giving and stewardship, and when added to the financial gifts from Central at our campus start-up and at our church launch, we will be positioned to continue to pay off the remaining balance of our current facility and advance our vision into the future.
- Facilities – Seven years ago, Journey began in the Family Life Center of Central Baptist Church. Small groups met in homes across Jonesboro, and the vision spread quickly. Three months later, we rented space on the ASU campus and launched a full-scale worship service there, including staging, lights, and sound, as well as preschool, children, and youth ministries, all portable. In 2014, because of the generosity of people across all campuses of Central Baptist Church, we dedicated our current facilities and set down roots. Through this collective investment in our current land and building, we now have a base from which to expand on the 25 acres at our current address and look to new places to launch leaders to reach and disciple new people.
God has increasingly blessed Journey since the beginning. That momentum has increased and we want to direct that momentum forward for maximum effectiveness.
WHAT WILL BE DIFFERENT?
Your normal experience at Journey will not change at all. The only changes will be administrative and organizational in nature. Journey will organize as a legal entity, define our organizational structure, and establish a finance department.
WHAT ABOUT MEMBERSHIP?
Membership is an essential part of spiritual growth. For us, church membership is not about a place where records are kept but where you function as part of the Body of Christ.
Paul references our view of church membership in Romans 12…
3For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one. 4Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, 5in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. 6According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts…
With Journey’s transition to a church plant, you need only answer the question of where you will function with your gifts as part of the local body – Central or Journey – and that’s where you officially place your church membership. Journey and Central are both part of the Body of Christ and desire that you prayerfully find the place you will invest. Therefore, we will give you clear opportunities over the next few months to indicate where to place your membership and function as part of the church.
For existing members…IF you didn't get a chance to come to one of our FAMILY MEETINGS, YOU CAN GO THRU THE MEMBERSHIP COVENANT WITH YOUR JOURNEY GROUP BEGINNING OCTOBER 15 AND FILL OUT A MEMBERSHIP CARD. IF YOU ARE NOT IN A GROUP, YOU ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND ONE OF OUR JOURNEY 101 CLASSES THIS FALL.
For those desiring membership… you need only attend one of our Journey 101 classes this Fall:
Transitioning to a church plant will involve several aspects, but each is straight-forward.
1. Congregational – Journey will express the desire to form into an autonomous church, and the congregation of Central as a whole (including members who attend Central, Journey, Refuge, and Newport campuses) will vote to deed over facilities and assets to Journey upon completion of the legal and denominational requirements for formation.
2. Denominational – Journey will communicate with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, along with the Mt. Zion Baptist Association, expressing desire to affiliate with the Southern Baptist Convention.
3. Organizational – Journey will legally incorporate by completing and filing our church constitution and by-laws and other legal documents. Our initial constitution will be shared prior to our first official Journey business meeting on December 10.
4. Financial – Journey will establish necessary financial accounts and policies, and form a budget for 2018.
HOW AM I INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS?
You are an important part of this process, and we want each person to be informed and involved. There are several ways for this to take place.
1. Attend both Journey Family Meetings on September 17 and 24. The meeting on the 17th is a time to hear the vision and ask any questions you may have. The meeting on the 24th will provide you the first opportunity to indicate your desire to place your membership at Journey.
2. Attend the All-Campus Business Meeting at Central on October 8. 4p Central campus. The purpose of this meeting is to join in unity with all members of Central (including Central, Journey, Refuge, and Newport campuses) to officially deed property and assets to Journey as a church plant. You don’t want to miss this historic meeting and the opportunity to express our gratitude to our larger church family.
3. Attend the Journey Business Meeting on December 10. This meeting is to officially form as a church, name trustees, and adopt the 2018 Journey budget.