“I see a church that unchurched people want to come to”. This is a popular phrase in the church world today. There are many churches who are doing a fantastic job of creating ministry environments that anyone can feel comfortable in. I know that as soon as I say the word “comfortable” in the context of church someone is thinking deep down “I knew it…church shouldn’t be comfortable”. But, that just really isn’t true.
You see, where the gospel is proclaimed and truth is preached it will always be offensive to the flesh. In other words, the message of Jesus has ALWAYS made people uncomfortable. In a broken, hurting world that is built on a foundation of pleasure and impulse the truth of a holy, perfect, sinless God will always be abrasive. However, conviction (which many people confuse for condemnation) is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit. There is actually nothing unbiblical about desiring to create a ministry environment where absolutely anyone at any time can walk through the doors and feel at home.
There was a day when Jesus was ridiculed for hanging around people that the religious leaders didn't necessarily approve of. People who were made to feel uncomfortable by the institution of religion because of their life style, struggles, or physical appearance. Tragically, we still see this today. Religion will always call people by their sin. Jesus calls us by our name. Religion corrals and organizes people by labels and categories. Jesus loves people…the love of Jesus can break through any labels placed on us based on our life issues and redefines our identity based on His love for us.
Journey Church Detroit extends a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, gay, filthy rich, dirt poor, red, yellow, black, white, or any combination of the above. We extend a special welcome to those who are short, tall, skinny-as-a-rail, or who could afford to lose a few pounds. We welcome you if you can sing like Sinatra or like our pastor who wants the music loud enough that he THINKS he can sing. You’re welcome here if you are “just browsing”, “just woke up”, or “just got out of jail.”
We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome soccer moms, NASCAR dads, Wolverines, Spartans, Broncos, Chippewas, and Warriors. We welcome starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, and junk-food eaters. We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems, feeling down, or you don’t like “organized religion” as we’ve been there too…
We offer a special welcome to those who work too hard, don’t work, can’t spell, or who end up with us because your roommate tricked you into going to church. We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down their throat or got lost in traffic and ended up here by mistake. We welcome tourists, seekers, doubters, and you!
The love of Jesus is not reserved for a select few. The love of Jesus is not a “when you clean your act up” thing it is not a “when you get over your doubts” thing. The love of Jesus is a “whosoever” thing (John 3:16) and a “all who are weary and burdened” thing (Matthew 11:28). If the love of Jesus knows no bounds then we believe that the love His church displays in reaching people should be the same.
Journey Church Detroit is a group of people who just want to become more like Jesus. We are not a building…although we will meet in one. Our church is made up of people who are trying to live out our daily lives in such a way that it reflects the love of Jesus to our city. Wherever it is that we meet on Sunday mornings or in the middle of the week…anyone at anytime who has done anything can always feel at home.
You can believe me when I say…we really want you to come as you are because we know that God won’t leave you the same way! God changes hearts and transforms lives.
-Pastor Bill Comai-