Last Sunday as we celebrated Journey’s 9th birthday at our annual Fall Kick-off, we shared what God is doing at Journey and are ready to turn a page to a new chapter at Journey of Faith!
Over the past 20+ years, the Michigan District Church Extension Fund has been piecing together property for a church in Byron Center. They began purchasing it back when there was nothing but farmland around. Today, there are just under 40 acres situated along a growing corridor of businesses and medical facilities and new subdivisions with growing families.
Since Journey was organized and begun in 2006, it has been the plan that one day the church would build on the property. It’s been our dream that whatever we build on the property would be a blessing to the community.
Last year, the Church Extension Fund contacted us to talk about the property. They also had a idea for a bold, new plan for the property – something that’s never been done before. Through conversations with them, they share our vision of using the property to engage the community 7 days a week – not just for an hour on Sunday.
Journey’s Property Task Force, Church Extension Fund, and their architect have been working on plans for the property, and at our Fall Kick-Off, we unveiled the first concept of our plans.
It’s still a work-in-progress and there are many things that could change before we’re done, but it represents an exciting next step for Journey! Journey’s Property Task Force will be meeting with Church Extension Fund in October to look at a first draft of floorplans and a sketch of the building, and we hope to have details like a timeline and what our next steps would be following that meeting.
Heading into the Next Chapter
While a specific timeline has not been set, it’s likely within the next 1-2 years that this project could be completed. As Journey gets ready to move from Celebration Cinema South in Kentwood to our permanent home in Byron Center, we are essentially starting a new church. Not having a permanent, visible presence in Byron Center today means that Journey will be the new church in town when we build. That means that everyone who is part of Journey today is part of the Launch Team for the new location!
At our Fall Kick-off, we gave everyone an opportunity to be part of this new chapter. Journey’s leadership used this opportunity to evaluate our ministry teams and realign or combine some current teams, and to create new ones to help us get to where we need to be. It worked out to about 200 volunteer spaces. Currently at Journey, there are about 90 or so adults who are a part of Journey. If everyone commits to serve in two areas, we will have the volunteers needed to get ready to start taking our next steps and our launch at our new location.
If you missed the Fall Kick-off or haven’t decided where you can best serve, you’ll have a couple more opportunities. For the next two Sundays, we’ll have sign-up boards displayed where you can add your name to a team. After that, we’ll start getting our teams together so we can all get ready for the day we arrive in Byron Center.
It’s an exciting time at Journey of Faith, but also a time of preparation and prayer as we take our next steps together! I hope you join us in lifting up Journey, Byron Center, the future of the property, and all of the decisions to be made in prayer. Looking back over the history of the property and the surrounding area, it’s clear that God has been at work building up His church. We pray that as we move forward, we would continue to follow His leading for an exciting, fresh Christian community in Byron Center.