Who Should Take the Journey?
The Journey is designed to speak to a person who has no prior spiritual and/or church experience. It is a place to explore new ideas and grow in your own space and time. It will introduce the traveler to the core Christian practices and beliefs that have been shared by the largest scope of Christians over the past two thousand years, as expressed in The Apostles’ Creed. It will lead the traveler to understand and seriously consider entering into baptism and becoming part of God’s work in the world through a local church.
However, the content of The Journey would be helpful for anyone who seeks to deepen their faith, no matter how far along your own journey you may be.
What You Will Learn:
The Journey has three major sections, each built around the three basic questions of any journey: Where am I? Where am I going? How will I get there? Each section is divided into modules, and each module has a series of lessons. You can take the journey at your own pace, but it is recommended to think of each module as a month’s worth of lessons.
Section One asks: Where am I?
Here you will take a spiritual GPS and each module will explore a different aspect of who you are. We call this section The ME God is Creating.
- First, you will look at your own story and see how the people and stories that have come before you have shaped who you are today and how you perceive the world.
- Second, you will look at your personal style by using the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator and the Enneagram to take a playful look at how your natural tendencies impact the way you perceive and interact with the world.
- Third, you will look at your baggage. Most people find that it is the pain in life and/or the personal addictions that inhibit spiritual growth.
Section Two asks: Where am I going?
The answer to that question is generally the same for everyone who is seeking to grow spiritually. We are going and growing deeper into the love of God. This section will look at God in three parts as God is described in The Apostles’ Creed. We call this section The GOD Who is Creating Me.
- First, we will learn about the almighty creator of the universe who loves us like a parent loves a child. We have an important part to play in God’s ongoing process of creation.
- Second, we will learn that God revealed Godself to us by becoming human, like us, in the person of Jesus. God’s long-suffering love was demonstrated to us through the life, teaching, death, and resurrection of Jesus and we are daily invited to follow the way of Jesus.
- Third, we will experience the wonderful mystery of the Holy Spirit and learn how the Spirit gives us gifts and empowers us to be the hands and feet of God’s love in the world today.
Section Three asks: How will I get there?
You will spend one module bringing everything together and set goals for how to keep the fires of your spiritual growth burning for the rest of your lives.
Each module consists of three types of lessons.
- Ideas are presented through a short video and a series of reflection questions, activities, or readings.
- A short passage of scripture and four open-ended reflection questions. The daily scriptures are designed to be read three days per week. If you follow this schedule, you will read and reflect on the entire Gospel of John over the course of the Journey.
- A set of structured questions that will guide the conversation you have with your traveling companion and your cohort.
Each lesson is online and can be accessed through any type of device. Log on to the website, open the lesson, watch the video, access the scripture, reflect on the questions—all in the comfort of your own time and space. Once you complete the lesson, click the “complete lesson” button and the site will track your progress for you.
You are not alone
A core value of The Journey, and of the spiritual life, is that we don’t do this alone. The Journey functions at four levels of connection.
- Individual work where you cultivate your personal relationship with yourself and with God.
- Choose a traveling companion. This person should be someone who you trust and are willing to share your thoughts and experiences along the Journey. You will meet at least one time during each module with your traveling companion.
- Connect with a cohort of 6-12 people. Ideally, you will be able to gather at least once per module with your cohort to share a meal and collaborate over the lessons of that module.
- A local church congregation and leadership is participating/supporting the Journey. There will be three moments throughout the Journey in which your cohort will be publicly recognized and blessed by the congregation in a worship service to support you as you travel.
The final goal of this Journey is to come to a moment when you choose to publicly profess your desire to be a part of God’s ongoing work of love, grace, and reconciliation in the world. This would be done as a public baptism (for those who have never been baptized) or affirmation of baptism in a worship service.
Please note: if you are taking this Journey apart from the knowledge or support of a local congregation, you may want to prayerfully consider connecting with a local church and sharing your experience and desires with the leadership. We are designed to be in community. You can, at the very least, be a local congregation within your cohort and share the baptismal service within that context, if a local church is not available.
How to Start
There are four basic things to have in place before you begin the Journey:
- Register for the course and get comfortable with how to navigate the modules and lessons. You can preview the introductory module lessons before you commit to the Journey.
- Find a traveling companion. You must choose this person so that you can feel comfortable. If you do not have a companion, then ask your church leadership to help you find someone who would be willing and able to walk with you along this journey.
- Find a cohort. It is the same for the cohort as it is for your traveling companion. It is best if you choose your cohort. Invite your friends to take the Journey.
- Connect with a Congregation. The Journey is best if you travel with the blessing of the larger local church and its leadership. If this is not physically possible, then the cohort can serve both purposes for a connection to community.
Finally, it takes commitment. The Journey does not contain difficult content, or require large amounts of time in any single lesson. However, it is a slow, steady walk for eight months. Like anything worth doing, The Journey requires dedication and perseverance. That is why you cannot do it alone.