God’s Got This
This year, Journey Church of Fernley, NV will celebrate its 10th year of existence. TEN YEARS! Journey is a Stadia Church Plant, planted by Rod and Gay Idle and their daughter, Lyndsay, in September of 2009. Through the training and support of Stadia and a lot of hard work, Journey quickly became a strong voice in our community.
Since its inception, Journey has gone through some pretty great times. It has also gone through some very difficult times. I took over as Lead Pastor in February of 2017 after the Idle clan decided to move back to the east coast to be closer to family. At the time, I was on staff as the Associate Pastor. I decided to throw my name into the hat for the next Lead Pastor and after a few months of pastoral church, the elders decided to ask me to take over the position. As the Associate, I had seen the many struggles that come with being a church plant in a smaller city. Losing our Founding Pastor brought on its own set of struggles and was a very difficult period in the life of Journey.
Journey has had its fair share of difficult times, but in those difficult times, we have always witnessed God raising the right people up at the right time. He has always proven Himself faithful. If I have one word of encouragement for you, it is that “God’s Got This!” This has become a cultural value at Journey. No matter what we are going through, good or bad, we know that “God’s Got This.”
You will hear these words uttered from the lips of our staff and volunteers when those you were counting on fail to show for the 3rd time in a row. “God’s Got This!” You will hear these words spoken at our Finance Team meetings when it looks as if our tithes are not going to be able to cover the bills this month. “God’s Got This!” You will hear these words in an elder’s meeting as we say good-bye to another highly invested family as they move away to another assignment. “God’s Got This!” You will hear the words, “God’s Got This” in almost every difficult situation we face. And the thing is, we have seen God come through every single time.
But it’s not just in the difficult times you will hear this phrase recited. You will also hear these words spoken as we celebrate 5 new baptisms as new believers take another step in their relationship with Christ. “God’s Got This!” You will hear them again as we pray for the guy who just last year was making fun of our Christian bands at our Extreme Tour Skate Competition and now is accepting Jesus as his personal Savior. “God’s Got This!” You will hear these words uttered in our prayers as we minister to the couple who has decided that their marriage is worth fighting for. “God’s Got This!” And you will hear them once again from the man walking into Celebrate Recovery to receive his 1 year anniversary chip of sobriety. “God’s Got This!”
Church Planting (and ministry in general) is not for the faint of heart. But, of course, you already know that. The thing that I have learned in my seven years at a church plant is that when times are good and when times get tough, God has ALWAYS Got This! God always shows up right at the right time.
You will be amazed at how many times God brings individuals in to replace those you once thought irreplaceable. You will be amazed at how God works His calculator to stretch an already tight budget into one that meets every single need right on time. You will be amazed at the life changes that take place in those you once thought were a “lost cause.”
You will be amazed… IF you just open your eyes and see that God’s Got This.
My challenge for you (if you choose to accept it) is to keep your eyes open to how and when God shows you that He’s Got This. It’s easy to get discouraged and take our eyes off of the miracles that happen around us every single day. So make an effort to keep your eyes open. Write down what you see. Celebrate it with your staff and volunteers. Have a Jesus Party with your church every once in awhile to celebrate that God’s Got This! Recount the stories and share in the victories.
You will go through some tough times. Journey has definitely gone through some really tough times; some of them should have probably destroyed the church. But we kept our eyes open and took note of the times where we witnessed the reality that God’s Got This. Because He really, really does.
God’s Got This!
Mark McClellan is currently the Lead Pastor of Journey Community Church in Fernley, NV. He and his wife, Kathy, have 3 ridiculously fantastic kids – Christian (15), Kari (12), Kamy (11) – and an ultra-stupid dog named Simon (6). They moved to Fernley in 2009 but are now in the process of moving back to the Pacific Northwest for their next ministry assignment. Mark has served Journey Church for 7 years in two different roles: Associate Pastor of Young Adult Ministries and Lead Pastor.