Lessons from our 10th Anniversary at The Journey

On Sunday we celebrated the 10th Anniversary of The Journey – what an exciting day!

In the midst of the excitement, I couldn’t help but think about our humble beginnings

In fact, I keep thinking about one particular day, about 6 months after we launched. I was walking home from our Sunday service at The Journey.

Our attendance had gone from 110 when we launched to 35 people on this day.We were on track to be closed down within a couple of months and I didn’t know what else to do but pray.

So I prayed – and not the positive, upbeat, hopeful prayers we teach people… no, I told God all about what had done for Him and how didn’t understand why this church wasn’t growing and how I didn’t know what to do next.

As you might imagine, God brought me back to reality and helped me recall all that HE had done for me 🙂

But it was during this time – what I sometimes call a “crucible experience” – that God began to reveal to me the need to develop healthy systems in our church if we ever hoped to be a healthy church.

He helped me see that the church is a body. And just like our physical bodies function through systems (respiratory, muscular, nervous, etc.), so does the church.

In fact, during this time I discovered that there were eight essential systems within every healthy church:

  • Evangelism
  • Assimilation
  • Worship Planning
  • Stewardship
  • Small Groups
  • Ministry
  • Leadership
  • Strategy

By going to work on identifying and improving each of these systems within my church, God showed me how to cooperate with Him to see the overall health of my church improve as well!

In the 10 years since, The Journey has grown to over 1,000 people in attendance each weekend and we’ve seen:

  • Over 1,300 people baptized
  • More than 2,000 confirmed salvation decisions
  • 2,000,000+ Servant Evangelism touches (sharing God’s love in practical ways)
  • Over 1,500 people have gone through Membership Class
  • And thousands impacted directly through Sunday services
  • Go God!

Thank you for letting me play a role in helping you lead your church to maximum effectiveness for the sake of God’s Kingdom!

Your partner in ministry,


P.S. I want to help you develop healthy systems in your church too…

Since these systems are essential to reaching your church’s full redemptive potential, I’m offering a “Back to Basics” Sale this week only – choose any of my 8 Systems Seminar resources for HALF OFF (plus some additional specials for you):

Click Here to See the HALF OFF “Back to the Basics” Sale

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 85 church growth resources and 17+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

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