By Drew Dzwonkowski
Holt Journal staff writer
Most churches gather on Sundays for mass – not for a bash.
Sunday marked the second annual Journey Life Church Super Bowl party, and the night could not have been more exemplary of the unique spirit and philosophy the Holt church embodies.
“The church provides the chicken wings, and we just ask people to bring a dish and hang out,” said Brian Henley, 33, Journey Life’s lead pastor. “We’ve been real purposeful in trying to create that type of environment for people. If we believe that our relationship with God should be a part of our everyday lives, why should our lives be different when we spend time with God?” he said.
The blending of everyday living with the church experience is a chief priority at Journey Life. Located at 2289 Cedar St., the church attracts some 350 gatherers every week for masses and events.
The pastors and founders have created a casual spiritual environment.
“You can have a good life in Christ that doesn’t have to be all these rules and regulations and boring stuff,” said Executive Pastor Jerry Hildebrand, 34. “We felt like one of the things we want to bring to Holt is fresh life. We average about 26 to 28 years old,” he said.
The Super Bowl merely provided an excuse for church members to get together.
“The people are amazing here,” said Shelby Hubbard, 24, a Journey Life member. “Enjoying people without having to have any alcohol is kind of nice. I’m hoping tonight brings in more people to get involved with the church,” she said.
“In the past it’s been guys only,” said Hildebrand. “This year, we thought we’d try co-ed. Our numbers dropped about 20 people! It’s been bigger in the past,” he said.
“There are guys who are boycotting it because the girls are invited,” laughed Brandy Fleury, 36, a member. “But tonight’s a blast, it’s always great here. I enjoy the people, just hanging out,” he said.
Journey Life encourages the public to consider alternatives to traditional religious practices. It has become eagerly involved in using technology and social media to corral new members, something Hildebrand noted the Catholic church has been slow to embrace. Journey Life can be visited at http://journeylifechurch.com/.