In just a few short weeks (5 to be exact), the Johnson crew is headed to Miami, Florida! We are so excited to finally be able to share this news with you. For over 6 years we have had this dream in our heart and it’s truly surreal to be standing right in the middle of it. A lot has happened over the past 6 years. An adventure that’s for sure. As we were sitting in front of the computer last night and reading all the wonderful feedback from our family and friends as we posted our “Announcement” I was overwhelmed with so many different emotions. It was as if my mind hit the rewind button and I replayed some of the “moments” over the past 6 years.
Six years ago, BJ and attended Pastor’s School, a conference for Pastors and Leaders hosted by Pastors Tommy and Matthew Barnett. The conference was amazing and truly changed our lives. BJ and I were just dating then and at the commencement of the conference, everyone was asked to write down what they believed God would do in their lives. We wrote this: “We would direct a Master’s Commission, we would plant a church and that we would plant a Dream Center. “
A year later, after BJ and I had been married for just six short months, God opened up a door for us to start a master’s commission (for those of you who don’t know what that is, Master’s Commission is a ministry where students give a year of their life to serve the local church) We packed up our things and moved across the country to Wilson, NC. We didn’t even know that city existed, but we knew it was where we were supposed to go. We had the great privilege to direct that program for 3 years. We also were youth pastors to some amazing students and launched a college ministry on a local college campus.
While on vacation, we were driving through the city of Miami and found ourselves feeling “at home.” It was a strange feeling, since we had never been to that city before together. As we were driving around, we began to fall deeply in love with the city and its people. It was a love like we had never felt before and we knew immediately that we were going to one day plant our church here. We began to envision a church that would influence the culture through the love of Jesus Christ.
After serving in Wilson, NC for 3 years, we felt lead to leave our full time ministry positions and help BJ’s parents in their church plant that was two years old at the time. It wasn’t a big move in terms of distance, but it was a big move in terms of destiny. We knew it was something that we had to do. We served their ministry for a year. It was the hardest yet most exciting year of our life! We experienced great heartache and went through great trial, but also became pregnant with our twin baby girls Kennedi and Brooklyn. God gave us two doses of GRACE as we endured one of the most challenging seasons of our life. The church became our family and we know we would not have made it through without New Journey Church rallying behind our family and reminding us daily about our dream.
Our girls were three months old and we were again packing up our things and moving to Los Angeles, California to serve at the Los Angeles Dream Center. At the time I didn’t know if it was my hormones or faith, but we were moving to LA because we believed it was what God asked us to do. With only enough money to get across the country, we arrived in LA. BJ transferred to the local Olive Garden and I stayed home with the girls. Some people wrote us off as CRAZY and we were OK with that. We weren’t afraid to look foolish because we knew God was in control of our lives. We served the church and God quickly began to show us that this crazy move to California with two infants was exactly what we were supposed to do. We went through ups and downs and things didn’t always “look” the way we had imagined.
The Turning Point.
To be transparent, there was a specific moment during this journey where we felt like giving up. Where it seemed as though God had forgotten about us. I shared that moment with you in a post entitled, “Drawing the Line.” It was a time we felt as though we had sacrificed enough, done all that we were asked and were not willing to do anymore. It was a time where we drew the line and decided there wasn’t anything left to give. We knew this was a huge moment for us and after wanting to quit and given the opportunity to quit, we decided not to! Instead, we embraced moving into a one bedroom apartment with our twin girls, dog and our best friend. We knew we had a dream to chase and we were willing to do whatever we were asked to do. This has been the most freeing, exciting season to date. We love serving and working on staff here at the Los Angeles Dream Center/ Angelus Temple. The people here are out of this world amazing. We are challenged daily by people’s faith to believe God for the impossible. This season has changed the way we think about ministry. We have a new love for people than we have ever before. We are so grateful that God brought us here.
We are not just talking about one day planting a church, we are announcing that we are planting a church and Dream Center in Miami, Florida. Here is our official announcement.
TRUTH: BJ, Sarah, Kennedi, Brooklyn & Graham are taking their talents to South Beach!
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