What's New?

I Live the Journey (ILTJ) is an important season in the life of our church. This is the place to come to find out the latest on the projects funded through ILTJ. You can find the latest news about projects, how the money is being spent, how people are being impacted by ILTJ and how you can get involved. We are in this together, our goal is to be as transparent as possible and this site will help make that possible.

Updates will post right here on this page, with more details available on all aspects of the various projects. To find out more or get an update, just open the box below that you are interested in.

Big Picture Update

We’re undertaking a lot with the funds pledged through ILTJ. As you can imagine, a project of this scope always hits some bumps. But, we made a decision from the beginning to do things correctly. We want to be good stewards of the money raised and good citizens in our community. This has meant it’s time to resubmit our Conditional Use Permit (CUP), while at the same time completing planning for several projects. There are drawings to complete and engineering to configure. We’re coordinating with architects, city planners, the La Mesa Fire Department and contractors. Some of the occupancy designations for our rooms have changed since our first CUP and there are new ADA guidelines, new fire regulations, city requirements and even new State ground water mandates. All of this means things have been more complicated and time consuming than we expected, but we are moving forward! Find out how by reading below.

You Can Help!

As we jump into some projects we are looking for the people with the following skills and resources:

Plumbing contractor, Framing (both wood & metal), Drywalling, MEP Consultant, Certified Welder. Painting, Tiling, Janitorial & Clean up (especially evenings) Low voltage cable work, Carpenter/ welder to fabricate Welcome Center Kiosks. 

If you have any of the above or if you have a skill or resource not listed here but you think still can help us, please email Tic.


August 3, 2018 Update:

Total amount given is $3,741,220 leaving us $63,970 to raise.

Total Spent to date $2,598,266 leaving us $1,142,954 available for projects.

Percent of goal attained: 98%

If you are reading this you must be interested in the financial end of things in detail. If not just skip this part because it can be a bit confusing following the giving involved in ILTJ as it is comprised of two different components.

The first component was what we called our First Fruits offering. That was money people pledged to give in June of 2015 to get us started on our Solar project, as it was time sensitive. The total amount in First Fruit pledges was $968,034

The second component was the ILTJ pledges. This is what people committed to give from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2017 basically a two-year commitment to fund all of the other projects that are part of I Live the Journey. The total of those pledges was $2,837,156.

The grand total of all the pledges is $3,805,190 we know crazy cool. This is a higher total than we listed before as some pledges and gifts came in after we started and we had not updated the total for a while.

Now check this out:

As stated above the pledges for First Fruit totaled $968,034. What actually came in was $1,170,234. That’s because some people gave more than they pledged and others who did not pledge at all gave over $200,000 to help us totally crush our goal of $637,000 needed to do the solar (512K) and the roof repairs (125K) to complete the project. Obviously God had a bigger vision and stirred peoples hearts past anything we had imagined.

As of April 24, 2016 we have received $1,955,519. This is how the amount came in: $1,170,234 came from First Fruit, $686,788 from ILTJ pledges and $98,497 from non-pledge related gifts. This leaves $1,849,671 still needed by July 1, 2017 to fulfill our pledges. Another way of saying it is we have received almost 51% of the total $3,805,190

Now just to add to the confusion let’s talk here about where we are at, not on the overall total but on the ILTJ Pledge amount of $2,837,156 to be fulfilled by June 30, 2017. As of April 24, 2016 we have received $686,788 or 24% of our total. Come this June we hit our halfway mark time wise so we are a bit behind. However keep in mind that our First Fruits offering was so amazing with over a million dollars coming in. Many people sacrificed a great deal with their First Fruit giving and therefore planned to start their ILTJ pledge giving later on in the process. We feel good about how pledges are coming in and expect them to come in at an increasing pace going forward.

Our ILTJ Checkbook

At this point (April 24, 2016) we have spent $1,081,146 (You can see where on the projects listed below) so we have $831,896 ready to spend on projects as soon as they are ready to begin (after planning, permitting, etc.)

Budget Additions

Two new items were added to our budget that we didn’t initially plan for, including $150,000 to add sprinklers to existing rooms. We’re hoping not to have to spend this much on sprinklers, but we are working toward being fully in compliance with fire regulations and the final cost and number of rooms affected has not been determined. We hope to come in under this amount.

We also had to add $50,000 for additional drawings, engineering, CUP revisions, permits & architect fees. Again, this is because as we began to move forward we became aware of compliance issues that we are committed to fixing.

Our Tithe

When we plan for the money received through ILTJ the first thing we think about is our tithe. Giving back to advance God’s work beyond what’s happening here at Journey is a key priority – and it’s pretty fun, too!

Our first Giving Back project was with New Birth Kingdom Covenant Church and Pastor Archie Robinson. We know what it’s like to have a home for our church. Pastor Archie and New Birth Kingdom Covenant have been impacting South East San Diego for years, but they needed a new home base for their church. Your gifts made this dream a reality. We gave the church $64,455 and coordinated construction with a member from Journey who made sure the remodel was done correctly and the dollars stretched as far as possible. It is really exciting to watch what God is doing in and through New Birth.

We’ve been partners with the American Red Cross for some time, and over 100 people from Journey are trained as emergency volunteers. In fact, our Worship Center is the largest regional emergency shelter in San Diego County! If there is ever a major disaster in our region, the Red Cross will take over our facility and create a shelter for the displaced. We gave $10,000 to the Red Cross’ Shelter of Hope program. This program provides emergency housing for smaller, personal disasters people in our community might face.


And then there’s Genesis Church in North Park. We have been supporting the church plant financially from the beginning. They are now moving into what feels like a make or break season. They need some additional paid staff to get them moving forward. Your generous giving to ILTJ allowed us to give them a $45,000 gift in September 2016. This is how the money will be utilized over the next year:

$30,000 for 1 year of Music Pastor’s salary.
$4,800 for 1 year stipend for Sound Tech.
$6,000 to bump the salary of their existing Children and Families Pastor to cover healthcare.
$4,800 for 1 year stipend for Nursery Coordinator

Please pray for them as they seek to introduce more people to the love of God in the North Park community

ILTJ Tithe Template

Journey Community Church has committed to allocate 10% of the funds collected in its capital campaign (the “ILTJ Tithe”) on projects or programs being conducted outside of Journey. The purpose of this money is to focus on one-time projects that will have a big impact, as well as those that communicate our priorities at Journey and our commitment to our community. Most of the giving will go towards specific projects or startup opportunities – lump sum investments for a specific case and tangible outcomes. The following template will be to be used to manage the funds that Journey has committed by identifying areas in which the funds would be invested (Column 1) and establishing the maximum percent of the total that would be spent in each area (Column 2). Column 3 represents this percent-of-total in dollars and column 4 gives proposed examples of the areas of investment. Specific expenditures will come before the board for a vote on a case-by-case basis. This template assumes that a maximum of $300,000 will be spent. If there are any funds beyond $300,000 they will not be subject to these percentages but be available to be spent as the board approves, regardless of category.

Area of Proposed Investment

Investment As % of Total
Investment As $ Amount


JCC Missions/Missionaries
(outside the U.S.)

30% $90,000 Margie Brewer, HIS Ministries

Church Partnerships/
Start Ups/Initiatives
(San Diego-Area)


$150,000 Genesis, New Birth Kingdom Covenant Fellowship, etc
National Or Local Ministries



Blue Ocean, Larry Warner, Retreat Centers, Camps, School, Mission, Compassion, World Vision

Local Helping Agencies/NGOs could be secular or Christian doing kingdom work 10% $30,000

ARC Shelter of Hope, Urban Life, Interfaith Shelter Network, Veterans Village of SD


Our solar project is complete! How awesome is that? We are currently putting some final touches on the solar project, including putting cages around the monitors on the walls to protect them. The system is up and running, and we are already realizing the savings and reducing our carbon footprint.

Our budget for solar was $512,000. Our final cost was $595,762. $77,225 was for changes made to the system after we started and $6,537 to the cages and painting. But there’s truly a silver lining around this overage. Our original plans were to install a system that would be a 583-panel KW DC system producing 275,000 KWh annually and qualifying us for rebate from the California Solar Initiative of between a $100,000 & $120,000

But, as we moved forward we found additional meters on three more buildings that allowed us to increase the size of the system. This meant we qualified for a $173,582 rebate. The revised rebate paid for all but $23,643 of the cost of the enlarged system. The increased production will quickly cover that cost and give us additional ongoing savings.

For those of you who love the details…. the additions increased the system to 207.3 kW DC producing 308,286 KWh Annual energy now with 658 SW315 MONO panels and 40 SMA wall hung inverters. (Aren’t you glad you know that?)

And here’s another really awesome piece of this story: Precision Electric, who installed the solar, came through for us more than once. They acted decisively early on to secure the rebate and we got the very last rebate granted from the fund by the State of California.

Kids Center

Updated Dec. 1, 2016:
We got all of the new engineering completed, plans drawn up and submitted to the city and at the end of November finally got our plans approved!!! We put the project out to bid, picked a contractor and work will begin Monday, December 6, 2016. It will take about two months to complete most of the work but maybe a bit longer until the elevator finished. We need to get the elevator shaft framed and dialed in before we actually place the elevator order.

There are two major parts to the remodeling of the Kids Center – the new elevator and an upstairs bathroom. There are also a lot of other improvements and upgrades that need to be made to get our Kids Center in the shape we want it in for our kids to enjoy.

The Elevator was originally planned to go on the backside of the building by the outdoor stairs. We had selected the elevator we wanted and had made some initial plans. But, as we moved forward we realized we needed to rethink the elevator to meet ADA requirements and make it more accessible for kids who needed to use it to get upstairs. The idea is that an able bodied person doesn’t have to go outside to get upstairs so why should someone who has disabilities? We are on board with that idea, but that meant we had to draw up new plans and find the best place to locate the new elevator. We are now pursuing an indoor elevator at the end of the hall, getting the final engineering and electrical drawings done and submitting the plans to the City to pull permits.

At the same time we plan to submit plans for the upstairs bathroom. This is complicated, too. Our building is called a “tilt up” and because of the way it was constructed there are challenges to where you can run pipes. We thought we had a plan and were on our way to implementing it, but then found out about new fire regulations that changed our plans. Back to the drawing board to come up with a new plan! We are now finalizing new plumbing and engineering drawings to submit for approval.

Our budget for the Kids Center was $200,000. That will go up if we still do everything we want to do because of the increased cost with the elevator and bathroom.

Worship Center

We haven’t moved forward on the redesign of the Worship Center because of prioritizing other projects ahead of this one. We do have our seating drawings done, ADA access and room design, but we have not yet dug into the full detail of the project.

The budget for the new Worship Center is $792,000.

Journey Food Ministries
We’ve completed our relocation of the Journey Food Bank and the other food ministries like Hope for the Homeless. We had a lot of help from Journey folks when we moved the Food Bank into it’s new location and saved money because of the help. We spent $2,686 on new tile and paint to finish the renovation on the new home for Journey Food Ministries.

New Conference Center (Old Thrift Store)

December 8, 2016 Update: All the plans have been submitted to the city, revisions made and resubmitted (including pans for a new kitchen). We expect final approval within the next two week. The room has been stripped down to bare bones (thanks to those who showed up for the work day). The floor needed to be sand blasted because asbestos was found in the glue from the old carpets and now that has been completed. This is the room we had to bring new sprinklers into. The sprinklers have been installed in the ceiling, and as you may have noticed trenches were dug to install new water pipes for the sprinklers. The fire department signed off on the new system today and the trenches will be filled on 9th

We want to create a new mid-size room (or Conference Center) in the old thrift store space that is more central to the flow of our facilities and would help people connect. When we finish this project you will be able to go from the Worship Center across to this room, step into our new plaza and then directly over to Journey Java.

Twice Treasured Thrift Store (Formerly The Other Room)

August 23, 2016 Update: Well it is finally finished — the Twice Treasured Thrift Store has a new home! We stripped the room clean, added new offices, changing rooms and bathrooms. We also created a new area for receiving and sorting donations with a stacking/storage system that meets the latest earthquake codes. We were correct in assuming we did not need sprinklers so that helped us move forward a bit more quickly. We had a couple church-wide work days where dozens of people came in to help get it all ready, so thanks to all who helped. If you have not seen it yet, please drop by.

May 10, 2016 update: The Plans were submitted to the City on Monday, May 9 to get our permits to begin the renovation of The Other Room. As soon as we get the permits we are off to the races! 

Part of the repurposing of our space has brought some surprises. During the inspection for the solar project, city inspectors discovered our use of The Other Room was different than their records. While we had been using it for years as a meeting space, they still had it designated as a retail space. This is important because each type of space has its own set of requirements – things like number of exits and sprinklers. Because we weren’t in compliance it meant we had to stop using the room immediately and make the fixes to be compliant with the regulations.

That means new drawings, permits, building plans, etc. So, we’ve been busy getting all of that in order so we can pull permits and start construction to get this area in operation. We are planning to move the Twice Treasured Thrift Shop into this area, so we do not anticipate needing to install sprinkles in this space.

The plan is to move Twice Treasured into the current space called The Other Room (see above). This puts all of the retail operations of the campus on together in one area with Red Sea Marketing and Shear Illusions. The other important reason for this change is to create a new mid-size room (or Conference Center) out of this space that is more central to the flow of our facilities. When we finish this transition you will be able to go from the Worship Center across to this room, step into our new plaza and then directly over to Journey Java.

We are working on drawings for this space and are hoping to begin work on the new area as soon as we move the Thrift store to its new location. We will be adding sprinklers to this new space and that means digging up the parking lot to bring in water from the street. Lots of details!

We have $300,000 in our budget for this part of the project. It is too early to know the actual cost, and we’ve added new budget categories for sprinklers and architects. Because of that we are pretty confident we can stick to this budget,

Welcome Center and Central Plaza
This project has lots of moving parts, too. We had initial plans drawn up for the new plaza, but then found out about new regulations for storm water. The area of the new plaza is large enough to now require a containment system for storm water. This has huge implications for us in both cost and in the loss of parking spaces. We have a great civil engineer (Bill Dick) who is a part of our Journey family who is helping us find a way forward on this project. He understands the situation and requirements and is helping us think through a plan that will help us achieve our goals for the open plaza space and stay close to budget. It’s requiring out of the box thinking, but we are getting good at that!

The Welcome Center will most likely be a more mobile system. We’re still planning to put it where the kids play structure is currently, between the Worship Center and the entrance to the Kids Center. We’ll have permanent signage, but instead of an enclosed structure we will make counters that can move to other areas of campus when needed (ex: Summer Fun Camp).

Now follow the bouncing ball….we can put in the new Welcome Center when we are able to have a new kids play structure in place. We can put a new play structure in when we get the permits finalized for the elevator and know exactly where everything will be located. Having fun yet?

Budget for both is $85,000 and at this point there is no change to that total.

With an aging facility like ours there are always many site upgrades. And we’ve been moving forward on these. We completed all the roof repairs needed to install solar. Like any renovation you really don’t know what you what you have until you look under the roof. And when we looked it was worse than we thought, but still fixable. Budget for roof repairs was $125,000 and we ended up spending $166,021, but our roofs on all our buildings are now in much better shape.

We’ve also completed replacing our heating and air conditioning units on all of the buildings except for the thrift store, The Other Room and The Far Room. Some new units will be required for these areas, and we are waiting until the City reviews ours plans to know how to proceed. Our budget for heating and air was $215,000. To date we’ve spent $31,752 however we still have units to replace on 2 buildings and we have estimated cost of those to be $128,000 for a total of $175,000. It looks (but not a final number yet) like we will be about $40,000 under budget.

We also completed upgrades on the parking lot lights. The poles were deteriorating, so now new poles are in place and LED lights are installed, which are more energy efficient. Budget for the new poles was $20,000 and we spent $220. All of the labor and materials were donated by contractors who go to Journey

All over campus we have been replacing fluorescent lighting with more energy efficient LED lighting. There are still more to replace, but most of our rooms have been converted. Matt Nelson on our staff found a way to use the rebates by SDG&E to have all the lights replaced at no cost to us. That’s right, the lights themselves and the labor to change the lights cost us nothing. This saved thousands of dollars.

We have also replaced some of the faces on the lighted room signs around campus, and put up a new sign for Journey food ministries. We just finished some needed structural repairs on the giant Journey sign and have bids out on redoing the big sign over by Shear illusions and the bank.

Budget for signage is $34,000. To date we have spent $5,163