Our name, 7 Mile Road, comes from this great story in Luke 24. If you haven’t read the story, read it….you’ll love it. Basically, two disciples are walking 7 miles to a village called Emmaus. They’re completely downcast because it had only been a few days since Jesus had been crucified. On the way, the Risen Christ appears to them but they don’t recognize Him. He’s right next to them but they’re completely blind to Him. Anyway, as they’re walking this road together, Jesus begins to show them the Scriptures and how it all points to Him. And as they’re hearing His words, their hearts are just burning with the truth. Finally they get to the village, Jesus breaks bread with them, and immediately, their eyes are opened. They get it! At once they run back to Jerusalem to tell others about who they had just seen.
We long for it to become the story of our church. Here’s why:
mile 1 :: need
Confused. Afraid. Sad. Disappointed. Blind. Unbelieving. Those words describe the men in the story, but they describe us as well. We are broken, messed up, sinful people living in a broken, messed up, sinful world. And so at 7 Mile Road, we want to destroy pious pretenses. Instead, we want to humbly recognize that we are sinners and have Jesus encounter us in the midst of our need. One of our huge hopes is to offer a safe community where people can be honest, transparent, broken, and repentant together.
mile 2 :: jesus
Who appears on the road? Who unfolds the Scriptures? Who reveals truth? Whose words set their hearts ablaze? Who do they long to stay with? Who breaks the bread and opens their eyes? Read Luke 24 and you see the whole thing is about Jesus. We want 7 Mile Road to be the same way. We want to be magnificently obsessed with Jesus Christ. And so as we’re journeying together, or studying Scripture, or wrestling with truth, or whatever we do, it’s all centered on Jesus. 7 Mile Road will be Jesus’ church, planted by Jesus, for Jesus.
mile 3 :: road
“Walk with us.” That’s what we want to call people to at 7 Mile Road. We love the image of a road because the idea of people walking together and discovering the truth over a journey is hugely important. Walking with God, being sanctified over a process, seeing life as a journey rather than a destination already arrived are all Biblical values that we embrace. Journey is one of the great Biblical metaphors, whether it is the salvation of sinners or the sanctification of saints. We long for unbelievers and believers, skeptics and seekers, the religious and irreligious to walk the same road and discover Christ along the way. None of us have arrived, but let’s walk this road together.
mile 4 :: scripture
While walking on the road, along the journey, Jesus unfolds the Scriptures. Jesus goes back to the Old Testament and shows the two disciples how all of it was about Him. The unfolding of Scripture will be at the very heart of 7 Mile Road. We want to read the Bible, preach the Bible, sing the Bible, pray the Bible, believe the Bible, and live the Bible. And as we do, we want to see Jesus through it all. So whether we’re reading the story of Abraham, or the laws of Moses, or the prophecies of Daniel, or the letters of Paul, all of it will point us back to Jesus and His Gospel.
mile 5 :: community
We love that it is two guys walking the road together, talking about Jesus together, encountering Christ together, wrestling with Scripture together, having their hearts stirred together, inviting Jesus to stay longer together, sharing a meal together, coming to faith together, and running back on mission together. Did you get all that? Together is a really important word for us, and that’s because community is really important to us. One of our hopes for 7 Mile Road is to become a people who are deeply connected, closely knit, following Christ together. We want to build a church where people are constantly sharing life together, in each other’s homes, eating together, and encountering Christ through it all. We long to see our people following Jesus and doing so in community.
mile 6 :: awakened
Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road…(Lk. 24:32). We long for people to respond that way a thousand times over at 7 Mile Road. Biblically, we’re convinced that apart from God opening our eyes, we are blind to spiritual truths. As believers, and almost believers, and unbelievers walk with us, our prayer is that our eyes would be opened and our hearts set ablaze by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
mile 7 :: mission
After stumbling along this road in need, meeting Jesus along the way, hearing Scripture unfolded, breaking bread together, and having their hearts lit up by the truth of Christ, do you know what these men do? They go on mission! They run back 7 miles to tell everyone they can about the One they had encountered, the One who had opened their eyes and captured their hearts. 7 Mile Road Church will be planted to do the same. We long for the shoulders of our church to always be pointed towards our city and culture as we engage it missionally. As a church, we want our eyes fixed on those outside of our four walls, and so mission and mercy are hugely important to us. We want Jesus’ Great Commandment and Great Commission to be the framework for how we get to participate in His redemptive work.
Can you see why our deep hope is that the story of the 7 mile road would become our story as well?