This past Saturday, our crew met one last time before we enter this new phase of planting 7 Mile Road. I have not stopped rejoicing in how great our time together was. There was nothing profound or earth-shattering about what we did, but there was an excitement, a unity, a sense of all the possibilities that lay before us. It’s the excitement from having a blank page in front of you, and you get to fill it however the Lord leads you to. There’s no deadlines or agendas or expectations we have to meet. Instead, we’re freed to birth a church as God would have us birth it. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it was sweet.
12 adults and 3 infants, hung out for a couple of hours in our living room. We celebrated the grace that God had shown us in keeping us intact for 5 years. That itself is incredible. I’ve heard that prolonged pre-launch phases are like prolonged engagements – things could get ugly. And yet, the Lord has persevered us. We laid out a plan for the next four months. Our idea for the Fall & Winter is to lay out our calling and our vision to people who have expressed interest; begin gathering weekly to study Scripture-pray-explore the vision, values, and DNA of 7MR-experience Gospel centered community; build relationships with people in the city; and seek ways to love and serve the city together. In December, we’ll step back and evaluate where we came from, where we are, and where we are headed.
A bunch of our conversation on Saturday was talking through what it meant for us to be missional and brainstorming ways that we could live that out. I throw around the word a lot, and we have so much to grow in our understanding of what it means to live missionally, but seriously, it was a good step in the right direction. People were really starting to talk about breaking out of ‘Christian bubbles’ and connecting with people who don’t know Jesus. I confessed to the group that I can so easily see pre-Christians as projects and view people in terms of what they can do for me. We talked a lot about loving people without ulterior motives. Again, we have miles to go, but it was a good first step.
Before we broke for lunch, we prayed together. We even prayed about praying – that God would move us to pray and that 7 Mile Road would be born in the cradle of prayer. We asked the Lord to change our hearts and give us His heart for mission and His heart for the Church. We sought the Lord for people in Philadelphia – that He would bless their lives and bless them with Himself. We sought the Lord for each other. We sought the Lord for our politicians, our schools, our neighbors, our city. We thanked God for reconciling the world to Himself through Christ and asked Him to work through us as His ambassadors who have been sent to Philadelphia to plead with men and implore them to be reconciled to God.
All that to say, Saturday was really cool.