Over the weekend, Shainu and I got to hang out with some friends from Chicago who were in town for the holiday. We met up at a Dunkin Donuts and over coffee and a bagel began to fill each other in on what the Lord had been doing in and through us. The husband told me of taking his first job as a pastor of a small church in Chicago. He had a huge smile on his face as he told me of being able to preach, shepherd, equip, and lead the saints of his congregation. It was the perfect place for him to develop his gifts and learn what it means to be a pastor. His wife had the same smile as she talked about being able to lead studies with a small group of women and connect with people who were ethnically different than her.
When it was our turn, I talked about our vision for and our progress with 7 Mile Road. Actually, I talked and talked and kept talking. On our ride home, Shainu made fun of me for how much I kept blabbing. I couldn’t stop.
Here’s the reason why. My dream for 7 Mile Road is that it would be a church planting church. What I mean is that we’ve been praying for a long time that 7 Mile Road is a catalyst for a national movement of church plants. I have this huge hope that a few years from now, we’d see a church like 7 Mile Road planted in Chicago and New York and lots of other cities across the country. And I could see that our friends would love to see the same thing happen.
In fact they told us about a small group of folks in Chicago who have started gathering to pray. About what – they’re not sure – but they sense a call to pray cause who knows if church planting is on their horizon. At that point we had a smile from ear to ear cause that’s exactly how the dream of 7 Mile Road began.
As we were leaving, my friend laughed and said, “We’ll be praying cause we want to see 7 Mile Road survive so this can be reproduced and we can have a 7 Mile Road in Chicago.” I said, “No doubt!”
I don’t know if he was joking. I wasn’t.