After traveling for hours to get to a distant village in a remote part of Africa, some missionaries came upon a lone man walking along the road in the middle of nowhere. Worried that they might be lost and thinking this native man would surely know the area better than them, they stopped to talk with him and see if they were getting closer or if they were even on the right track to get to their intended destination. After greeting him, they explained where they were going and asked if they were close to the village yet. His reply puzzled them: "Yes, you are close. The village is only 3 looks and a stone's throw away." Not knowing what that meant in kilometers or miles, they asked him to explain. The man told them to "look" for something on the horizon along the road they were traveling, perhaps a distant tree for example, and then follow the road until they reached it. Then he said they should do the same again twice more, thus completing "3 looks". From there, the village would only be as far from them as the distance they could throw a small stone. The missionaries were relieved to know that they had been making progress toward their destination though they could not yet see the end of the road.
The River Church is rapidly approaching our 6 year anniversary since launching on September 11, 2005. We have come a long way already. Worship attendance has increased ten fold. Our staff is more than 4 times the people it was back then. Most importantly, we've seen hundreds of lives changed powerfully by the Lord Jesus Christ! We really have come a long way...but we haven't arrived yet. But you might say that we have reached the end of a "look". As we continue to travel toward the distant destination of seeing every man, woman, and child in Kershaw County have opportunity to see, hear, and respond to the good news of Jesus Christ, our end point may be too far away to see it yet. But now we have to set our sights on the horizon, to the next marker on the road to our destination and keep moving.
In the coming months, we will begin to fix our gaze on some new milestones. These will include
- strategic changes in structure and curriculum to make our children's ministries more effective,
- new resources for Life Groups and new groups for people to plug into,
- new ministry opportunities that will reach across new lines to impact "the least of these" in our community,
- incorporating four core practices into the lives of every believer who calls the The River Church home,
- and a new worship venue for our Sunday morning worship services.
My heart is set on the destination--every man, woman, and child in Kershaw County seeing, hearing, and responding to the good news of Jesus Christ. My eyes are fixed on the next "look". How about you?