As I was crossing the road the other day I happened to find myself alongside a mother taking three children to school all between the ages of eight and ten. The children dawdled and the woman called out to them: "it is important when crossing the road to move swiftly to the other side without meandering". I thought this was excellent advice, although I was not altogether sure that the eight year-old understood what to meander meant.
Keeping the end goal in mind (the other side of the road) is easier said than done on a project as all-encompassing as Go and Grow. Potential meanderings seem constantly to beckon, whether that be schemes to raise finance, or complex details about scheduling, or matters about who has legal rights of way over certain entrances. All of these things of course need to be addressed, but they can so easily take over our entire horizon, obscuring what is really important. This is why I did a presentation this Sunday on "what's it all about", as an attempt to refocus on vision. Within that presentation I suggested that the Go and Grow project has five principal dimensions, by which I mean five main things that the project will achieve in providing, leading to a five-fold impact on the church and the community. These five dimensions are: 1) a community hub, 2) a mission port, 3) a social enterprise, 4) a resourcing centre, 5) a church base.
These are "the other side of the road" for us; this is what we are aiming for and what the Go and Grow project is all about. It is a massive and alluring vision, and it needs to be, because the challenge of achieving it is so huge. The dimensions themselves are of course only a means to an end, as really it is the outcomes that these dimensions will deliver that will be the lasting legacy of the project.
I'm glad to report that the woman and the children successfully navigated the road and went happily on their way. Meanwhile I will continue to ponder her advice as we push steadily forwards, trying to keep focussed on what is really important.