2nd Mile 101 - The Mission


This is the first in a series of four posts entitled 2nd Mile 101. We hope these writings can help answer the questions of who 2nd Mile is and why we do what we do the way we do it.

We are seeking to see the Gospel renew lives and communities so they are transformed in every way.

This is the mission statement of 2nd Mile Ministries. It is the mandate that we seek to live out each day in our lives and our ministry. 2nd Mile is more than an after school program. It is more than youth Bible study. And it is more than tossing a basketball and snacks out to give some kids something better to do. We are enlivened and pushed forward by this mission and vision for our community.

2nd Mile is a Christian community development ministry that centers its life in the Brentwood neighborhood, just north of downtown Jacksonville. The neighborhood is faced by many challenges and disparities, but is also marked by people of tremendous gifting, generosity, and resilience. Our goal is to use the resources and skills that already exist in the community to bring transformation to our neighborhood.

We are seeking to see the Gospel . . .

This mission starts with the Gospel. The Good News about Jesus Christ, who came to the earth to bring the Kingdom of God. This Gospel declares the forgiveness of sins, the opening of free access to the throne of God, and the reign of grace in the life of all who will believe it. Further, however, this Gospel empowers the vision of 2nd Mile Ministries. Without the Gospel of Jesus, we are powerless. The message of Jesus shows us how to live and also invites all who call on his name to join in his mission of bringing about Kingdom transformation everywhere we go.

Further, the Gospel is where the heavy-lifting of work like 2nd Mile’s takes place. On our own, we don’t have the wisdom, perseverance, or skills necessary to do this work, but by the empowerment and working of our God who has called us to himself, we are able to push on towards the goal.

We are seeking to see the Gospel renew lives and communities. . . .

At 2nd Mile, we believe in renewal. We believe redeeming that which is broken is not just about building up, but about restoring things back to their original intention. This renewal is to take place on the individual level as well for corporately. We seek to see growth and development in individual lives in our community. The small victory that only impacts one person is part of the mission. So, when J.J. makes the honor roll or understands Jesus in a deeper way, we embrace it and celebrates. But further, renewal takes place on the large scale and in the group as well. So, when 1,000 community members join together for a safe, positive event at the Family Fall Festival or when 20 college students from the Midwest come to Brentwood and experience a renewal that they can bring back to their own communities, we celebrate as well.

This renewal is to take place in the small things and the large things. It is to take place in the short term and the long term. It is to take place in the lives of individuals and in entire communities.

We are seeking to see the Gospel renew lives and communities so they are transformed in every way.

The end goal for 2nd Mile is wholistic transformation. We desire to see positive change in every aspect of our community, those we minister to, and ourselves. This means growth spiritually, socially, academically, professionally, and physically. For us, if a student grows up through 2nd Mile’s youth programs and is equipped to graduate on-time, resolve conflict in healthy ways, goes to college, and successfully starts a thriving career, but does not walk with Christ, it does not meet our full definition of success. Similarly, if a young person encounters 2nd Mile and deeply follows Christ, but does not experience transformation in other areas of life, where the Lord desires for them to thrive, it too falls short of our definition of success. We seek not partial or temporary solutions, but wrap-around impact that touches and transforms every area of life and every element of our community.

We want to get it right and see flourishing and redemption pour out of Brentwood. We desire to see God glorified in our lives and community. We set our hopes on a future vision where this community, which has so much to offer, fully builds itself into a place of renewal, redemption, and wholistic transformation.

We are seeking to see the Gospel new lives and communities so they are transformed in every way.