I got this note last week from our worship pastor, Gardner Pippin. Few things inspire me more than seeing our leaders catch a vision for what God wants to do. This has encouraged me in my faith, and I hope it encourages you!

– Pastor J.D.


The 1st gen/2nd gen paradigm has been wrecking me since you shared it. The first generation of a movement does whatever it takes. They expect personal sacrifice. But the second generation does only what’s asked of them. They don’t expect sacrifice, but comfort.

I really believe that this season is paramount for our church. This sermon series, FIRST, isn’t primarily a generosity initiative. This one is different. The premise of FIRST is ultimately about the Lordship of Jesus. God saves sinners so that they will say, “Jesus is Lord.” God sanctifies the saints to say that “Jesus is Lord,” again…over and over, every day.

After God delivered Israel from the oppression of Egypt, they spent 40 years in the wilderness. They had a 2nd generation (Joshua 5). So the Lord delivers them from Egypt, they spend 40 years in the wilderness, then they start nearing the Promised Land. As they are spying on Jericho, Joshua (a 2nd gen leader) does something: he circumcises the next generation. He physically likens them to the previous generation. He gives them the mark of the first generation. Joshua didn’t just need to embrace the 1st gen mentality, he needed to embody their mark and embrace the fact that God was starting a new wave of this movement in his generation.

I think that is us. At least I want it to be us. The second generation is a first generation of the second move. We need the mark & mentality of the first generation to lead like the first generation in the second wave of the movement of God at the Summit.

Joshua didn’t know that the spies would find Rahab and be hidden. He didn’t know that the Lord was going to break the walls of Jericho using Old Testament worship leaders, but he trusted him and went anyways. He remembered who God was, what he had done and he acted in accordance with that knowledge.

On the contrary, what we see at the end of Joshua’s life is heartbreaking. A new generation arises. For whatever reason these people don’t know the Lord or his work. Consequently, they served the Baals. What happens when the next generation fails to embody the mark and mentality of the previous generation? Idolatry happens. The book of Judges happens. Ultimately, self-worship happens. That’s what these people were concerned with.

I’m looking at where we are, and I can’t help but see us in this Old Testament story. Our Promised Land is the people. They are the “land” God wants to give us through his own power and provision. The lost are the prize. In RDU, in NC, in the USA, and around the world.

Whether God gives us what we need in the way of dollars in this season or not, it is abundantly clear to me that what he wants is for us to say that he, and his mission, are first. That is going to take faith. He says to us on his mission, “I will be with you to the ends of the earth,” yet we cannot see him. How in the world do you know someone will be with you if you can’t see them? Faith. Because if this generation doesn’t submit to the Lordship of Christ, the next generation might not know Christ.

When the next generation embodies the mark and embraces the mentality of the previous generation, we nourish faith and fuel obedience.

Pastor, I truly believe that we stand at the same place where Moses stood in Deut. 3, where he says, “You have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your power.” The Lord then calls Moses to commission Joshua, the leader of the next gen for the next leg of the race. The truth is we have really only just begun to see the mighty work of the Lord here, but the next move of this work is through the next generation of leaders.

If for nothing else, I write all of this to tell you that I’m all in on affirming the Lordship of Jesus in my life and ministry—Jesus will be first in my life. I wasn’t here when the Summit re-launched 16 years ago, but I hope I’m here for the next 16. I’ve been too comfortable living off the faith of Summit’s 1st gen. I’ve been okay with Jesus being important, not preeminent. It’s time for me to embody the mark of the 1st gen and embrace the mentality of the 1st gen and believe in faith that he will do abundantly more than I could ask or imagine.