The Summit Church
Early in my pastorate, a well-meaning pastor told me that we should not think that much about sending during our first ten years; we should focus on building up our church locally. I know he meant well, but I have come to see this as very bad advice. Inherent in the call to follow Jesus is a call to follow him in his mission, both to our neighbors and to the nations.
I once heard a Christian leader say, “Better to spend one hour on your knees pursuing the Holy Spirit than ten hours studying the Bible.” Tweetable, maybe, but very wrong. We must never separate what God has inseparably joined. Better to spend one hour on your knees pursuing the Holy Spirit through the Bible. Scripture invites you into a relationship that involves both Word and Spirit. Each is indispensable.
Certain topics in Scripture aren’t questions to be solved so much as they’re tensions to be balanced. Our approach to money falls into that category. I firmly believe that most of us in the American church think we’re far more “balanced” than we actually are. That’s why at the Summit, we’re constantly reminding ourselves of this idolatrous drift by saying, “Live sufficiently, give extravagantly.”
For many evangelicals, the gospel functions solely as the entry rite into Christianity; it is the prayer we pray to begin our relationship with Jesus; the diving board off of which we jump into the pool of the “real” Christian life. The gospel, however, is not just the diving board off of which we jump into the pool of Christianity; it is the pool itself. It is not only the way we begin in Christ; it is the way we grow in Christ.
Plumb Line #9: We Should Reflect the Diversity of Our Community & Proclaim the Diversity of the Kingdom"
Hardly anyone in the American church thinks that ethnic diversity is a bad thing. And yet, take a look at most of our churches, and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous criticism still has some bite to it: “Eleven o’clock on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America.” A mild desire to see diversity isn’t going to create multi-ethnic diversity in our churches. For diversity to truly take hold, it takes intentionality.
This sermon changed my life. This is no understatement either. When I first listened to this sermon a little more than a year ago, I was in a place of deep depression and much despair over continuing on with life. I am a man who’s grown up in the church all my life and have silently struggled with SSA (Same Sex Attraction).