The Summit Church
A few weeks ago, Pastor J.D. posted a helpful article: “What Every Pastor Wishes His Worship Leader Knew.” One of the blessings of being on staff at The Summit Church is that our pastor invited the companion article. I offer the following list (without fear of having to polish the ol’ résumé) in the hope that pastors and worship leaders can cultivate healthy relationships—all for the sake of loving and leading the local church.
In 2012 our church sent a launch team of 40 people to Greensboro, North Carolina, and by their second anniversary, the church that started by meeting outside at a local park had 1,000 people at weekend services. They went multisite on their fourth birthday and are now celebrating 500 baptisms in five years and more than 2,000 in average attendance.
For every relational problem we have—whether division, or insecurity, or fear—the answer is to go back to your identity in Christ. As we often say, the gospel is not just how you begin the Christian life; it's how you grow in the Christian life. It's not just the diving board; it's the whole pool.
Last week our church had the privilege of hearing from author and Bible teacher Jen Wilkin. We’re incredibly thankful to Jen (and The Village Church) for taking the time to speak on the importance of Bible literacy and about ways in which men and women can partner together in ministry. With Jen, we pray that our people would grow to say, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18 ESV).
The stories Jesus commends about adults praying actually make them sound like children. Think about the parable of the friend who comes banging on your door at midnight and won’t leave you alone. Or the persistent widow, who keeps badgering the unjust judge until he grants her request (just to get her off his back). The heroes in these prayer stories are people who just come and talk and ask for whatever they need. Just like our kids.
If we aren’t bothered by ideas that consider other people sub-human, we haven’t yet understood the implications of the gospel. Allowing racism to run rampant isn’t a “social justice” issue; fundamentally, it’s a gospel issue. The church, God’s “Plan A” for rescuing the world, should stand as a place of refuge for people of every color. We are one race—the human race—united under one Savior—Jesus Christ—with one problem—sin—and united with one hope—the resurrection.