The Summit Church
Our God is a sending God. He sent his best into the world to save us. Everyone who has received the gospel of reconciliation is sent to carry that gospel to others. Every believer is sent. You are either mission field or missionary. It is not through our success that God saves the world, but through our sacrifice. He calls us first to an altar, not a platform.
“People are the mission” means all people. Jesus didn’t give options on what kind of people we reach. We have as much responsibility to love the curmudgeonly deacon within the church as we do the atheist neighbor who lives beside the church. If people are the mission, we must stick to the mission. The people in our cities - and in our pews - are worth it.
On October 18 and 19, right here at The Summit Church, we’re hosting a conference called “Centered and Sent.” The idea is that the more centered we are in the Word of God, the more sent we become as the people of God. Centered and Sent is going to focus on how the church can stay radically distinct and still be culturally relevant.
It was a day everyone in Israel would talk about for centuries to come. Solomon had built God’s temple, and during their very first worship service, God’s presence had come so near that the priests themselves couldn’t even set foot in God’s house. What do you think you would have done? If you saw God face to face, in all his majesty, how would you respond?
People love to speculate about why pastors fall the way they do. You’ll hear theories about theology or church size or, most often, personal boundaries. I’m all for good theology and wise personal boundaries. Those decisions are vital. But in every case I’ve seen, there’s one thing in common—isolation. The difference between those who persevere and those who fall often comes down to this: close community around them.
A few times a year we issue an invitation for hearers to be baptized on the spot. Failing to determine whether someone understands their profession of faith before you baptize them is recklessly irresponsible. For this reason, many pastors require a waiting period between a profession of faith and baptism--attendance at a class, etc.--before they will administer baptism. I believe this to be a well-intended, but unbiblical and dangerous, solution to the problem.