Summit — This weekend God graced us to officially send out our Greensboro church planting team. This team (pictured below) consists of families and graduating students who are uprooting their lives from here in RDU to plant Mercy Hill Church in Greensboro, NC. This makes 140 members in 5 strategic church plants that we have sent out in the last 18 months. This is the one time we don’t mind “losing” our people! Praise God!
Andrew Hopper, lead pastor of Mercy Hill, is as fine a preacher and leader as we have here on staff at the Summit. He has served in numerous capacities, including young professionals pastor and Brier Creek campus pastor. We will miss Anna and him. And, to make it official, we have always liked her better than him. Some say that we hired him just to have her around. I can neither confirm nor deny that.
Sending out our members to plant new churches is always bittersweet for us. Many of those pictured above were leaders–of small groups, of ministries, and even of our pastoral team. Many were personal friends. It is painful to see them go. We are committed to being a sending church, however, because:
- We believe that the New Testament strategy for completing the Great Commission is to plant churches in strategic cities. There is still much work to be done in Raleigh-Durham, but our God is a sending God and each church should be involved, in some way, in the process of sending the gospel where it is not. God’s Kingdom advances through the multiplication of local churches in strategic cities around the world.
- We measure our success by sending capacity as much as seating capacity. Jesus’ vision of the church was not a group of people gathered around one anointed leader, but multiple leaders going out in the power of the Spirit (John 14:12).
- In order to send out church planting teams, we are willing to send out our best. It always scares us to send some of our most dedicated members and most gifted leaders, but another of our plumblines is that pushing out leaders creates more leaders.
Please pray in the coming weeks for this team: that they would gain strong connections with the city of Greensboro, particularly as many of them search for jobs; that they would have Spirit-arranged opportunities with unbelievers from day one; and that leaders would be raised up from the harvest there in Greensboro.
This is not a plant by a fringe subset of the Summit Church. This is “our” offspring. Let’s believe God with them for great things.
If you or someone you know is curious about Mercy Hill Church, you can check out their website–http://www.mercyhillgso.com/–for more information.