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Great Quotes from “Centered & Sent”

Posted by Pastor J.D. on October 20, 2016
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Yesterday was the end of our Centered & Sent Conference. The conference was designed to help the church navigate the tension between being culturally relevant and radically distinct—a combination that will only become more important as our society grows increasingly post-Christian.

If you were at the conference, you know it was phenomenal. If you missed it, you’ll want to check back and download the videos as soon as they are available. Our guest speakers—Tim Keller, Bryan Loritts, Ed Stetzer, and Joby Martin—brought incredible passion and insight. I’m thankful to each one of them for the wisdom they offer the church.

The full lectures will be available soon, but in the meantime, here are some of the highlights from their talks:

Tim Keller

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“Evangelicalism is breaking up. But why? Because culture has changed, and evangelicals are divided on how to respond to it.”

“We are the first culture that says the meaning of life is to free yourself from the sacred order and become a person who can choose all things yourself. Our culture is the first one in history that thinks the essence of character is not self-control, but self-assertion.””

“There’s a great hunger for a new kind of Christianity that lets people feel that they are connected to God—but a Christianity that is completely re-engineered in light of culture, where you still get to decide what is right or wrong for you.”

“Most Christians have never had to do evangelism in a culture like this, a culture in which we are the villains. Well, we had better learn.”

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This has been an incredibly violent and volatile week for our nation. I (Chris) began the week mourning for the loss of life abroad, as ISIS continued to terrorize innocent lives, killing hundreds in Baghdad. But the rest of the week brought violence much closer to home. On Wednesday, we woke up to a disturbing video showing an African American man, Alton Sterling, being shot and killed by a police officer in Louisiana. On Thursday, we woke up to another disturbing video, this one of Philando Castile in Minnesota. And today, we woke up to the news of a mass shooting in Dallas, this time directed at police officers. Eleven officers were shot, and five died.

These have been heavy days. We at the Summit have wept together, prayed together, and reached out to both our African American brothers and sisters and to many of our brothers and sisters in law enforcement to say, “We are here and hurting with you.” The responses to these events have been varied, but I have had a hard time moving beyond this simple fact: men who were made in the image of God are now dead. Surely, whatever else we disagree on, we can agree that this is a time to mourn.

Many of my African American friends have pointed out that these events make them feel as if they have no voice and no value. Our response as a church must be clear: African American men and women have a value and dignity given by God, and their lives are tremendously precious. They are just as important as the police officers who died. And they are just as important as the refugees who are displaced, who are just as important as those slaughtered by ISIS. These people matter because they matter to God.

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In Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr….

Posted by Pastor J.D. on January 18, 2016
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For several years now, The Summit Church has been intentionally trying to grow in our multi-ethnic diversity. We continue to strive to be people who not only host multi-cultural events, but (as Pastor Chris Green says) who live multi-cultural lives.

The more we strive to demonstrate kingdom diversity to our surrounding community, the more I come to appreciate moments like Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, when we can re-focus ourselves on the task. Dr. King left us a legacy of Christian conviction, courage, and compassion for which I am immensely grateful. Any strides our church has made come on that great man’s shoulders.

I have two videos I want to share in honor of Dr. King.

The first is from our services this weekend. Pastor Curtis and Pastor Chuck joined together in a powerful declaration that we still have a dream for our church and our nation. If this doesn’t stir your soul, you may want to check your pulse:

The second is from a few weeks ago, when one of our pastors, K.J. Hill, had an encouraging and enlightening interview with two African-American pastors–Pastor Ryan Brooks and Pastor William Cooper–about racial integration in the church, developing friendships across racial lines, and the way forward for the church in America. When you have an hour, it’s definitely worth a watch: