Recent Posts

It’s fall here in Raleigh-Durham, which means our college kids have returned en masse. I was excited to see that we had over 9,000 in attendance at our Summit campuses last weekend. But while I want to celebrate that number, there are a few others that lead me to even more excitement.

While 9,000 people met together in RDU at Summit locations, nearly 6,000 people (5,993 to be exact) gathered to worship in one of our domestic church plants. This year, to date, our church plants have seen 186 people baptized, 112 of whom were professing faith in Christ for the very first time. I love seeing those numbers climb up, and I look forward to the day when the number of people in churches we plant is not only equal to, but ten times the number in our own congregation. If we are going to plant 1,000 churches, by God’s grace, that day will be soon! (To note: “campuses” are organizationally connected to the Summit Church, and typically view the message via HD videocast; “church plants” are independent churches with their own preaching, etc. We never plant campuses outside of Raleigh-Durham, only churches.)

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This morning, the International Mission Board (IMB) trustees announced David Platt as the new IMB President. I have no doubts that he is God’s man, chosen for this task in this hour. Personally, I could not be more thrilled. I think this is a wonderful gift of God to our Convention of churches. 

On a personal level, no one has inspired me more toward believing God for the nations than David. There is no one I would trust more to steward the cooperative efforts of our church—together with the 42,000 other churches of the SBC—toward the completion of the Great Commission.

Over the last few years, I have watched David lead his church to give extraordinary amounts of money away to global missions through Southern Baptist agencies (in addition to other means). Furthermore, Brook Hills has been a pioneer in new ventures in mission. The Summit Church has learned much from Brook Hills, and I have learned much from David.

I want to deal with one objection to David’s presidency which I have heard raised, and suspect we will hear a lot in the next few days: though David and Brook Hills give an extraordinary amount to missions, they have not been leaders in giving to the Cooperative Program (CP), at least in a traditional sense. And so the question is, “How can a man who has not given a ton to the CP expect to lead others to give to it?”

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Acts 15 has a statement that I think should be engraved on the cornerstone of our church: “We should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God” (Acts 15:19). Far too often, usually without realizing it, Christians drift away from grace and start creating personalized rules to test who is “really” Christian. These aren’t usually bad things, but when outward benchmarks replace inward transformation, we risk turning the grace of the gospel into a whole host of laws. And when we do that, we make it difficult for those who are turning to God.

Here are a three ways that folks in church often make it difficult for those who are turning to God:

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