Below is a letter we recently sent out ot all Summit members - we wanted anyone who visits our site to have a look at what God has done through our church in 2011 as well.
Summit Friends and Family,
2011 was a year that we had anticipated for some time, knowing that this would be the year we'd move to Denver to plant our lives in anticipation of planting God's church. The first week of January, Megan and I packed up our car with our belongings, jammed our giant chocolate lab into the back seat, and began our three day drive across the country to our new home in Denver.
On January 16, we had our first Summit gathering in my living room. About 10 of us met together and I shared how I believed that The Summit Denver was a movement of God and how we desired to continue His work in the city of Denver. In that moment, I carried in my heart both fear and hope - fear that we were inadequate for such a task, yet hope that God's grace is sufficient and He delights to make His power known through our weakness.
God has been faithful, and we've seen some amazing things happen:
- Attendance at our Sunday evening Gatherings grew to around 80 people on a weekly basis. Because of this, we met in three different locations to accommodate our growth, and will move to our new building on January 1, 2012.
- We now have 47 covenant members and missionaries to the city. Many of these members have been individuals who have joined a church for the first time in their lives.
- We started 5 City Groups throughout the city, where people have not only experienced biblical community, but also found opportunities to reach out to their neighborhoods. Our City Groups have done anything from blessing local elementary schools to adopting refugee families.
- We gained a reputation for being a church that exists for the good of the city and the neighborhood. I had countless conversations with strangers who had personally experienced or heard of the people from our church blessing this community.
2012 promises to be an even better year, and we already have some exciting things on the horizon. In January alone, we will:
- Open our new space at 3300 Larimer Street - a ton of work has been put into making this warehouse into a great place to worship and you'll be amazed by the transformation that's taken place over the last several months.
- Baptize at least five people. If you haven't been baptized, we invite you to take part. Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest.
- See around 15 new people become covenant members of the Summit family.
- Start a new City Group in Cheesman Park, with plans to start several others in different neighborhoods in the city soon.
- Begin a series in the book of Genesis called Stories of Grace that will take us up to Easter.
Your Part in the Movement
One of my greatest passions is that we would be a church where the people do the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:12), and as I look back on the past year, I rejoice to say this has been the case. I encourage you in the next year to keep this up and to:
- Give Generously - as our church begins losing outside support from partnering churches, we desperately need our members to continue giving generously to the mission as you committed to if you have signed The Summit covenant. As a reminder, you can do this by giving online (www.summitdenver.org/give) or giving on Sundays in the offering box.
- Stay Committed to the Community - as we continue to grow, it will be harder for community to happen as "naturally". Because of this, I urge you to be a good initiator, to lead in making meaningful community opportunities happen, and not wait for the church to schedule get-togethers for you. Find ways to lead in opening up your home and life to others. Also, continue prioritizing gathering with The Summit family on Sunday evenings.
- Be a Good Missionary - as we communicate regularly, we believe every member of our church is a full-time missionary to the city of Denver. Keep reaching out to friends, co-workers, neighbors, family, and whoever else God has entrusted to you in your sphere of influence. Don't rest on this past year's growth, but instead expand your vision of the number of people our church can reach.
Thank you for your sacrifice, dedication, and commitment to the movement we are seeing God do in the city. We continue to be amazed and look forward to the next year with excitement, as we expect great things of God and attempt great things for Him.
For the gospel,
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. - Ephesians 3:20-21