what are we doing?
We are planting a new congregation (called Summit AM) that will gather on Sunday mornings at 10:00am. Think of it like starting a second church in our own space at a completely different time to reach a new group of people in our community.
why are we doing this?
Because our church’s mission is be a "gospel centered community on mission for Jesus to the city of Denver and the world," we see this as the best next step to accomplishing this vision. Specifically, we see that for the:
Gospel - the truth of who God is and what He’s done for us will continue to be proclaimed through preaching and song as it has always been.
Community - we will create more room for relationship. We’ve always said that the church is a family before it’s an event or an institution, and as our Sunday Gathering has grown, it’s been hard for it to be a place where relationship happens. By us planting a number of people from the evening into the morning, we’re creating two environments where connection, community, and ultimately relationship is more likely to happen.
Mission - we will better grasp that the mission of our church is just beginning. Churches often stop growing once the space they gather in starts to “feel” full. There are a multitude of factors as to why this happens, but by “emptying” the room of many of our best people, we’re returning to our roots of taking a missionary posture towards the city. To refill the room, we have to reach more people.
This next step is birthed out of who we, as a church, have always been.
how was this decision arrived at?
Through the Summit’s pastors praying heavily and discussing this next step amongst themselves, in conjunction with meeting with and inviting feedback from our church’s staff, deacons, City Group leaders, and other ministry leads.
how will we handle the logistics?
Before we answer that question, it’s first important to recognize that many of the logistics that might concern us the most as to whether we can “pull off” another gathering in the morning aren’t absolute necessities for the church to be the church. What often happens in the life of a church is the organization drifts towards complexity as various programs are added that are good, but because they begin to be viewed as “necessary” for the church to gather, the church is unable to multiply. Simply put, a huge part of this next step is the vision is to simplify so we can multiply. If you study overseas contexts, you see that churches multiply much quicker because they’re much simpler in how they function. The American church naturally drifts towards heavy professionalism and complexity that creates gatherings that are so sophisticated, they can never be replicated. The goal is multiplication, even if it means we have to simplify what we do or stop doing certain things that might prevent that goal.
With that said, we don’t want to be negligent of the work that’s required, and there are five logistical aspects we’re being diligent to think through in particular:
Preaching - preaching will still be done most often by Bryan at both gatherings. When Bryan isn’t preaching, the pastor who is preaching will do so at both gatherings, but we’re also open to having different preachers for the different gatherings on some Sundays.
City Groups - City Groups will continue as is—meaning there won’t be AM or PM-specific groups —although we understand that people who go to the same congregation might naturally drift towards being in the same City Group.
First Impressions - each congregation will be responsible for their own First Impressions ministries.
Summit Kids - we will provide childcare at both the AM and PM Gatherings. We are exploring several potential options involving an increased commitment from the current Summit Kids team to help in the first phase (see next question for details) of Summit AM’s beginnings.
Worship - we’re continuing to work alongside our existing leaders to determine the best way to lead worship for each gathering. We’re committed to seeing the truths about God being proclaimed through song at each gathering.
What’s important to recognize is we don’t need to put the pressure on ourselves to figure out all the logistics for how Summit AM will work today. We want to give birth to this new expression of our church, and figure out how to make it work best as it grows up. Specifically, the leadership has talked about “Phase 1” of Summit AM (February 15 - May 26, the first 11 Sundays) where we can let the gathering grow informally and organically. Towards the end of this first phase, we’ll do heavy evaluation to see how we can help these two gatherings run the best they can, adjusting our systems and structures accordingly.
when will this happen?
The official “launch” date of Summit AM will happen on February 15th. Prior to then, our Gathering schedule will be somewhat variable leading up to that date:
February 1 -
- Summit AM core group gathering - 10:00am
- No Summit PM gathering - scatter through the city via City Groups to watch the Super Bowl
February 8 - Celebration Sunday
- No Summit AM Gathering (this will be our last time gathering as one congregation; join us for Summit PM!)
- Summit PM gathering - 5:15pm
February 15 -
- Summit AM launch - 10:00am
- Summit PM gathering - 5:15pm
- (From this date on, the Summit will gather in the morning at 10:00am and in the evening at 5:15pm)
How can I help?
We’re so glad you asked. There are a few ways you can prioritize helping:
Pray - ask God to show us favor beyond what we could ever ask or imagine as we take this huge next step as a church.
Be generous - prioritize being consistently generous with your money to help the Summit continue to run well and be able to expand its ministry within the city.
Commit to the Summit AM Core Team - we need a core of people who are committed to being on the ground floor of Summit AM. This would mean being at Summit AM weekly for the duration of “Phase 1” and being willing to serve however you’re needed.
Recommit to the Summit PM Core Team - we don’t want to neglect what’s happened at our evening gathering. We want people to renew their commitment to Summit PM through both their attendance and willingness to serve however needed.
Help with Summit Kids - we need our current Summit Kids team members as well as anyone interested in joining the Summit Kids team to increase their availability during the duration of “Phase 1.”
We're asking for you to prayerfully consider how you would like to be a part of launching the new Summit AM congregation. If you haven't already turned in your Commitment Card, use this form below to let us know how you would like to be a part.