My wife and I attended The Summit Church in Durham this past Sunday. Being an associate pastor for Connections I thought it would be a good idea to go check out what Danny Franks, their Connections pastor, was doing. I have heard from people that he is the “yoda” of Connections ministry.
FYI- Connections ministers typically give general oversight to how guests are treated (first impressions) and to the church membership process. Or as Danny says, “What does a Connections Pastor do? Nobody really knows. It’s a great form of job security. What I do may be important, but you’d never know that.”
Our visit was a great experience. A volunteer named Joyce (and I have a hard time remembering names..) met us at a guest tent near the door where we gave her some information about us, and she told us all about Summit. Beyond Joyce I think we had at least 7 people greet-welcome us- including pastors and interns. I think that first impressions are very important when it comes to guests. Yes, some churches take “guest treatment” way too far. But I think the people at Summit did a great job of making us feel welcome without overwhelming us.
Speaking of first impressions…I left my coffee cup on the floor of the worship center when the service was over. When I came back to find it…it was gone. Thank you to the church member who took it upon themselves to clean up after this absent minded visitor.
J.D. Greear is the senior pastor at the Summit Church. His message was titled “Unexpected Verdict” from Matthew 7:13-27. It was a good message- his points were;
1. There are many “falsely assured” Christians.
2. On the outside, false Christians look very similar to real Christians.
3. For most, that they are false Christians will come as a complete surprise to them.
Then J.D. gave “Jesus’ 4 marks of false Christians.” J.D. posts his sermons online, click here to see the 4 marks.
J.D.’s sermon gave me deep humility and deep confidence in the gospel of Christ. It’s always good to hear someone teach with conviction and loving boldness.
Lastly, I thought that the Summit’s small group philosophy was great. There are different “Summit Life Groups” located throughout the city (click here to see how they map it out, literally). The small group material is based off the sermon, which keeps all the small groups on the same page while they are scattered in their own neighborhoods.
Laura and I had a good time visiting with this missional, gospel centered church. We will continue to point people towards The Summit, and pray for their ministry.
3 thoughts on “A Visit to The Summit Church, Durham N.C.”
Sounds like a worthwhile visit–keep up the good posts.
Matt, thanks for the way-too-kind comments, and for hanging out with us on Sunday. I’m glad your experience was a good one, and I’ll be sure and pass your complements about the team along to them!
My family and I used to live in Durham and the Summit was and still is our home church. I was raised Southern Baptist and then through marriage became involved in the Lutheran religion. Even though I myself felt I had a strong bible understanding I learned so much through the Sunnit and I am truely blessed to be part of their growth experience. I currently live in Florida but due to my Granddaughter receiving medical treatment at Duke we get to come back to Durham often and no matter what is on our schedule we look forward to attending one of the Summit’s services.
Thank you Summit family for keeping my family in your prayers and for always knowing that I have a wonderful Christ filled home church in Durham