Our Vision

Plant 1,000 churches by 2050

We believe this is a biblical and God-ordained task. At the end of Jesus’ time on Earth, he commissioned his disciples, saying, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV). We believe that the local church is God’s “plan A” for fulfilling the Great Commission. Therefore, we view missions through the lens of church planting. We are committed to planting and strengthening churches in strategic places all over the world.

Our Strategy

Mobilize The Summit Church to the nations to plant churches for the glory of God.

Cultivate

  • Through our training pipeline, sermons, social media, videos, small groups, missions events, “Go Centers” after services, and prayer nights, we seek to cultivate a heart for the nations and keep the challenge to be involved in reaching the nations ever in front of our congregation.

Recruit

  • We use our existing church ministries (family, college, small groups, and young professionals) to recruit through strategic alignment in teachings, goals, and opportunities. Also, all campus staff are asked to assist and create a mobilization plan for their campus. These mobilizers meet monthly to evaluate and plan for recruiting for short, mid, and long-term options within their campus.

Assess

  • For short-term trips, we require an application and, if needed, an interview. For mid-term options we require an application and an interview. For long-term sending, we have a monthly cohort that requires an application, including references from small group leaders and their campus pastor, and intermittent interviews in connection with their sending agency.

Train

  • We have training programs ranging from an introduction to missions through intensive training for those within six to eight months of moving overseas to do here what God has called them to do overseas (Missions Course, Explore, ICP Cohort, and Word on Life).

Send

  • We send members short, mid, and long-term. For short-term and mid-term trips, we coordinate logistics and commission our teams. For long-term sending, we provide logistical assistance and support (financial or otherwise), commission our members, and help secure an advocate.

Support

  • For short-term and mid-term trips, we provide discipleship and training for team leaders and members, crisis management, and other care as needed. In addition, mid-term goers receive a monthly check-in. For long-term goers, we have an advocacy program that helps connect every field partner with a congregational and missions team and campus advocate who consistently checks in on and supports long-term workers. Also, we host a quarterly conference call and send out monthly updates to encourage and share what God is doing both here in RDU and around the world.

We view mobilization like a cycle. Someone is never “done” being mobilized.

Three timeframes

  • Short-term (1-2 weeks)
    • We send teams to our long-term workers to provide member care, educate, prayer walk, evangelize, do disaster relief, and provide a “taste and see” environment.
  • Mid-term (2 weeks-2 years)
    • We send mid-term workers to come alongside our long-term workers to bolster their work, provide constant “injections” of excitement and vibrancy, and encourage them. Also, mid-term options can help clarify God’s call on individual lives.
  • Long-term (more than 2 years)
    • We send long-term workers to make disciples, plant churches, and raise up indigenous leaders.

Three contexts

  • Global cities
    • Over half of the world’s population lives in global urban centers. Therefore, we believe in mobilizing students, professionals, retirees, and church planters to go short, mid, and long-term to global cities. Our focus area is Mumbai, but we also send to Dubai, London, Shanghai, and Kuala Lumpur.
  • Extremes
    • God deserves the worship of all people, yet billions of people have yet to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ because they live in places that are hard to get to, hard to stay in, and/or hard to live in. Therefore, we believe in sending students, professionals, and church planters to strategic unreached and unengaged people groups. We seek to bolster existing teams and to send out new teams.
  • Engaged areas
    • These trips are more project-oriented to gain access to share the gospel and open people’s eyes to missions. These places are often cheaper and closer to get to but provide excellent “taste and see” opportunities.

Three focuses within each context

  • Unreached
    • We want to reach them and see churches planted among them.
  • Reached
    • We want to mobilize them to reach the unreached.
  • Poor, marginalized, and disaster stricken
    • We want to provide appropriate relief to put the gospel on display while simultaneously mobilizing existing churches to provide long-term relief and support.

Limitless pathways, one sending agent

  • Whether going short, mid, or long-term to global cities, extremes, or engaged areas to focus on the reached, unreached, or poor/marginalized/disaster stricken, there are limitless pathways to do so, but the church remains the primary sending agent.

By:

  • Sharing the gospel through regular verbal and visual contextualized presentations.
  • Making disciples and providing ongoing training (formally and informally).
  • Training local leaders to plant reproducing churches by empowering them, coaching them, and making timely exits.

The glory of God is our motivation for going and staying. It is the core substance of that which we proclaim, and it is the reward for which we labor.

The local church is God’s “plan A.”

  • Therefore, all of our initiatives are sent from the local church to plant the local church where it doesn’t exist and strengthen the local church where it does exist.
  • C.S. Lewis said, “The church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ” (Mere Christianity, 1952). There are many ways God chooses to draw people to himself, but Scripture most often presents this happening through local churches. We see in Acts 2:36-47 how believers enjoyed fellowship and ministered together and many were saved.

The gospel is at the center of everything.

  • Therefore, we send people in response to what God has done in Christ to be part of long-term work that is specifically, intentionally, and strategically focused and centered on seeing the gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed and demonstrated in places where it is not known.
  • Timothy Keller said, “God directs his people not simply to worship but to sing his praises ‘before the nations.’ We are called not simply to communicate the gospel to nonbelievers; we must also intentionally celebrate the gospel before them” (Center Church, 2012). So we joyfully and obediently “declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples” (Psalm 96:3 NIV).

People are the mission.

  • Therefore, we focus our time and resources more on people than projects. Strategic projects often serve as a valuable component to seeing the gospel in action; however, projects are not the point in and of themselves.
  • Jesus died first and foremost for the souls of people. Luke records Jesus saying he came primarily “to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). The Great Commission is to make disciples.

Every member is sent.

  • Every member of The Summit Church is called to make disciples. The question is no longer if we are called; the question is only where and how. The call to follow him is the call to be sent and to send. In the Bible we find no gap between the call to follow Jesus and the call to engage in mission.
  • Hudson Taylor, missionary to China, said, “The Great Commission is not an option to be considered but a command to be obeyed.” We want to see every member of the Summit obey the Great Commission that Jesus gave to all people in Matthew 28 and be an active part of reaching the nations.

Prayer is our primary strategy for mobilization.

  • Therefore, we prioritize prayer individually and together as a team, and we trust that God is raising up new missionaries.
  • In Acts 13:2, we see that the first mission efforts literally grew out of a prayer meeting. We believe further mission efforts will grow out of our times of prayer, both corporately and individually. As Andrew Murray said, “The one who mobilizes the church to pray will do more for world evangelization than anyone else in history.”

We send our best.

  • Therefore, we take assessment and training very seriously for the sake of God’s name and fame among the nations. We want to send the right people to the right places at the right time, and we place a high value on quality, multi-layered training for those we send.
  • Mark 3:14 tells us that “he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach” (ESV). Jesus trained his disciples to be sent out and make disciples of all people.

Our resources follow our people.

  • Therefore, we are committed, to the best of our ability, to making sure Summit members serving overseas have everything they need to succeed. This also means that Summit funding will be prioritized in locations and with agencies where and with whom our people are currently serving.
  • John Piper observes, “All the money needed to send and support an army of self-sacrificing, joy-spreading ambassadors is already in the church” (Don’t Waste Your Life, 2003). We are committed to doing whatever we can to support our missionaries in reaching the nations with the gospel.

Healthy teams are essential to long-term success overseas.

  • Therefore, at every possible point, we send our members in teams or to join existing teams, and we prioritize locations in part based on healthy leadership.
  • When Jesus sent his disciples out, he sent them out in groups of two (Luke 10:1). Our hope is that our missions teams will work together, encourage one another, and glorify God together as they do the often difficult work of living and sharing cross-culturally (Romans 15:5-6).

Unreached people groups desire our highest priority.

  • Therefore, our end goal in any context in which we work is proclaiming the gospel where it has never been proclaimed before.
  • Today there are more than 6,700 people groups that remain unreached, with less than 2 percent evangelical Christians (IMB Global Research, Nov. 1, 2016). This is unacceptable. We embrace the same ambition as Paul, who made it his ambition to preach the gospel where Christ had not already been named (Romans 15:20).

All levels of society need the gospel.

  • Therefore, we look for creative ways to build teams and do ministry in a way that reaches up to the highest levels of class and wealth and down to the lowest level of class and poverty.
  • Jesus’ description of the final judgement in Matthew 25 urged his followers to be aware of their relations with the least of these. We seek to feed the poor and minister to the broken as well as build relationships with the wealthy, with the purpose of seeing them trust in Jesus as the one true God and make disciples of those with whom they are in community.

Local leaders are the best strategists.

  • Therefore, we insist that any work in which we are involved is being directed by those who have a high level of language and understanding of culture. In essence, “you are not your strategy” for reaching a city or a people.
  • We disciple faithful local leaders so that they will teach others in their communities (2 Timothy 2:2). We value the wisdom from our national partners in seeking to reach the lost in their culture.
  • Vision: A picture of the future that produces passion
  • Strategy: The ever-unfolding “how” to accomplishing the vision and maximizing long-term impact; the roadmap; the “where to play” and “how to win.”
  • Gospel: The good news of the salvation God has provided through Christ
  • Church: As stated in The Baptist Faith & Message, “A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic process. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord.”
  • Unreached people group: A group of people (with unique language and culture) that has little to no access to the gospel and does not have the ability to “reach itself”
  • Global city: A large city that has significant influence in its part of the world and has possibilities for foreign students to study, foreign professionals to get jobs, start companies, or transfer their jobs, or foreign retirees to spend part or all of their retirement
  • Extremes: Rural or urban areas where few to no churches are found and physical conditions or hostility to the gospel create an environment that makes gospel proclamation and church hard to practice and difficult to sustain
  • Engaged area: Areas where thriving gospel work is happening and people are able or close to being able to “reach themselves”; where foreign workers can and should spend significant time mobilizing them to one another and to other areas/nations.
  • Summit team: Two or more units from the Summit serving together in the same city on the same team