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.