You've heard it talked about on Sundays, seen it on our website, and probably have been given a handout or two on the subject...so what exactly is Summit University? Read on! Q. What is Summit U? A. Let me share our vision statement: Summit U promotes spiritual formation by providing learning pathways that enable people to grow in their relationships with God, in community with the people of God, so that they may be equipped for the mission of God.
That’s a mouthful. It basically means that we’re trying to offer more ways for people to connect with God and others—not just for the sake of being in community, but for the specific purpose of equipping them for whatever work God has put in front of them to do. This could mean leading a Summit Connect group, training to be a pastor, being a better neighborhood evangelist, or even being a better leader for one’s spouse and children. “Learning pathways” is a fancy way of saying that this won’t just be a Bible study or a class. We want to give people the opportunity to experience God, not just learn about Him. This could include prayer gatherings, intensive sessions, outings, homework, and more.
Q. One of the things I’ve learned as a staff member here at Summit is that we are very intentional to pursue ministry that aligns closely with our vision and values. Can you talk about where and how this strategy intersects with the larger vision of Summit Church?
A. Our vision is to form biblically functioning communities that reach lost people, connect in Christ-centered relationships, teach truth, serve others, and worship God. Summit U falls under the "teach truth" aspect of our vision, though it truly intersects at multiple junctions.
On a ministry level, we see Summit U working in tandem with the Summit Connect and service/outreach ministries of the church. This is extremely important. We want to be sure that we are applying what we are learning and responding by faith to God in our lives. Participating in all three aspects, learning, community, and service, is vital to our spiritual growth. If we only learn, we can become pharisaical, and just consumers of our faith. If we’re only in community, we may compromise the standard to which God has called us because we’re not rooted in the Word. If we only serve, we risk becoming “little saviors” ourselves, or codependents, or worse. It is by the interaction of these three (learning, community, and service) that we can expect to achieve significant and lasting change in our lives.
Q. We’ve talked a lot about community and how the ways we act in community are an outpouring of our own personal pursuit of holiness. What can I expect from Summit U in terms of my own personal growth?
A. I have been thinking about a verse in Jude 21 where we are told to “keep yourselves in the love of God…” That's an interesting phrase. Obviously, we know that God's love is boundless toward us. Yet this verse (as do many others) points to responsibility that we have in our relationship with Him: We are to keep ourselves in God's love. God wants us to take steps toward Him so that He can transform us. My hope is that everyone who participates in Summit U will experience growth and inner transformation as they move toward God by going deeper into His Word and pursuit of His will.
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