The vision God has given Summit is deeply rooted in serving others because this is both who Jesus was and who he invited us, as his followers, to be (Matthew 20:28; 23:11). We want to be a community willing to go to places where systemic injustice, systemic poverty shine far too brightly and the hope and love and peace that Jesus came to bring shines far too dimly. For this reason, eight years ago we began to develop partnerships in Africa that would put us into God’s on-going redeeming work in hopes that we might be a part of turning back the AIDS pandemic there. One of the partnerships that has formed and continues to grow in surprising and exciting ways is with Nairobi Chapel. Nairobi Chapel is a church on the forefront of multi-site and church planting in the world and they have invited us into this effort. Part of how our relationship with Nairobi Chapel has grown is through the Christmas Eve offering last year going to support church plants in Malawi and Ethiopia.
But the partnership runs deeper than that. The idea of partnering involves both giving and receiving, teaching and learning and our trip is aimed at that end. Every year Nairobi Chapel hosts the Viral Conference, a church planting conference in which people come from across the continent of Africa and beyond to hear from the leaders and innovators from Chapel. When they asked us to join we jumped at the chance. Sam Arocho (Waterford Campus Minister), Bill Behr (33rd Campus Minister), Jeff Kern (Organizational Development Pastor), and I will head to Nairobi to take in the conference and meet with the leadership of Chapel to dream about how we can be together about the business of seeing the gospel of Jesus be displayed as true.
We believe the church coming to life in as many places as possible is what we should be about because the church is the avenue through which the hope of the world gets seen and heard and felt.
And until everything is how it should be, and everyone is who they should be where they should be, the Kingdom hasn't fully come and that means we have work to do together. Part of that work we can do together includes sending a team to Nairobi for the Viral Conference.