This post is so fun to write because the construction at the new Lake Mary permanent location is underway! Below you’ll see photos of the progress, and while it might not look like much, it's the exciting start of something big in our community. Though it’s a start, it’s also a continuation of a story that God has been writing since the beginning of time, and more specifically two and a half years ago when He called a group of people together to launch a new expression of Summit in Lake Mary. So... Why go The Extra Mile? And why now? The Extra Mile is our initiative to build a permanent, full-time, fully functioning facility that is an expression of Summit in Lake Mary. It is the local church planting deep roots for the sake of our friends and neighbors. It’s more than a building—it’s a commitment to being in this community for the long haul and crafting an experience that clearly communicates to those who are far from God that they matter deeply to Him. The local church is more than a building, or a set of programs—what we are building is the hope of the world.
Read these words from Bill Hybels, the founder of Willow Creek:
For eight years during the decade of the nineties I went to Washington, D.C., every month to meet in the foremost centers of power with some of the highest elected officials in our country. What I discovered was not how powerful those people are, but how limited their power really is. All they can actually do is rearrange the yard markers on the playing field of life. They can’t change a human heart. They can’t heal a wounded soul. They can’t turn hatred into love. They can’t bring about repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, peace.
I believe that only one power exists on this sorry planet that can do that. It’s the power of the love of Jesus Christ, the love that conquers sin and wipes out shame and heals wounds and reconciles enemies and patches broken dreams and ultimately changes the world, one life at a time. And what grips my heart every day is the knowledge that the radical message of that transforming love has been given to the church.
That means that in a very real way the future of the world rests in the hands of local congregations like yours and mine. It’s the church or it’s lights out. Without churches so filled with the power of God that they can’t help but spill goodness and peace and love and joy into the world, depravity will win the day; evil will flood the world. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Strong, growing communities of faith can turn the tide of history. They can!
Don’t bother looking elsewhere. The church is it.
This is what God has invited us into at Summit in Lake Mary. To be the light and hope for our community and to bring the hope of Jesus to those who are still far from God. Our friends. Our neighbors. Our co-workers. The people working in the offices around our new space. The apartments across the street. God is calling us to move fully into our neighborhood for the sake of those around us.
It’s a new and exciting season. I can’t wait to see what stories will be told in the years to come because of the steps we are taking today. I want to invite you to be a part of it and to celebrate alongside those who are already a part of the story. We invite you to pray for the details of the construction as well as those who will step foot in this new building and hear how deep God’s love is for them.
The Lake Mary staff stands in the future Sanctuary.
The Lake Mary team: Communications Coordinator Kari Freeman, Children’s Ministry Coordinator Brooke Shoopman, Ministry Coordinator Amy Kaufholz, Worship Coordinator Josh Pearson, and Campus Minister O.J. Aldrich
If you would like to participate financially, you can give to The Extra Mile campaign online or by check. Click here for more information.