As the Herndon Summit Connect Director, I spend a lot of time dreaming about how Summit Connect can make a huge impact in someone’s life. I have a vision of equipped and supported Connect leaders pouring their time into mentoring the future ministry leaders of our church. A vision of Connect groups coming together in a single neighborhood to serve alongside those who may not know Jesus— both getting to experience the joy of being His hands and feet together as they fix a widow’s fence on their block.
As I dream, I also recall my own personal experiences of Summit Connect. I remember those awkward first weeks— sometimes months— when a bunch of unlikely friends first gather in the hopes of Christ-centered community. Those times when you can’t possibly imagine what God will do in and through this group, but you stick it out anyway and somehow this is the same group that will become the support system you need in a specific season of life. That’s when I remember, no matter how big I dream, I will never be able to imagine the incredible, life-changing things God can and will do through community. This is what really makes my heart beat fast when I am watching Starter groups form— they are the beginning of awesome stories that God chooses to tell through community.
The first Starter groups formed at the Herndon Campus six months ago and some of them, now Connect groups, still meet there. This gives me a unique opportunity to watch how God is working in these newly formed communities. A few weeks ago, one of these groups arrived with a cake, diapers, and other gifts to surprise a couple in their group that is expecting a new little member to their family. Then I see a bunch of kids marching into Base Camp in their pajamas, so that when group ends they have an easier transition home and to bed. On Sunday mornings, I watch a group of young women laughing together in the Lobby before heading upstairs to meet. I remember when I wasn’t sure if this Starter group would survive— but a couple of faithful women showed up each week, and by week five God had built an amazing community of women around them who now learn, serve, and worship together every Sunday.
More recently, I got to speak to one of the leaders of a singles Starter group that connected with a leader of a seasoned singles Connect group. They discussed creating opportunities for their groups to serve and come together. I am excited to see what God may do with these two groups after a night together bowling at the neighborhood bowling alley.
So, as I dream of the future of Summit Connect, I am thankful for the reminder of what God is already doing through these small five-week commitments to community and how He will use it to transform lives.
Starter groups are designed to introduce you to Christ-centered community here at Summit. These groups meet for five weeks and go through Summit-provided content to facilitate conversation, encourage meaningful connections, and help you determine if the group is a good fit for you. Our next round of Starter groups starts April 17th and will be going through our Of The Vine series. Find out more here.
Dan Sherfield is the Herndon Summit Connect Director. He loves helping folks at Summit get connected in community here. Shoot him over an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.