As I reflect on the last month, and specifically on the Justice/In Justice series, I am reminded of how glad I am that I get to be a part of the Summit family. It is humbling to see our church family take on the weighty, God-honoring work of seeking justice in our world.

The first week of the In Justice series focused on poverty. I was fresh off my annual migration to the Everglades, and was, admittedly, tired. I sat in the service as Garry did a masterful job of facilitating a discussion with local experts on poverty, and when I look around the room, I was almost moved to tears seeing the faces of hundreds of people who were intentionally learning so that they could lead us in taking action as a church. It was such a cool night and set the standard for the weeks that followed as we discussed human trafficking, refugees, and racial reconciliation.

If you missed any of the weeks, you can catch up here.

Our conviction in doing this series is that we must know enough to care and care enough to act. This series was about knowing enough to care. Now begins the work of taking action.

As you consider next steps here are some things to consider...

I hope that you take the lead. All of us took a learning posture during the series and I certainly don’t have all the answers for what we should do, much less what you should do. Summit Church won’t make the Kingdom impact that we want if we try to merely program our way toward action against injustice. Programs do not substitute for relationships and one of the main themes running through each week of the series was that relationships matter. I hope and pray that there will be new, creative, and individualized actions that people take that God will use to weave into the the story of the good that happens in our city because of Summit.

I hope and pray that there will be new, creative, and individualized actions that people take that God will use to weave into the the story of the good that happens in our city because of Summit.

Not everyone should do everything. I am serious about that. If your impulse is that you should do everything, you will find yourself stymied in your efforts. We can and should, as a church, care about it all, but our individual actions should reflect the reality that God doesn’t need to do all his work in the world through me. Instead, try to find the area where God made your ears perk up and your heart beat faster. It may have been in something you learned that you didn’t know before. It may be a person you heard from. It may be in the melting away of resistance to see a particular need in our world. Whatever it was that got your attention, see it and surrender it to God.

Keep learning so you can care. Keep caring enough that you have to act.

For me, my individual next steps will take me into deepened relationships with the churches who joined us for the racial reconciliation evening. Churches can be very isolated and even more so across ethnic or cultural lines. I want to learn from my new friends and to keep my view of God’s church in this city ever-growing.

Don’t delay taking your next right step. We took in so much information and had so many optional next steps throughout the In Justice series. However, Monday morning was always only hours away and with it the everyday happenings of our lives. It would be so easy use our own busyness as an excuse to delay response until the inactivity gradually dulls our awareness to the injustices in our world. Keep learning so you can care. Keep caring enough that you have to act. Let your actions take you into relationships. Give God the glory along way.

I am honored to be part of your family and am eager to see what God does in the months and years ahead because you decided to know, care, and act.

 

 

John Parker is the Lead Pastor at Summit Church. You can reach him at jparker@summitconnect.org.