The First Year of Summit's Future


When Summit first started 14 years ago, all we could talk about were the “what-ifs” and the “perhapses” (my apologies to grammar enthusiasts). Over time, we began to develop a track record which became the baseline for comparison. This allowed us to judge progress and see how “what is” compares to “what could be." But with all of the pain and change that this church family has navigated in recent years, we had to spend some time gauging how we were doing weathering the storm. This year, however, the waves are becoming less tumultuous. We are again able to look at the “what ifs” and “what could bes”—the same discussions we had 14 years ago.

This leaves us feeling like we are in the first year of whatever Summit’s future is! What I mean is that, in the first year of anything, the picture of success is not derived by what was, or even what is, but by what could be. This is our first-year story being told.

Now, there are new stories in the life of Summit that are wonderful repeats of stories told over the last 14 years. And these stories are actually the realization of the “what could be” dreams of our early days (insert some sort of Inception reference).

For example, when Summit first started, we dreamed of children growing up at at our church to believe that God could do great things in and through their lives. We did the very best we could to make sure everything, from the classroom environments to our amazing volunteers, reinforced that idea. Bre Hallberg led us in that dream, and another young college-aged volunteer also believed that dream to her core. Now that volunteer, Tracy Beeson, leads our Family Ministry and carries the torch for the dream that Summit is a place where children grow to love Jesus and love His church.

This summer Tracy was leading a group of middle school girls during Surge in the City, a week-long service opportunity for middle school students, as they prepped Base Camp rooms in the new Lake Mary facility. These girls discussed why it mattered that these rooms were great, how much they loved growing up at Summit, and how they wanted other children to have the same experience. All the while, they were unaware that Tracy felt the exact same way as them while working with Base Camp at the Herndon campus over 10 years ago.

In those moments of dreaming about what could be, those girls showed the could be’s from 14 years ago are the are’s (said like a pirate) of today. There are children who have grown up at Summit to love Jesus and His church, just as our volunteers had hoped 10 years prior. Those kids fully believe God can use them in big ways to make a difference in the world.

I did not begin this blog intending to make a shameless plug for involvement in Base Camp (Summit’s Children’s Ministry), but in this first year of Summit’s future, it seems right to encourage you to think about what could be if you poured into the lives of children at Summit. Ask “what could be?”, then ask God if He would use you in that way. If the answer is yes, then join the team and be a part of what will be in the years ahead.


InsightsJohn Parker