If you find yourself with the opportunity to sit down with new Herndon Campus Minister, Jeff Bell, and hear all the things God has been up to in bringing Jeff and his family to Summit, you should absolutely take that chance. I say that up-front because I know I won’t be able to do the story justice, but, as Jeff told me, “It would be impossible to discredit the providence of God in this.”
Though they—“they” being Jeff, his wife Leslee, and their two children (Lauren and Garrett)—had known of Summit as a great church in the Central Florida area for a while, it was during the fall of 2016 that God began clearly carving a path for the Bell family to join the Summit family.
Through mutual connections, lots of conversations, and one important family dinner with the Parkers, God began making it clear to Jeff and his family that they would not only be a good fit for Summit, but that Summit would be a good fit for them. “There was so much affirmation from others, a relational component that we were experiencing with other families here, and just our heart’s knitting with the vision of Summit,” Jeff explains. “God used all of it to confirm that this is where he wanted us to be.”
And now that he’s here? Jeff has hit the ground running as the Herndon Campus Minister. He’s excited and passionate about what it looks like to join a church full of people taking seriously the importance of pressing on, moving forward, and chasing what God wants to chase after. He looks forward to empowering folks at Summit to live out their faith in impactful ways. “I love being able to help set people up to win,” Jeff says. “To identify their gifts and see that their story is caught up in God’s story—in a way that the joys and the pains are really part of a story that he’s shaping in you right where you are. I love having the opportunity to speak that into other’s lives.”
I actually had the privilege of seeing this passion in action when, during Q&A at last Thursday’s service, a young man asked if there was a mentorship program at Summit and Jeff offered up his contact information and scheduled a time to meet. During Q&A. There was an immediacy in the way he did it, a clear understanding and awareness that God was doing something in this man’s life and Jeff was ready and willing to be a champion of it alongside him.
I could tell you that Jeff is from the Midwest, or about his vast experiences pastoring, or even about his family-dog named Potato. But what I’ve learned most about Jeff—what was clear to me when, during the interview that was to be about him he asked to hear my story—is that he’d really prefer to have the chance to meet you himself, tell you how much he loves his family, and swap stories about the different ways God writes our lives.
Katie Schmidt is the Content Coordinator at Summit Church, which means that pretty much anything you can read at Summit, she either wrote, edited, or coordinated. If you would like to get in touch with her to ask her a question, or to bum her out and let her know that you found a typo somewhere, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.