I remember a time in my life when I was showing up to work every day just to receive a paycheck. It was a horrible feeling. I was not passionate or proud of my work, and every week seemed to bring a “case of the Mondays”. I think about this in contrast to some of the prayers of our friends in the 33rd Street Women’s campus.

Many of them pray to get out so that they can work and provide for their families, as well as themselves. They can’t wait to have the freedom to get up and go to work every day! I love my job, and since I started working at Summit, I have not dreaded a work day. (OK, there are still days I want to stay snuggled in bed, but I have never not wanted to go to work!)

When I think about 20-something me coming up with excuses to not have to go to work every day, I can’t help but think of my friends in 33rd who would have snatched up that opportunity in a heartbeat. There are so many things that I take for granted because I have pretty unlimited freedom to do what I want. That doesn’t mean I actually do everything that crosses my mind (thank you, reGROUP), but on any given day I have the freedom to wake up when I want to wake up, to eat and drink what I choose to prepare, to get in my car and drive where I want or need to go, and to make needed purchases at a store of my choosing. That is a lot of freedom!

In the current sermon series (Money. Sex. Power.), Lead Pastor John Parker and Teaching Ministers Zach Van Dyke and Jim Keller are talking about how freedom in Christ means breaking the chains of the idols that hold us captive. But what does freedom look like for our brothers and sisters who are worshipping behind bars during this season of life? Each week I am challenged by the women in 33rd to see life, and even God’s love, in a different way. It’s easy for me to see God as provider when I have access to the most basic comforts of life— a roof over my head, a clean bed, and food in the fridge. @@What does it mean to see God as our ultimate provider when we have neither comfort nor physical freedom?@@

But what does freedom look like for our brothers and sisters who are worshipping behind bars during this season of life?

This is the challenge for many members of our church family in all of our campuses, especially in 33rd. My prayer is that, wherever you and I are on the spectrum of needing God’s provision, we may all be inspired by those who love and trust the Lord with no indication of what the coming hours, days, weeks, and months will bring. In 33rd, I see the faces of hope being “assurance of what we do not see”, and I am so grateful for the freedom I experience alongside each of those beautiful faces.



Lindsey Coates is the 33rd Street Ministry Coordinator for Summit Church. She'd love to hear from you if you have any questions for her about how to get involved with this ministry. You can email Lindsey at