Easter at The Summit Church
Apr 18, 2016
For those of you who call the Summit home and were able to attend service Easter weekend, you probably already heard some of the amazing stories coming out of worship. Summit, you prayed boldly, you invited broadly, and as a result, thousands of people heard the gospel. Let’s never lose that evangelistic edge. Big events wear off; life change doesn’t. And life change only happens on the person-to-person level. As we often say, “Discipleship happens in relationships.”
As we reflect on the numbers from the last few weeks, think that every number represents an individual with a story. Our numbers aren’t just numbers. They are people that God loves desperately. So don’t look at these numbers like a statistics report. Look at them and marvel at the stories God is weaving. At one campus, we saw a dozen college students come to support their friend who was getting baptized. (Lots of tears!) We saw entire families come forward to be baptized together. We saw a record number of inmates at Wake Correctional gather together to celebrate Easter with us. One of our church planters got to baptize a friend he served with in the military; he had been praying for him for over a decade.
Success isn’t measured by numbers alone, but when I think of all the stories connected with all of these people, it’s overwhelming to see God’s goodness and grace.
Over the Easter weekend, we had 12,588 people at the Summit.
Included in that number, 107 people indicated that they had given their lives to Christ for the first time.
Over the past two weeks, we saw 215 people get baptized.
More exciting to me than our own attendance numbers, though, are the reports we’ve been getting from our church plants throughout the world. We are quickly approaching the point where more people attend church at one of our church plants than at the Summit. (And we dream of the day when the number of people at those churches doubles, triples, or quadruples our own!)
All told, we had 162 churches celebrate Easter with us. Most of those are outside of the U.S., where they are the only witness for the gospel for hundreds of miles. We’ve heard baptism and salvation stories from Germany, Columbia, South Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. (And that’s all we’ve heard so far!)
9,673 people attended one of our North American church plants on Easter. That’s a huge jump up from about 6,000 last year…and only 1,000 five years ago!
On Easter alone, those domestic church plants baptized 59 people. And our Church Planting Pastor believes that number will continue to go up as they follow up with people who made decisions for Christ.
Here’s a short testimony from a man that was baptized at one of our church plants this Easter. This is why we celebrate, because Jesus left the 99 for the 1. And so do we.
“[This church planter] and I have done some really hard things together. We’ve done a lot of stupid things, and some downright horrible things. I’ve seen him at his worst, and he’s seen me at my worst. I thought I was beyond saving. I’d just done too much to make myself not worthy of Jesus’ love. But then I heard about this guy coming back to our town. He had always hated it when he was here, even said he would never come back. I couldn’t believe it. Something started to nag at me, a random thought: “‘If Jesus could save him, maybe he could save me also.’”