kirkcameronMost of human civilization recognizes this guy’s face.  Kirk Cameron rose to meteoric fame when he portrayed Cameron “Buck” Williams in the smash blockbuster, Left Behind, which brought in literally dozens of dollars at the box office.  Oh yeah, and he was on some TV show in the 80’s, too.

I never really understood what his TV show had to do with Growing Pains, except towards the end of the series when his little brother (Ben, maybe?) developed that really thick unibrow.  Talk about painful…that was painful to watch.  I felt bad for him, and wanted to mail him a razor as a token of goodwill.

Churches have growing pains, too.  Granted, I’ve never met a church with a unibrow.  Church deacons?  Maybe.  Church?  Not so much. 

The Summit is no exception.  The last six years have brought a series of challenges.  Added services.  New strategies.  Storage pods.  Overflow plans.  Volunteers.  More volunteers.  Office moves.  Saturday night Tylenol PM so you can shut your brain off and go to sleep.  Sunday night Advil so you can help your body heal from a lot of set up, tear down, and a few miles’ worth of walking. 

Somewhere along the way, we met up with a beastie called multi-campus.  In the last year, we’ve grown to two locations and two distinct “campuses” at one of those locations.  This Sunday, we launch our fourth campus on West Club Boulevard near downtown Durham.  By next Sunday night, we will have had seven different worship services at four campuses.  I need a nap just thinking about that.

Prepping West Club – as with every time we’ve added a campus – has brought with it it’s own set of growing pains.  Some of our best volunteers at existing campuses leave to help launch the new campus.  People who used to see each other every Sunday will now be worshipping at two different locations.  The staffing and volunteering holes that are left at the existing campuses have to be patched, filled, repaired…and done so quickly.  Time and resources have to be reallocated to get the new campus launch-ready.

In short, growth is painful.  But the bigger picture is that growth is worth it.  Think for a moment about the new people we’ll have a chance to reach…the impact that can be made for the Gospel…the number of serving opportunities that will open up…the development of leaders to fill needed positions.

The Summit is growing to a new community, and if that means that our existing community is temporarily affected, so be it.  Every once in a while, I pray that – as a church – God will keep us uncomfortable.  When churches get comfortable, bad things can happen.  Apathy breeds.  Discontent rises.  Obedience wanes.  Expectation lags.

But when we keep moving, I believe God is freed up to move among us.  When we refuse to sit back and rest, God steps up and does amazing things.

So yeah, I’m a bit bummed that I’m losing some good people at our Brier Creek at Cole Mill campuses.  But I’m thrilled that we’re gaining a neighborhood, and we’re leveraging influence for the Gospel to a new set of future Christ-followers.

As you pray this week, please take some time and pray for our West Club launch.  Here are a few prayer points to get you started…

  • Pray for Campus Pastor Brad O’Brien and the team of pastors who will launch with him: Logan Dagley, Mike McDaniel, and one of my Connections guys, Walter Strickland. 
  • Pray for the West Club neighborhood, specifically Duke’s East Campus and NC School of Science and Math. 
  • Pray for Pastor Rocky and our friends at The Journey, who are graciously sharing their building in this huge step of faith.
  • Pray that volunteers will continue to step up in the areas of kidslife and First Impressions.
By the way: since you’re wondering, the above signed photo was provided from the private collection of fellow Summit staffer Courtney Shelton.  (just kidding…or am I ?)