The Summit Church
Durham, North Carolina
We′re for people. We′re for our community. We don′t believe the church should be a cultural ghetto, isolated from the rest of the world. We believe that God is the Author of culture and the original Master of creativity. We want to take the kingdom of God into the arts, business, education—and every other dimension of our community. We believe that the real “ministry” happens outside the church, not inside our auditorium on the weekend.
We′re not into superficial answers or spiritual quick fixes. We don′t believe the way to restore our hearts or our families is found in psychological techniques or behavior modification strategies. We must turn from our self-worshiping, self-serving lifestyles and experience the radical, life-changing love of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ and become the followers of God we were created to be.
Believers should be “belongers.” You can’t be a spectator in the body of Christ, so our communities ought to be places where people know and are known. Through local small groups, children’s and student ministries, and regional campuses, we want to be in your community.
How Suffering Can Open Doors for Evangelism
Anyone can be happy when things are going well. But can you have joy when they aren’t? Flipping through the TV channels with my kids a couple of years ago, I happened across a televangelist, and the guy was trying to get people to give to his ministry. He promised people that if they would […]
The Transformative Power of Grace
The Reverend Willy Jenkins Jr. grew up in Mississippi under the hardship of Jim Crow. He worked for the ethnic integration of public schools and, because of this, was a target of violence. One day, some white teenagers cruised through the Jenkinses’ neighborhood, firebombing homes. They came to the Jenkins home to confront the pastor. […]
What Love Shaped by the Gospel Looks Like
Jesus said the most defining characteristic of his church should be its love. Your love for each other, he told his disciples, is how the world will recognize that you belong to me. What convinces the world of the truth of the gospel is simply not our defense of the faith; it’s our love for […]
How Much Should I Give?
There seems to be two extremes when it comes to how Christians view their relationship with their possessions. The first one is that God wants 10%, often called “the tithe.” This is based on an Old Testament principle that the first 10% of what God gives us goes back to him. For this group, after […]
A Christian Response to ‘Cancel Culture’
Recently, I typed in “how to be happy” on our collective consciousness, Google, and one of the first articles was “Three Ways to Be Happy Always.” Quite a claim. This article had some legitimately good advice, but it was sprinkled in among some proverbs that were less-than-helpful. For instance, this priceless pearl of wisdom: “Compliment […]
Why Being ‘Good Enough’ Will Never Be Good Enough
My family loves the movie The Greatest Showman. It’s the (highly embellished) account of P.T. Barnum’s rise to success. There’s a moving scene where his prospective father-in-law tells Barnum he’ll never be good enough for the man’s daughter. He says, “She’ll see that and one day come back; she’ll grow tired of the poor life […]
Who Is the Main Character in the Story of Your Life?
What’s the point of your life? We’re on this earth, the apostle Peter says, to glorify God and amplify the gospel: “Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that when they slander you as evildoers, they will observe your good works and will glorify God on the day he visits” (1 Peter 2:12). For someone […]
The Journey of Racial Reconciliation
The following article comes from Janetta Oni, the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham’s director of communications. She recently joined J.D. Greear and Bryan Loritts for a conversation about race and the church’s part in racial reconciliation. You can watch the full conversation here. While what is happening in our nation isn’t a new song—the African American […]
What Is the Believer’s Living Hope?
In his first letter, the apostle Peter says that, in the resurrection, we have a “living hope.” Hope is in short supply these days, and I’ve heard a lot of people bring up the word. But “hope” without any substance isn’t hope at all. That’s why I’m thankful that Peter didn’t just talk about hope, […]
Dean Fulks: Learning to Communicate Better
“We streamlined our communication process so that it became more consistent. We knew that we had to be abundantly clear about the hearer’s best next step.”
Looking for Contentment in All the Wrong Places
Before you came to Christ, your life aspirations arose from a wrong way of looking at the world, what the apostle Peter calls the “desires of your former ignorance” (1 Peter 1:14). You thought, for instance, that romance was the key. But at some point, you realized it wasn’t quite as fulfilling as you’d hoped. […]
The Virus Is a Wake-Up Call
We don’t know when Christ will return, but this pandemic reminds us he will return.
The Power of Unity in a Divided Society
Romans 16 highlights the unity in diversity of the early church.
4 Insights for Times of Social Distancing and Lockdown
What I learned from a two-month period of lockdown during my time in Central Asia.
You’re Not Called to EVERY Ministry
How do you discern your gifts so you can devote yourself to them?
The Yearning Beyond Suffering
Hard as it is to imagine, the future glory that will be revealed will make our present suffering pale by comparison.
How Earthly Possessions Are Like Confederate Currency
Soon everything not stored up in heaven will be worthless.
Showing Honor to the Overlooked
From the beginning, Christianity has stood out for the honor it shows all people.
When You Don’t Have the Words to Pray
Romans 8 is a beautiful reminder of how the Spirit is praying for us.
Escaping the Performance Trap
We don’t have to stay stuck in the endless loop of performing and pretending.
Why We Must Speak Up for the Vulnerable
When injustice affects one part of creation, it affects us all.
Why We Must Keep the Gospel Central
Our power doesn’t lie in the techniques we employ, but in the truth of our crucified, risen Savior.
J.D. Greear: The Gospel Above All—Part 1
“None of us is ever beyond a call to return to the gospel. Never.”
J.D. Greear: Expanding Our Capacity to Send Disciples—Part 2
“Calling is not a special experience for a sacred few. It is a basic element of the Christian life.”
A Powerful Lesson From Greyhound Racing
Why do we chase empty promises when God has promised us abundant life?
Why Evil Is a Problem for Atheists Too
Something must explain the pervasive wickedness of the human race and what we can do about it.
3 Misconceptions in the Church About Homosexuality
When we talk about homosexuality we tend to go wrong in these particular ways.
The Outreach 100—A Look Inside the Sept/Oct 2019 Issue
Church Health, Kingdom Growth: The Definitive Guide to Church Growth in America
8 Tangible Ways to Love Your Neighbors
We take Jesus’ command to love our neighbor seriously by taking it literally.
Why Does God Let Us Keep Struggling Against Sin?
The surprising way God’s love is revealed in our continued struggle with sin.
Will You Walk in Faith or Try to Do It Your Own Way?
Moses’ disobedience, striking instead of speaking to the rock, kept him out of the Promised Land. What will you choose?
Irresistible Dialogue: Andy Stanley and J.D. Greear—Part 1
J.D. Greear reviews Andy Stanley’s ‘Irresistible’ and invites him to respond.
Irresistible Dialogue: Andy Stanley and J.D. Greear—Part 2
Andy Stanley provides feedback to J.D. Greear’s review and J.D. responds.
Irresistible Dialogue: Andy Stanley and J.D. Greear—Part 3
Andy Stanley and J.D. Greear respond to one another a second time and Andy concludes.
Persecution: One Church, One Family
Around the world christians are facing unprecedented persecution. Here’s how your church can respond.
Embracing Interruptions in a Distraction-Filled World
An essential part of obedience is allowing ourselves to be interruptible: sensitive to the opportunities the Spirit gives us.
What Good Things Are Keeping You from Essential Things?
The story of Martha is an important reminder to focus on the essential things that are in front of us every day.
How to Foil Satan’s Go-To Temptation
One of Satan’s most insidious tactics strikes at the foundation of our identity; here is how Jesus responded, and how we should too.
You Grow As a Christian the Same Way You Became One
God’s acceptance is not based on how well we live the Christian life, but on Christ’s finished work on the cross.
11 Healthy Ministry Tensions for Church Leaders
We instinctively avoid tension, but there are many biblical tensions that aren’t meant to be resolved, but balanced.
Why Do Most People Miss the Gospel?
Hiddenness is one of the fundamental characteristics of the gospel, because God reveals himself only to those who seek him.
Danny Franks: Making the Unchurched Feel Welcome—Part 1
Welcoming guests is one of the most important aspects of ministry. If they don’t feel welcome, they won’t come back.
Danny Franks: Hospitality Is an Evangelistic Gift—Part 2
Hospitality is the responsibility of every church member. Consider these things as you assess your guest services.
How to Disciple Families in a Multiethnic Lifestyle
Children learn about multiethnic relationships from their parents. Here are ways to model healthy relationships.
College Grads and Retirees Make Great Church Planters
We tell them, “Give us two years, and we’ll change the world.”
J.D. Greear: Is Your God Too Small?—Part 1
“It was as if I had my own little solar system and God was the missing planet.”
Tribute: Leaders Remember Billy Graham (1918-2018)
Many leaders, both past and present, spoke out to honor the influential preacher and evangelist.
The Gospel Is One, Unified Message—And Here’s Why It Matters
“Being able to articulate this clearly will help you communicate the gospel and your faith, and lead others to the truth.”
J.D. Greear: ‘You Never Get Above Serving’
“The way to find unity is to have something that unifies us that is deeper and more significant than anything that divides us.”
If You Don’t Care for the Poor, You Don’t Understand the Gospel
“Amos said, ‘Woe to those who are at ease in Zion’—those who are playing through life when so many around them are suffering.”
14 Things Every Pastor Wishes His Worship Leader Knew
“As a worship leader, you should be leading people to worship with you, not merely in the same room as you.”
J.D. Greear: ‘Stop Praying for God’s Power’
“What you need is not more power. What you need is fresh vision.”
7 Ways to Overcome Satan
“When we boldly ask much of God for his kingdom, we put the gospel to action and overcome Satan with our faith.”
Special Report: The Bible and the Church
“If indeed the Scriptures are ‘God-breathed,’ when you take away the breath, you’re left with what humans can produce.”
When Should the Church Make Political Statements?
“The church has been given a specific mission, and getting mired in the secondary questions of politics can divert our mission.”
How a Vision for Multiplication Changes You and Your Church
“A clear vision gives us a filter through which we can run every idea, opportunity and decision.”
Church Helps Bring Systemic Change for Disconnected Youth
ReCity, a ministry of The Summit Church, helps organizations collaborate to reach at-risk youth in the community.
North Carolina Church Opens Its Doors to Immigrants and Refugees
Waypoint Church in Durham provides immigrants and refugees with a place of belonging.
Hope for Nov. 9: Pastors on the Election
Several pastors answer the question, “What is the message of hope you want to give to America in the aftermath of this election?”
J.D. Greear: ‘I See Many Churches Failing to Play Their Part’
“Our Enemy wants nothing more than to use good things to distract us from the one essential thing: our focus on the gospel.”
J.D. Greear: Church Planting and the Call to Send
“We need people to go, but we also need people to stay for the specific purpose of raising up others to send.”
Is Your Church a Safe Place for People With Same-Sex Attraction?
“Step one is to realize that you already have church members who experience same-sex attraction.”
Preaching on Homosexuality: 7 Points to Consider
“God’s Word changes hearts, but especially on sensitive subjects, God’s Word is often most effective in relationships of trust.”
J.D. Greear to Be Nominated for President of Southern Baptist Convention
Pastor of North Carolina’s The Summit Church will be nominated at denomination’s annual event in June.
J.D. Greear: Gaining by Losing—Part 1
“Churches ought to measure their success not by how many they bring in, but how many they raise up and send out.”
J.D. Greear: Gaining by Losing—Part 2
“A ministry that is not discipling people to think about that global mission is not really discipling people.”
Experience Speaks: J.D. Greear
J.D. Greear: “Success is raising up leaders and sending them out. Sending capacity, not seating capacity, ought to be our target.”
“I Was Encouraged When …”
10 pastors of Outreach 100 churches share some of their most encouraging moments.
A Sending Church: The Summit Church
The Summit Church in Durham, N.C., Focuses on Sending Instead of Gathering
Revived: How Stagnant or Declining Churches Found New Life
Five pastors tell how they helped churches overcome adversity and engage the unchurched in their communities.
8 Ways to Jump-Start the Fall Season at Your Church
Start thinking now about back to church, back to school, back to small groups.
In the May/June issue: Redeeming a ZIP code, One Question with Efrem Smith, principles of community engagement and the Outreach Interview: Matt Carter, and more