On Sunday, January 13, Mitch Majeski’s sermon addressed the nature, function and characteristics of the global body of believers, the Christian Church. His message on January 20 detailed all the ways Summitview's vision fits inside the function and purpose of the church. We hope that this series of posts is a helpful refresher of who we are as Christ’s bride, and what our Savior is doing specifically in our context here in Fort Collins. Catch up on the earlier posts: Part I, Part II and Part III.


Answering Marvin the Martian has been a pleasant fiction. Building a definition for the Church from the ground up has a tendency to make things clearer. So what do we do with this clarity? How will we work together this year to strengthen Summitview Community Church to let it become all that God desires?

The answer to that question depends on the big red dot. You know, that dot on every good map that says, “You are here.” So, where are we? What strengths and opportunities can we leverage? What threatens our health and mission?

The Red Dot

We have much for which we can be thankful. God has graciously given Summitview a strong sense of unity and growing love of Jesus as our Head and sole delight. There are a growing number of mature, young aspiring leaders who are being equipped to set the pace for us for decades to come. And, financially, we remain steady with a slight increase in giving (approximately 4 percent) over the last year. 

These gifts are handed to us in the midst of some fairly significant challenges. American Christianity is on the decline. There is a growing noise in our culture (social media, increased connectedness to information and entertainment, etc.) that pushes thoughtfulness and undistracted time with God to the fringes. Orthodox Christianity is increasingly identified as “in the way” of progress on a host of social issues. Sexuality (as it always, eventually, does) has become the obsession and altar of our culture as a universally agreed upon source of transcendence. Our city is filled with worshippers. The gods of success, intellect, fitness, sexuality and fine craft beer loom large. Their altars are flooded and their influence is strong. 

Into these circumstances, this little band of Jesus followers carries the keys to the Kingdom. Let’s take the answers we provided Marvin and fit them into the framework of our three-pronged “warfare” to see how we can be faithful stewards of God’s gifts in 2013. 

The Church is a Commissioned and Empowered Group

The 2013 Air Campaign

"To Be An Ambassador"

This Sunday will be the final gathering for our “Ambassador” class. It has been a great joy to unite with more than 100 people and consider what it means to be a representative of Jesus in our time. Young and old have been equipped and have shared stories of courageously proclaiming the gospel to friends, neighbors and co-workers. You can find the recordings of each session and the supporting materials at the "Ambassador" class page.

"Foundations"

It is essential that Christians understand the big story of the Bible and the evidence for its reliability – especially in a post-Christian context. “Foundations” is a seven-week course that will address the Bible’s story and its reliability, while providing each participant with a tremendous tool for helping those interested in understanding the Christian worldview. The class starts Sunday, March 3. Sign up here!

Missions Fund campaign

 

I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. (Revelation 7:9)

 

We are so blessed. In His kindness, God has connected us with churches and church-planting efforts throughout Asia. Among that great multitude seen in Revelation will be people that our church has affected for good

This April we will again work to raise money to fully fund (for the third straight year) the Nepali Children’s Home and to strengthen our connections with other churches in Asia through long-term, nine-month mission trips. These trips will equip the missionaries for overseas missions or for greater impact in our burgeoning International Student Ministry. But it isn’t the money that matters; it’s the focus. As a commissioned people we have global opportunities that, if we make the most of them, will sharpen our focus on local opportunities. 

The 2013 Ground Campaign

Discipleship Teams

Our commissioning is a collective one. We are called to strive “side by side for the faith of the gospel.” Successful ambassadors of Christ work in teams. “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Put some deer antler spray on your mission and join a Discipleship Team.

Hospitality

It’s easy to feel alone in a crowd. Our Sunday hospitality team is intent on graciously connecting with visitors who walk through our door looking for a connection with God and His people. The upcoming service rotation begins March 3. Email Travis Swartz (traviswalterswartz@gmail.com) if you’re interested in serving in this capacity.

International Student Ministry

Students from all over the world come to Fort Collins every year and many of them come eager to build friendships. There is a tremendous opportunity to love people and proclaim the hope of the gospel. This year we will continue to invite and equip people for this ministry to the world in our backyard. You can find more information about ISM here.

Faith Family Hospitality + Fort Collins Rescue Mission

Homelessness is a complicated issue but it is often a matter not of limited resources, but of limited relationships. We will continue to serve families without homes through Faith Family Hospitality, where several families use our facility as “home” for one week every three to four months. Stay tuned for how you can help, as our next rotation is March 17-24.

We have also developed a partnership with the Fort Collins Rescue Mission. On the fourth Saturday of each month, members of Summitview work together to prepare a meal and a short chapel service for the guests of the Mission. We’ll let you know how you can sign up for this amazing ministry opportunity.

Both of these ministries are relational in nature, and our prayer is that these relationships will be a source of genuine encouragement to those in need. 

Hand to Hand Combat in 2013

Ambassadors in our spheres of influence

What are the times and places that God has chosen for you to live? With whom do you rub shoulders every week? It is into this sphere that God has called you to be and make disciples of Jesus. 

The Church is a Holy Group

The 2013 Air Campaign

Sunday morning teaching

From now until August we will be looking at the book of Joshua and how God’s presence enables us to courageously enter the frontiers of faith. This series is critical because it is often in the midst of fear that we resort to sinful ways of providing security and, when we do, we lose our distinctiveness as God’s people. 

 

...we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you. (Colossians 1:4–6)

 

The book of Colossians is an excellent follow-up to our series on Joshua. Here Paul explains that true holiness grows out of a deep conviction of all that we have in the gospel. In other words, it is the grace of God that trains us to renounce ungodliness (Titus 2:11). The same message that saves people changes people. We'll dive into this epistle in late August. 

“Pure Strength”

Mushy, selfish masculinity will strip the church of its distinctiveness and affect. Our Front Range Men’s Conference – March 8-9 in Estes Park – will explore how biblical masculinity brings good to the world, how it is broken and how it can be redeemed. Sign up today!

Spring Training for Men

Beginning March 27, the men of Summitview will gather for five Wednesdays from 6-7:30 a.m. to consider the power of man-to-man relationships displayed throughout the Bible. Our goal is to reinforce the notion that to be disciples and maintain our distinctiveness, we need each other. Sign up information will be forthcoming.

The 2013 Ground Campaign

Discipleship Teams

The author of Hebrews says it best:

 

Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. (Hebrews 3:12–14)

 

This happens best in the supportive, grace-filled environment of a committed small group. Check out our seasons of life and consider joining a Discipleship Team today.

Hand to Hand Combat in 2013

Life Transformation Groups (LTGs)

These are subsets of our Discipleship Teams in which two to three people of the same gender invest in transparent relationships that help each other apply the gospel to individual struggles with fear, idolatry and discouragement. If you haven’t already, grab a copy of our guide to a successful LTG and build these critical relationships. 

The Church Is a Group of People Happily Devoted to Each Other

The 2013 Air Campaign

A culture of celebration

"And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful" (Colossians 3:15).

Full disclosure? We have a tendency to be “useful little engines” at Summitview. Our focus on the mission can move us right past the big moments of triumph into the next big thing. That culture will eventually run out of gas. One of the key ways we can remember our first love is to celebrate His presence in our lives together. This year we are looking to make celebration a greater part of our culture. 

Our first step will be to set aside the final Sunday service in April to celebrate the conclusion of our missions campaign and all God has accomplished in our church this year. 

Women’s Ministry

Beginning this year, women’s ministry at Summitview will work to build a biblical perspective on feminine relationships. Every aspect of our women’s ministry will equip ladies to come together as friends, sisters and mentors, and encourage each other in their unique contribution to the glory of God in the world. 

The 2013 Ground Campaign

Discipleship Teams

They are kind of important in our church. Find a Discipleship Team that's right for you and get connected.

Catalyst Children’s Ministry

Though our children’s ministry is large, it really is a “ground war” effort. A small community of parents leads each classroom. A primary objective for “Catalyst” is for these parents to build a culture that values parenting, and for the participating parents to strengthen each other in the work of faith that is parenting.