NC Church On Track to Reach Ambitious Goal: 1,000 Church Plants in 50 YearsÂ
- The Summit believes that all believers,
not just pastors andmissionaries are sent.
And in the last 17 yearsit's done just that.
- Being called by God meanstaking what God is giving you
and leveraging it for thepurpose of the Great Commissions.
- Pastor J.D. Greear hasbeen leveraging his church
for 17 years and theresults are off the charts.
This 10,000 member congregation
has 40 church plants in the U.S.
and more than 200 overseas.
It's also working closeto home in Greensboro.
The Mercy Hill Churchplants started six years ago
in this park with just 40 people.
Today more than 2,000 attend Mercy Hill
on three campuses and close to800 here have been baptized.
- I mean, we came here, andyes, that's a small team
of 30 people but when they'reall incredibly bought in
to one vision.
- [Heather] And that singlevision is the Great Commission.
The Summit calls it sending, and it starts
when parents dedicate their children.
- We have them covenant as partof this parent commissioning
that when they're gonna raise them
for the purposes of the Great Commission
and when God calls theirson or daughter, perhaps
to Afghanistan or SoutheastAsia to take the Gospel
that they covenant, as parents,
they're not gonna stand in the way.
- [Heather] The children'sarea looks like an airport
to plant the thought with kids
that they're sent eachweek to share Jesus.
- We want them to feel likethey are part of the mission
and they are part of thework then they get to go
and tell their friends.
- [Heather] By middle school The Summit
wants its young studentsto have experienced
a short-term missionstrip with their family.
In high school that growsto three weeks overseas
with Summit missionaries.
And in college it encouragesa summer of missions work
along with a big ask,that college graduates
pursue their first jobnear a church plant.
- When we plant churches wejust throw this out and say,
hey you graduate, yougotta move somewhere.
Move with one of our church plants.
- I wanna be a missionary.
I believe that God hascalled us to go anywhere.
Like, it's not a questionof when or anything.
It's where and how.
- The whole idea is you'rea missionary with your life.
You don't have to go across the ocean.
You don't have to do anything special.
Your life is your mission field.
- [Heather] The Summit's focus on youth
and college mobilizationhas helped pave the way
for its incredible successwith church plants.
The week CBN News visited Mercy Hill
it commissioned a church plant team
including recent collegegrads to Philadelphia.
- They've equipped me in giving the tools
to be able to send me out well.
- [Heather] The team alsoincluded several retirees,
another Summit strategy.
It asks those headed for retirement
to tie their first two yearsand give them to a plant.
Greear admits that whilemissions and church planting
have been a lifelong passion,his goal of 1,000 churches
came almost as an afterthought.
- I came up with it inthe middle of a sermon.
It felt right and I just said it.
We're gonna plant 1,000churches in 50 years.
And then I walked off the stageand one of our pastors said,
"Did you say 1,000 churches in 50 years?"
I said, "Yeah, we'regonna have to figure out
"how to do that."
- [Heather] Greear acknowledgesfiguring out that growth
can be painful.
Each year they encourageseveral new staff pastors
to headhunt, recruiting thechurch's best for new plants.
- 100 of 'em stand on stageand I'm looking at 'em
and I'm like, those arevery talented people
who serve in our ministries,lead our ministries.
Some of them are big givers.
How are we gonna do without them?
- [Heather] Greear wants to push
the Southern Baptistdenomination to cultivate
these same priorities ofevangelism and church planting.
As part of this, he's also committed
to raising up more Peopleof Color as church leaders.
This timely decision comes in an era
of declining Southern Baptist membership
and racial discord.
And his strategies appear to be on target.
- I don't know how long hishand'll be on us like this
but while it is it's time forus to go and reach people.
- We tell our students and everybody,
but especially our students,God made you good at something.
So whatever God madeyou good at, do it well
to the glory of God anddo it somewhere strategic
for the mission of God.
- [Heather] Reporting inDurham, Heather Sells, CBN News.
(people chatting indistinctly)