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The Summit Church | Denver, CO

  • Bryan Barley
  • Oct 17, 2011
  • Series: Church Profiles
  • Categories: Latest News

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Briefly describe your story of your call to plant a church

I became a Christian when I was 18, and immediately began reaching out to my friends on the campus of the college I was attending. I loved starting new question groups and Bible studies, especially among my friends who were skeptical and not in church.

While living in Raleigh, NC to attend seminary, Megan and I began to sense the call to church plant, specifically in Denver, Colorado. We took this call to our church, The Summit, in Durham, NC, and began having them assess our call and qualifications to plant a church. After a two year period of assessment and training, The Summit sent us and several more of its members to start a new church in Denver.

How did you build up your core? What advice would you give to guys in the core-stage?

We called people to give their lives away to the mission of God and tried to make membership to be a part of our planting efforts meaningful. We assessed all team members, said 'no' to those we felt weren't fully on board with our mission, and trained them to be good missionaries to the city. Once we moved to Denver, we immediately began reaching out so that our core would involve people local to Denver. We saw the growth of our core largely through our people being good missionaries in their workplaces and in our neighborhood.

My biggest piece of advice would be to protect the vision God has given you, and be willing to say no to those who aren't on board. Planting with a team has been a major blessing to us, but there are greater risks involved.

What were the biggest challenges you faced in planting your church (and/or currently facing)?

Trying to plant a church in a culture of leisure and a neighborhood that doesn't have a category of going to church.

Also, learning to manage and balance the stress and fears that come with starting something from scratch.

How did you become involved with Acts 29? What have been the biggest benefits of being in the network?

Our sending church, The Summit Durham is both a Southern Baptist Church and an Acts 29 church.

The major benefits have been the training (both boot camps and what's offered online) and the networking/brotherhood relationships that have been formed with other Colorado A29 planters that have been such a blessing to me.

What advice do you have for men who are wrestling with the decision to plant? 

Find the best local church-planting church you can find, serve there, and have the leadership assess your life and calling.

What’s the most important thing you’d want to share with a new church planter?   

Prepare and train like you're headed into a marathon rather than a sprint. Too often it seems that planting is a spur of the moment decision for guys, and I've seen it lead to a lot of heartbreak and disappointment.

How do you pastor your family?

I'm continually growing at this, but I try to be as intentional when I come home as I am during the eight hours a day I'm out pastoring our people. I try to listen to Megan well, hear what she's going through, and make her my first responsibility in ministry.

Practically, we're always reading a book together that will help us learn more about Jesus and talking about it together, and we have weekly "sync meetings" to make sure we're doing alright and planning well for our family.

Outside of the Bible, what is the most helpful book you have read for church planting?

Redeemer Presbyterian's Church Planting Manual

The Summit Church_logo

Church Profile: The Summit Church
Launch Date: Early 2012
Location: Denver, CO

Mission, Vision, Values of Church 

Brief -

The Summit is a community of men and women who follow Jesus and live out his mission to the city of Denver and the world.

Expanded -

The Summit is a community of men and women who follow Jesus Christ and live out his mission to the city of Denver and the world. At the core of this vision are a few important beliefs.
We believe:

• Jesus changes lives today

Jesus is active today and is transforming lives. Transformation is made possible through his death on the cross and resurrection from the grave. We desire to proclaim this good news (“the gospel”) and the hope that Jesus offers to the city.

• Jesus’ followers should live in community

Life isn’t meant to be lived alone – we need friends and family to help us in the journey. God desires that those who follow Jesus live in community rather than isolation. This community is called the church.

• Jesus loves Denver

Jesus invites those who follow him to take part in his mission to reach the city and world with his gospel. Therefore, we exist not for ourselves but rather for the joy of the people of Denver. We want to bless the city through our words and actions.

In sum, we are serious about following Jesus. We want to understand his gospel with excellence, and as a result live well in community and on mission to Denver.

What are some examples of God's grace that you have seen in your life and/or the life of your church?

Seeing our first salvation with a guy who was so far from Jesus, and now is making a major impact for Jesus in his workplace.

Seeing so many people who have never joined a church before join our church and give generously of themselves and their money to the mission.

Seeing an environment created where people with messy lives and stories feel open to share with our church what's happening in their lives.

Having God teach me that I'm weak and He is strong in so many ways, and growing my faith in Him in unparalleled ways since we've been in Denver.

How can we pray for you?

Please pray that I would love Jesus well and love Megan well, and prioritize them in my ministry responsibilities.