Summit Church Service | Reflection and Looking Forward | January 3, 2021

Well, you did it. We did it. We made it to a New year, whatever that means And you are attending the very first worship service of 2021. So, that’s got to count for something. If you’re new, if you’ve just found us on the internet, and you’re jumping in, Hello So glad that you’re here. My name’s Zach, I’m the Herndon Campus Pastor If you have any questions about the church or want to find out how to get connected, there’s a link below that says get connected Also in the description, you can click that link. You can ask us any questions, we’d be happy to answer. And we just want to be able to say, thanks for joining us today. Today, we get to hear from our lead pastor John Parker, as he talks a little bit about what it looks like for us to continue to be the church as we move into a new year And I’m so excited about where God is leading us and what John has to share with us today. Well, now we’re going to give our tithes and offerings And if you’re new, if you’re just checking us out, know that nobody asked you here for your money. But if this is your church home, you know that this matters. Next week, we’ll be updating you on how we ended 2020. We’re still kind of, you know, closing out the books And so next week we’ll be able to give you a full picture of how we ended the year. But I just want to say before that, thank you so much for your faithfulness this past year I know that this last year has been full of uncertainties, and yet we’ve been able to continue to move forward with what God’s called us to and do ministry in some new and surprising ways And that’s all because of your faithfulness and generosity. So thank you So as you give today, know that it matters Know that we count it a privilege to be able to use the resources that God has given us to build his kingdom And so if you want to take part in that, there’s a number below–a text to give number You can also click the link below And just know that we’re thankful for anything that you can give. And speaking of giving, I have an update on the Christmas Eve offering. If you were at Christmas Eve, you got to hear about United Against Poverty, a local organization that helps the working poor in our city, also known as UP Orlando We are so thankful that we were able to give the entirety of our Christmas Eve offering to them. And as of right now, checks are still coming in But as of right now, we’re able to give them over $73,000 And that’s going to make, it’s going to make a huge difference in their ministry this coming year So thank you so much for your generosity in giving towards them Well, now, as we begin our worship service, let’s remember that we’re worshiping a God who is always faithful to us – So I have two superstitions

that I kind of hate to admit to you but I feel like it’s important today to admit to them One of them was actually started by one of my fishing buddies when I was growing up, John Hallberg who’s the best fishermen I know And any time that we would be fishing together and he would be catching fish and we wouldn’t, he would say we didn’t have the right attitude We could be doing the exact same actions the exact same everything else, and he blamed our lack of catching fish

on our lack of a correct fishy attitude And we mocked him for that but he remains the best fisherman I know, and I find myself every time I’m fishing and not catching fish, not thinking about what should I change in my strategy or location first I check my attitude Do I have the right fishitude? The other superstition is that if I acknowledge in any way that I might be getting sick, then I only will fuel the bacterial the viral response to that And so in a family where my wife is a nurse and is very proactive in responding to sickness or to something negative healthwise, she’s that way And I’m deny, deny, deny and starve it of attention till it goes away 2020 was one of those years where I wanna starve it for attention so that it finally goes away Here we are in the new year And if you have my proclivity towards superstition about speaking to things that are negative and giving power to that and this is not spiritual superstition, it’s just a superstition Then the fact that we are kicking off the new year and saying 2020 is one of those things where it’s just like, no, let’s just, let’s put it in the past and move forward But I do think as we move into the new year it is important to acknowledge that 2020 came with all sorts of disruption all sorts of difficulty, all sorts of challenges Some of it felt very acutely and very deeply felt very personal Others of it, the general disruption and disarray that we’ve all experienced Now we’re in a new year and we may be entering the new year with a lot of hope, with a lot of expectation of things being different, but whatever the case we entered this new year with the same opportunity to trust God and to follow Him as we did in the year gone by So let’s begin our time together today in prayer Heavenly Father, we are grateful to You We are grateful that You love us We’re grateful that You never leave us or forsake us We’re grateful that You walked with us through the year gone past, and that You promise You will not leave us or forsake us in the time to come So as we reflect on the year gone by and as we anticipate the year to come, and as we look at what it means to be Your body, the body of Christ reflecting Your love and character and goodness to the world around us, help us do that with great purpose, with great mission, with great intentionality in the year to come We pray this all in Your Holy and precious name Amen We feel like it’s important for us to begin today, talking about my hair My whole fashion sense And I know anyone who actually has a fashion sense is offended that it would even use that term But my whole fashion sense is predicated on a desire to be unremarkable I don’t want to be so slovenly that people remark about how poorly dressed I am And I certainly don’t wanna look like I’m trying too hard I dabbled in that in high school and the decades since I was made fun of for it by my friends So for me, unremarkable is the goal and that includes my hair for the last 15 years, I have shorn my own hair I use the number two guard on the clippers and that was it And it suited me well My kids up until a couple of months ago had never seen me with a different haircut I got the first inkling that things might the change might be in the wind when we were traveling as a family a couple of years ago And I really needed a haircut I hadn’t had one for a while and I was getting in the slovenly category And so we had a little bit of time stop by a roadside stand in Ethiopia I’m certain about the social media frenzy that followed that the barber had never cut a white person’s hair before And he did a great job And the fact that someone who had never cut a white person’s hair and didn’t speak English, which of course why would I expect him to I’m in his country he’s not in mine And so, but he didn’t know what I wanted and he’d never cut a white person’s hair and did a remarkable job And I know this because when I got back in the van my whole family remarked, “Oh this is amazing.” And basically what he did was my hair cut a bit better And so I knew something, something might be amiss and not too long ago, about three months ago, we’re at the dinner table, and the kids start telling me they want me to grow my hair We’ve never seen you with your hair, grown out You should grow your hair out I’m sure they’re doing it just to mess with me and Brandy and I have this unwritten code If the kids are pressuring us to do something all we have to do is say, “Hey, I don’t do what you tell me to do “If Brandy wants me to do it or if John wants me to do it, then I’ll do it.” That code means that she has to have my back and I have her back

whenever we say that And so trusting that she would honor our code When the kids are pressuring me to grow my hair, I say, “You know what kids, “I don’t I have to do what you tell me to do “if Brandy wants me to grow my hair Then I’ll grow out my hair.” And I look over at her and Brandy Parker looks at me and says, “I would like you to grow out your hair.” The betrayal cut deep But as I thought about it, I realized, you know what? She has to look at my hair more than I do, right? I don’t have to look at her really at all the way I did my hair didn’t have to look at it at all Now it’s all kinds of product and stuff like that But she has to look at my hair more than I do My hair wasn’t for me, my hair was for her So I said, why not? I grew up my hair a bit And when it was time to go to the barber, I didn’t know the proper approach to the barber, but I said “Brandy you got me into this So you’re coming with me to the barber.” So we chose a barbershop near my office it was not what I expected there are far more neck tattoos and graffiti on the walls than I come to anticipate in a barbershop They asked me what I wanted I looked at Brandy and said, you have to look at me more than I do She shrugged We let them do what they wanted to do And ever since then, this barbershop has been attending my hair And I have been becoming used to the fact that now as we enter 2021, I somehow have remarkable hair How are you entering 2021? On a new year on the heels of a very disruptive year I wanna offer some reflections that I think are are helpful And that actually say they are critical for our church in how we live out the vision in the coming years So three simple things that I wanna talk to you today that have been reminded of in the year gone past I hope that our staff and leadership of the church, that you take these to heart and live them out in your life in the coming year Because God is good God is with us always I think if we be mindful of these lessons from the year gone by we’ll see God work in ways that are remarkable And first disruption is where God works Disruption is where God works It’s the soil in which He works And now is when God works A couple months ago, I snuck up our kids had a race up in Tallahassee, and there’s a church up there downtown community church, which is just a really cool church, started by some guys who were connected through relationship to summit And I’ve gotten to know them over the years And they, I think because I look older than them White in the beard and all that stuff They think I’m wise And so they ask me questions and I talk until they nod their heads a bit And then I think maybe I said something helpful And for that exchange I get the privilege of getting to know this amazing church and seeing what God is doing in them And so I sneak up there whenever I can attend church So I’d done that And we were talking afterwards in a zoom meeting and just talking about the challenges of leading a ministry in 2020 and all of that And they referenced a well-known Christian leadership writer who has been really speaking Actually, they’ve been very helpful to churches as they’ve navigated leadership in the distinctives of 2020 and a global pandemic and all of that And they summarized one of his articles by saying he said, the church now has to get used to serving in a context of disruption And we may have to change everything about how we work, how we serve, how we live in order to lead well to thrive as a church in the context of disruption And they asked me what I thought of that And as I thought about it then and as I’ve thought about it since I thought my goodness has somehow our church the church, any church decided that lack of disruption is the place God works That lack of disruption is somehow the spiritual the moral value that we’re going for The fact that the church may have to relearn how it does ministry in order to be able to, to respond to disruption, if that’s true of any church if that’s true of us, then we need to repent because disruption is where God works And every week, erase the global pandemic every week there are people listening to me right now whose lives are graphically disrupted And disruption as painful as it is as much as we should grieve the consequences that come with disruption, disruption is where God works We just finished the series of advent as we approach Christmas last year

and looked at the characters in the nativity and every one of them, every one of them was introduced to the story in the context of disruption Look at Jesus’s life and He was always stepping into people’s disruption or introducing disruption into their lives We’re gonna be spending a lot of time this year in the book of Acts, looking at the early church and the early church is a study in disruption and what it means to be the body of Christ in the context of disruption And it’s oftentimes we think that the hardest mission field is the one where people serve where people serve lesser gods But I would argue that the hardest context for the gospel to take root is in the context where no one recognizes they have a need for God When things are so comfortable, so predictable, so undisrupted that somehow that yearning, that need that we’re created for gets muted, gets subdued, gets numbed out Last year many of our lesser gods were toppled And our sense of wellbeing was shaken That sense that says everything is okay I don’t need anything that says that somehow maybe even like churches have played into that, that good happens when disruption doesn’t happen All of that was shaken And then we grieve where disruption has caused pain and loss We should not assume that the work of God is to do away with our disruption, but rather to lead our way through it, the work of God is to meet us at the point of our disruption and lead us through it Jesus came and brought and introduced and engaged in our disruptions that we could find eternal hope We lose and the world misses out If we somehow get caught waiting for disruption to pass for things to get better before we fully engage the work of God in our lives and the lives of those around us If we somehow enter 2021 thinking like maybe the disruption has ended so we can get back to the work of the gospel we are missing an opportunity Who knows what the year ahead will look like, who knows how disrupted it will feel how normal it will feel but let’s not get caught grasping for normalcy at the expense of engaging with the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, living in the disruption recognizing that that is the soil in which God can work In our lives in the world around us So my question for us today is where am I stuck waiting, or wishing away disruption? Where am I stuck waiting or wishing away disruption? Is it in how I engage with the mission of the church? Is it in a relationship that has been so disrupted and the pain and brokenness and the relationship has been exacerbated by a global pandemic And you’re like, let’s just end the difficult circumstances And then I’ll let God go to work on me on this relationship Is it job loss? Is it in loss of health? Where are the places where we’re waiting, stuck waiting or wishing away disruption? What is that for you? And then what would it look like to see that disruption as an opportunity? What would it look like for you to see that disruption as an opportunity, an opportunity to engage with the transforming power of the Holy spirit to further and more deeply understand the gospel To seek the type of restoration that is promised in the person of Jesus Christ and guaranteed in the resurrection To begin seeing that now Why are you waiting for disruption to go away? And what would it look like for you to engage that disruption now as an opportunity? So disruption is where God works Second thing, second reflection how we look to the world matters How we look to the world matters just like my haircut is not about me It’s been recognition that Brandy has to see my hair more than I do We should look good to the world We should look remarkable to the world And it’s not about cultivating a sense of fashion or coolness or anything like what what the gospel offers in Jesus Christ It is both the most offensive thing that mankind can encounter And the most hopeful thing that we can encounter

It is remarkable and the church should be seen as remarkable, as distinct as different from anything else the world has to offer How we look to the world matters What are you showing the world? When they look at you and they think that’s the church, that’s a Christian, what are you showing the world? Are you showing them a social or political opinion? Are you showing them a facade or an image of success? Are you showing that what are you showing the world to look at, to remark on when they look at you and say, this is the church It’s really interesting when you look at the early church and I’ll read to you from Acts 2:42 but really you look at the whole book of Acts and you see a study of the church looking different distinctly different to the world Recognizing what God was doing, the church within and people without were looking and saying there is something distinctly different about this something remarkable is summed up really well in Acts 2 starting in verse 42, they devoted themselves so this is the early early Christians before they were officially Christians before there was officially the church This is just the movement the response to the resurrected Jesus It says the following, “They devoted themselves to the apostles, “teaching to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread “and to prayer “Everyone was filled with awe “And many wonders and miraculous signs “were done by the apostles “All the believers were together “and had everything in common, “selling their possessions and goods “They gave to anyone as he had need “Every day they continued to meet together “in the temple courts “They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” And then listen to this, “Praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people, “enjoying the favor of all the people, those from within, “and those from without “They saw good was happening and they looked on it favorably.” And then here’s the key, “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” See, when we look remarkable to the world when we look remarkable to the world When the world sees more clearly what it looks like to be transformed by the saving work of Jesus Christ and the power of the whole Holy spirit The world looks on with favor, and God does what God does He transforms lives and adds, reclaims, rebuilds His family with those who are being brought in, with those who are being saved The Jewish people were when God made His covenant with Abraham, there was a promise that His people would look different to the world There’d be good news for the whole world And Jesus when he was answering questions one day from religious leaders and Pharisees who were experts in the law, the law was to establish how the Jewish people look different what it looked like to be distinctively God’s people And when asked to sum up what that looked like to sum up all the law and the prophets which is a challenging question indeed Jesus replied in this way, “Love the Lord your God.” This is in Matthew 22, “Love the Lord your God “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment And the second is like it “Love your neighbor as yourself” all the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments It wasn’t religiosity that was set to make the Jewish people stand apart that they should be distinctive about the church It is the way that we love God It is the way that we love each other And it’s the way that we invite the world into that same loving relationship We should look remarkable to the world And again, it is not about appearances It’s about what we present to the world Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:2 he said, “For I resolve to know nothing while I was with you, except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Now, Paul lived with and taught and instructed the church in Corinth And of all the things he said, all of it all of his leadership, all of what he knew was rooted in that simple truth, Jesus Christ and Him crucified I mentioned the gospel is the most offensive and the most attractive idea in the whole world Jesus Christ and Him crucified means that

we can’t fix ourselves God knew that We cannot fix ourselves for world, for people, for me and you who are conditioned by sin to somehow think we can make it on our own What could be more offensive? To say that no matter what we don’t measure up And what could be more hopeful than the reminder that we don’t have to The recognition that Jesus did everything that was needed for us to be in right relationship with God for us to become who we were made to be That’s what we need to show the world If the world can see in my life, in your life, the offense and the beauty of the gospel, it will be a remarkable thing So my question for us in this is what am I giving the world to look at? What am I giving the world to remark on? When I think of social media, family, coworkers, classmates, roommates and all of these places where I engage the world in traffic, what am I giving the world to remark on? Am I being offensive? Because of my social or political or whatever views or am I being offensive because I’m just showing the world that I realize I didn’t measure up Am I being hopeful because I’m wishing for new circumstances or am I being hopeful, because I’m recognizing the work of Jesus Christ? What am I showing to the world? What am I giving the world to remark about? Does it reflect both the offense and the hope of the gospel or is it something far less How we look to the world matters Disruptions where God works how we look to the world matters And finally, we are the church, we are the church wherever we are Last year there was so much that had to do with reducing mass assembly and not being in indoor spaces And there’s this whole question, a very natural question of when do I get to go to church again? Right, if we associate church with a building, with an event, with a particular set of of songs and teaching all that, that for us is church Now that’s a part of church, but that for us is the entirety of church And we forget the really exciting reality that we are the church, wherever we are We bring the church with us as we go Now, we can’t be the whole church, right? We can’t be the full expression of the church on our own but we bring the church with us where we go One of the foundational texts for our vision as a church is the great commission, is Jesus encouragement, admonition commission to His disciples This was after He had lived His life after He lived in community with His disciples, after His death and resurrection, His victory over sin and death And before His Ascension So this is after all the work is done before He goes back to His father to prepare a place for us He sits down with His disciples and He gives them these instructions “All authority in heaven on earth has been given to me, “therefore go and make disciples of all nations “baptizing them in the name of the Father “and of the Son and of the Holy spirit “and teaching them to do everything I’ve commanded you And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.” I grew up in a context and you may have as well where the great commission, the operative word the one that is the call to action is the going Right, when I was growing up, I thought I was gonna go and be a missionary going and going somewhere different than where we are to go and make disciples and baptize and teach and all of that And I was sitting down with Jim Miller, who’s a close friend and a spiritual advisor and a theological seminary professor And we were talking about this and he was acknowledging that in the Greek the operative word, the action word the word that everything else builds around, isn’t to go it’s to make disciples And more properly translated the text should read as you go, as you go, as you go into your life, be about the business of making disciples As you go See Jesus, wasn’t commissioning His disciples to go someplace different

He was commissioning them to do something different to be something different, as you go We take the church with us where we go And if we get stuck asking questions about when do we get together again, or how do we get together again? Or what will it look like? And will it change? And when will it return back to normal and all of these things we miss out, we miss out realizing that you wherever you are right now, if you’re in your living room, if you’re one of the aspects of the expressions of some of this meeting in a park, if you’re with your friends, if you’re alone, wherever you are if you’re a follower of Jesus you’re a representative of the church You bring the church with you as you go So my question is, what slices of my life? What slices of your life have I forgotten? Have I not realized fully that I’m the church in that moment, in that place, in that relationship? Where have I not led my faith lead in my life? Where have I forgotten that I’m the church? And what would I do differently? What would I do differently? If in 2021, I went about thinking I am the church not that I go to church How would I be more intentional in how I live my life? Disruption is where God works, how we look to the world matters And we are the church, wherever we are We take the church with us as we go One of the most quote, the most quoted movie in our house is “Nacho Libre” And if you’re not familiar with the movie you should definitely watch it It’s the best Jack Black plays, Nacho who was an aspiring priest and in a bit of a bumbling mess up And he works in an orphanage And there’s one point in the movie where he’s trying to explain his absence So he’s gone off and typical, aspiring priestly fashion has become a wrestler to try to raise money to save the orphans When being questioned about where he’s been he said, “I’ve had a lot of churchy opportunities.” I’ve had a lot of churchy opportunities I would say to us as we close our time together that we have a lot of churchy opportunities this year We have a lot of churchy opportunities to not treat this disruption like as the enemy but to treat it like an opportunity To remember in every interaction, to let people see Jesus in us To give them the full beauty and offense of the gospel And to take the church with us as we go, to institute things in our lives that remind us that we are the church wherever we are A few years ago as I engaged in that reality I get myself a new year’s resolution and God I don’t think it was heretical to do so And it was up to Him, whether He filled it but my new year’s resolution was if God tells me to do something I’m gonna do it And my resolution for God was please speak to me And this wasn’t the big thing This was in the little things Give me the words to encourage give me the reminders to pray See every interaction as you see it See the people as people you love, who you came and gave your life for As I was intentional in doing that my every day was full of churchy opportunities My hope is that for each of us who call some at home, who are followers of Jesus that we will engage deeply with the hope and message of the gospel that will not run from disruption but see it as an opportunity We’ll take the church with us as we go and see a year full of churchy opportunities Pray with me Heavenly father, we’re grateful to you grateful that the gospel means not just that we get rescued from eternity without You but we get included in Your story of redemption in the world around us that we get invited in That our actions, our words, our perspectives, that they matter They can have an impact, good or negative on the world As we enter this year hopeful for better circumstances don’t let us get caught waiting Give us the courage to see disruption for what it is as an opportunity

Give us the remembrance that what we show the world matters Help us take every churchy opportunity you present us We pray this all in your Holy and precious name Amen Well, I’m honored to be entering this new year with you I’m hopeful that God will continue to work mightily in our church And my encouragement to you is live fully this year, whatever it brings Don’t wait for disruption to go away, but live in it as an opportunity Show the world a church that cares, that embraces the full beauty of the gospel

And remember that we are the church wherever we are Let’s step into those churchy opportunities and see the good that God does In the meantime, if there’s anything that we can pray with you about, please make your prayer requests known to us There’s a link in the description and you can let us know how we can be praying for you, and our staff and leadership and a whole team of people who are committed to prayer will do so for you throughout the week Now hear these words of benediction, as we close our time together, may the Lord bless you and keep you, may he make his face to shine upon you in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit go and God’s peace and happy new year