Summit Journey

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Summit Journey is our discipleship strategy at Summit Church. It is designed to help each follower of Jesus at Summit Church becoming more like Jesus.

This strategy is built on the assumption that discipleship is a life-long process rather than a short-term program. This means that rather than developing a one-size-fits-all discipleship “pipeline” for people to walk through in a short time period, we have put together a strategy that allows for lifelong growth and places the responsibility back on each individual to take ownership of their growth towards Christlikeness.

This strategy is built around on simple question: How am I planning to intentionally become more like Jesus this year?

That key question is then supplemented with four further questions that layout a person’s growth pathway:

Why do I want to grow in my walk with God?

It is critically important to begin with the Why?, as this first question addresses the issue of motivation. It is important that Jesus’ followers are clear on why we want to continue to grow in our walk. Why do I want to grow in my walk with God?

Being clear about our motivation means that we reject four myths about spiritual growth:

Myth #1 – spiritual growth is optional or elitist. The truth is that growth is part of a Christian’s normal life, because the gospel is about us becoming like Christ.
Myth #2 – spiritual growth will ensure God still loves me. The truth is that growth is a response to God’s grace, because the gospel proclaims God loves us by grace.
Myth #3 – spiritual growth is about behaviour modification. The truth is that growth is about inner transformation, because the gospel brings the power of His Spirit.
Myth #4 – spiritual growth is about becoming the best “me”. The truth is that growth is a key way of honouring God, because the gospel is all about the glory of God.

Where do I need to grow in my walk with God?

Having looked at our motivation, this second question calls for assessment. It invites us to think about where we currently are in terms of spiritual maturity, and where we would like to grow. It’s about asking, “Where is the Holy Spirit nudging me to grow with Him in this next season of life?”

We have developed a description of a mature disciple of Jesus based on seven key traits to assist with this reflection. The invitation is to examine our lives using these seven key areas, and then choose one area in which we would like to focus on in this next season of our journey. Those traits are:

  • Christ-Like Character: Becoming more like Jesus
  • Biblical Mindset: Studying and applying God’s Word
  • Heartfelt Prayer & Worship: Responding to God in all of life
  • Healthy Relationships: Growing in gracious, life-giving relationships
  • Natural Evangelism: Prayerfully and naturally sharing the good news
  • Humble Service: Serving God’s family and God’s world
  • Joyful Generosity: Giving generously from all that God has given us

To help people to reflect on their current maturity and think about where they would like to grow, we have developed an assessment tool. Click on the link below to take the assessment, and at the end you will receive a summary of the results.

Summit Journey Assessment 

Who do I need to journey with in this next season?

Having looked at why and where we would like to grow, this next question looks at who – the community of people we would like to grow with. The reality is that while we can grow individually in our walk with Jesus, we tend to grow more as we mature in the context of relationships. “Many people today are on a solo journey with God, even though they attend a church. Rarely do people in churches see intentional relationships as a vital component of their spiritual growth.” (Mindy Caliguire).

Many churches, including ours, have historically put a great emphasis on small groups. However, while we still value small groups and continue to offer them, there are also other ways to grow in community. At Summit Church we now talk about four types of community:

Groups: traditional small groups that meet regularly over a long period of time. Groups tend to be less intense in terms of preparation and longer in terms of time-frame (often together for years).
Pairs: mentoring relationships either between older and younger, or mutual mentoring between pairs (which also includes a marriage mentoring option). Mentoring generally happens over a medium timeframe (we suggest 1 year), and can either involve study options or reflective questions.
Classes: these are short-term intensive learning opportunities such as one-off seminars, short courses, or book clubs that discuss a book they read at the same pace.
Teams: our serving teams are another good way to grow together, as a team of people serve, lead and pray together.

To find out more, you can download the Intentional Community Booklet or email Robin Byrne

Download Intentional Community Booklet  Email Robin Byrne 

How will I grow in my walk with God?

This final question is essentially about resources or tools. For each of the seven traits of a disciple, we have developed a list of tools that might be helpful in intentionally growing in that area. Resources are listed in four main categories: practices, books, media, and curriculum.

Christ-Like Character

Practices:
Memorise Galatians 5:22-23 or even the wider passage
Choose one of the fruit of the Spirit you would like to grow in, and write your specific prayer to God
Create a sticker chart (like kids often have) for the fruit of the Spirit, and ask family members or flatmates to tick it when they see some fruit in your life
Take a spiritual retreat focused around God’s grace – read a book, read Scripture, or listen to teaching

Books:
How to Grow (Darryl Dash)
So You Want To Be Like Christ (Chuck Swindoll)
Transforming Grace (Jerry Bridges)
Empowered by His Presence (Kevin Harney)

RightNow Media:
Transformed (Chip Ingram)
Amazing Grace (Francis Chan)
Grace is Greater (Kyle Idleman)
A Contrarian's Guide To Knowing God (Larry Osborne)
True Spirituality (Chip Ingram)

Curriculum:
Grace (Louie Giglio, DVD)
Character (Interactions study book)
Fruit of the Spirit (Interactions study book)
Transformation (Interactions study book)


Biblical Mindset

Practices:
Sign up to a reading plan on the YouVersion app
Buy, download or subscribe to a devotional and read it each day        
Begin to listen to Scripture every day during your commute or lunchtime
Choose some favourite verses or a favourite Bible passage and begin to memorise Scripture
Ask a friend to hold you accountable about your time in God’s Word  

Books:
Taking God at His Word (Kevin DeYoung)
A Doubter’s guide to the Bible (John Dickson)
The Bible in 100 Pages (Phil Moore)
Living By The Book (Howard Hendricks)

RightNow Media:
How To Read The Bible (Tim Mackie)
Read Scripture Series (Tim Mackie)
Why We Trust the Bible (Stephen Nichols)
Hath God Said (R C Sproul)

Curriculum:
Breath on a Page (Louie Giglio, DVD)
How to Study the Bible (Dallas Seminary free online course)
The Story of Scripture (Dallas Seminary free online course)

 

Heartfelt Prayer & Worship

Practices:
Go on a prayer walk around your community, praying for your neighbours as you walk
Buy a prayer journal and begin writing out your prayers to God
Download the “PrayerMate” app and create different prayer lists for different groups in your life
Download the songs we sing from Summit Church on Spotify, and listen and sing along
Take a half day retreat with God, and spend the time in prayer and worship

Books:
Our God is Awesome (Tony Evans)
A Praying Life (Paul Miller)
Praying the Bible (Donald Whitney)
The Air I Breathe (Louie Giglio)
Counterfeit Gods (Tim Keller)

RightNow Media:
Prayer (Francis Chan)
The Real God (Chip Ingram)
Attributes of God (Steven Lawson)
The Name (JD Greear)

Curriculum:
Praying with Power (small group study from John Ortberg)
Before Amen (DVD based small group study from Max Lucado)
Prayer (small study from Life Guide)
Bold I Approach (small group study on prayer from Matthias Media)

 

Healthy Relationships

Practices:
Join a group or begin a mentoring pair with someone
Invite someone you don’t know very well to your home for a meal and get to know them
Plan to greet someone new at church each week
Spend some time in prayer for someone who hurt you recently
Write a letter of encouragement to someone in your life with about specific things you see in their life
Go out for a coffee with your spouse or a friend, just to spend time together

Books:
How Church Can Change Your Life (Josh Moody)
Stop Dating the Church (Joshua Harris)
Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them (John Ortberg)
Dropping Your Guard (Chuck Swindoll)
Single, Dating, Engaged, Married (Ben Stuart)
The Meaning of Marriage (Tim Keller)
7 Secrets to an Awesome Marriage (Kim Kimberling)

RightNow Media:
Community – Starting Well (Andy Stanley)
Spiritual Simplicity (Chip Ingram)
Overcoming Emotions (Chip Ingram)
Love, Sex and Dating (Andy Stanley)
You and Me Forever (Francis and Lisa Chan)
A Life Long Love (Gary Thomas)

Curriculum:
Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them (DVD based small group study from John Ortberg)
New Identity (small group study from Interactions)
Community (small group study from Interactions)

 

Natural Evangelism

Practices:
Write out your story of coming to faith and practise sharing it with a Christian friend
Begin a personal prayer list of unsaved friends who need Jesus
Invite a non-Christian friend or colleague for a meal, just to get to know them better
Attend a class or course on sharing your faith
Start a 1-1-1 prayer where you pray for one person at one o’clock for one minute

Books:
Organic Outreach for Ordinary People (Kevin Harney)
God Space (Doug Pollock)
The Case for Faith (Lee Strobel)
The Reason for God (Tim Keller)

RightNow Media:
Go Fish (Andy Stanley)
Explore (Robert Lewis)
Bold (Phil Stacey)
NUA (Jonny Somerville)
Why I Believe (Chip Ingram)
Jesus Among Other Gods (Ravi Zacharias)

Curriculum:
God Space (DVD based small group study from Doug Pollock)
No Plan B (DVD based small group study from Todd Phillips)
Reimagining Evangelism (DVD based small group study from Richardson)
The Reason for God (DVD based small group study from Tim Keller)
Reaching Out (small group study from Interactions)

 

Humble Service

Practices:
Set a goal of doing one small act of kindness or service every day
Send someone a text or a note when you notice them do an act of service
Pull some friends together and plan a service project for someone in need in your community
Buy a toilet brush and place it somewhere at home or work as a reminder about being a servant
Plan to commit one act of service every week in your workplace

Books:strong>
The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness (Tim Keller)

Improving your Serve (Chuck Swindoll)
Humility (CJ Mahaney)
Humilitas (John Dickson)
Generous Justice (Tim Keller)

RightNow Media:
Thriving in Babylon (Larry Osborne)
7 Pillars (WorkMatters)
Work as Worship (JD Greear)

 

Joyful Generosity

Practices:
Put together a budget to help manage your spending, saving and giving
Prayerfully look at your giving in the last months, and think about how to increase it a little
Do one simple act of generosity this week, as small as buying someone a cup of coffee
Sell something that you longer need and give the money away
Prayerfully brainstorm a list of things that you are grateful to God for, and spend time thanking Him

Books:
The Treasure Principle (Randy Alcorn)
Managing God's Money (Randy Alcorn)
Beyond Greed (Brian Rosner)
Business For the Glory of God (Wayne Grudem)
Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger (Ron Sider)

RightNow Media:
The Treasure Principle (Randy Alcorn)
Genius of Generosity (Chip Ingram)
How to Be Rich (Andy Stanley)
Finding Freedom In Your Finances (Pete Briscoe)

Curriculum:
Cash Values (small group study on money from Matthias Media)
The Secret of Contentment (magazine with discussion guide from Matthias Media)

For more information, or to assist you to put together your own plan, download the Summit Journey Guide Book. You can also watch our recent sermon series on Summit Journey.

Download Summit Journey Guide Book  Watch Sermon Series  Take Summit Journey Assessment