Lee’s Summit Social Services

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Harlan Harper, the director of Summit Students, has taken groups to Lee’s Summit Social Services for nearly four years to help LSSS and serve the community. Through the years, Harlan and the students have created friendship with Matt Sanning, the manager of LSSS.


But wait, what is LSSS?
Lee’s Summit Social Services is an organization that meets the needs of the Lee’s Summit community. They give food to families, school supplies, Christmas presents and Thanksgiving meals for those during the holidays. LSSS provides clothes, access to a social worker and gives support during challenging times.

Serving at LSSS is an easy entry point for any age, it’s a great opportunity for growth groups, families or even as an individual. There is a lot of work to do: help in the pantry, work in the Thrift Store or work in the off-site garden.

“We volunteer through the year and I think our students have come to see the variety of things that’s done by LSSS. They get to see first hand what families will receive. It has allowed them to step up in their missions service in our community and be challenged personally,” Harlan commented, “I encourage everyone to get involved because you’re benefiting your own community; you don’t have to travel far to make a difference. It allows you the opportunity to serve as a family or with a group of friends.”

The people of LSSS are remarkable people with very caring hearts and we are so grateful to be partnered with them!

UPCOMING
This Monday, August 29 from 6:30pm-8pm, The Summit will be serving at LSSS and everyone’s invited, so sign up here! Come join Pastor Jim as we serve with our mission partner!

Superstitious or Faithful?

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This is a recap blog from this past weekend’s sermon, Superstitious, given by Senior Pastor Jim Preisig. Watch the whole sermon here.

There seems to be confusion between living superstitiously and living in faith, and living superstitiously is not the way.

Definition of . . .

Superstition: When you think you can change the course of life by some routine/thing.

Faith: Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance in what we do not see… Hebrews 11:1

1 Timothy 4:6-7 (NIV)

Luke 13:1-9 (MSG)

Who is the gardener that Luke talks about? It has to be Jesus. He’s the one who stands as our advocate to God. Jesus wants to stretch your faith, and you have to know that growing in faith is not for the faint of heart.

When you live in faith, you will still suffer. Christians aren’t exempt from the pain of life; suffering is a part of it. Suffering is not a betrayal by God because He is right there with us through the pain.

And when we grieve, we don’t grieve as others. We still grieve but not the same because we have the hope of eternal life. This hope turns grief into gratitude. It assures you that you are never alone.

It’s a decision you make when you live by faith. When you trust in God’s wisdom for your life, you are daring to live by faith.

It’s a choice every day; choose faith!

Free Fallin’

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This blog is a recap from last weekend’s sermon, Free Fallin’ – message given by Senior Pastor, Jim Preisig. Click here to watch the full sermon.

Our society seems to glamorize celebrities, who are often so into themselves. It’s true, isn’t it? And we have to ask, how does this affect our culture?

In a world that is in a free fall into self, where can we find the grounding that allows us to stand for something other than ourselves?

Free fallin is dangerous. And when you free fall, it does three things:

 It makes you arrogant.

It makes you angry.

It makes you apathetic. 

It’s easy to skip over this, but to grow we need to do the hard stuff.
We have to take scripture, and God, seriously. 

Below are some verses that tell a hard message.

Philippians 2:3 (NIV) 

Philippians 3:7 (NIV)

Luke 9:24 (NIV)

Luke 9:24 (MSG) 

 Did you notice the Biblical counter-culture message?

Again, ask yourself: Is there any free fall in your life? Any measure of arrogance? Any place full of anger? Any evidence of apathy? Is there any measure of any of that in you? 

Even if there is, remember this: God offers a counter-culture choice. 
Instead of free fallin‘, you can do the opposite: you can soar!

Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV)

Know that your heart will always be a work in progress. Give yourself the same grace God gives. Don’t get comfortable; live counter-culturally. Why?
Because Christ intends for you to soar.

Don’t Stop Believing…


Sermon recap from this past weekend given by Lead Pastor, Jim Preisig watch full sermon here.

Have there been times in your life that you are tempted to stop believing? That you’ve grown doubtful? You’ve been disappointed? God’s even disappointed you… hasn’t He? During those times – we can’t let ourselves stop believing.

But then, how do we cope with the hard times?

To make the choice to not stop believing; the way to do that is found in the Bible. How to keep the faith and live life with meaning…

2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NIV)

2 Timothy 4:6-8 (MSG)

The key elements in this scripture:

– Pour your life out to God.

– Fight the good fight.
Ask yourself – are there fights worth fighting for? Like your marriage? Your children? Your friendships? Your purpose? As believers, we can’t be passive. If you are going to live a life worth purpose – there are things worth fighting for.

– Keep the faith.
You can’t trust your feelings – feelings vary, they change all the time. But God is the rock that never moves. There are times in your life that you are tempted to stop believing… But you can’t put all your trust in things, in people, in finite things – you can put all your trust in your faith, in God. Keep the faith.

– Finish strong.
It’s not how you start – it’s how you finish. How will you finish as a spouse? As a friend? As a parent? As an employee? As a child? Remember this race of life isn’t a sprint… it’s a marathon.

So don’t stop believing –
pour your life out to God,
fight the good fight,
keep the faith
& finish the race.

Living for Likes?

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(Sermon recap, July 30-31 weekend – preached by Lead Pastor Jim Preisig, watch sermon here)

Let’s read through Romans 12:1-4 in two different translations. You can click on the link below to see the passages.

Romans 12:1-4 New Revised Standard Version

Did you read it? Now read through the Message’s version.

Romans 12:1-4 The Message

The passage shares three ideas:

Being transformed…
When you are living a transformed life, there are noticeable differences in you than in the world around you. If you’re chasing after what the world says, you’re not actually chasing after true life. God intends to stretch your mind, your heart, your spirit. He wants you to see the incredible opportunity for life, real life! Letting God transform you is a huge step because then you are choosing to set aside what the world says; you are choosing to listen to Christ. If you dare to put God first, you allow Him to transform you.

Being a living sacrifice…
Your life, it’s going to be messy but it’s going to be magnificent. When we think of being a living sacrifice, our thought is ‘No, not me…’ but pay attention – Jesus has always said following Him is costly. When you seek what the world says brings happiness; you’ll find yourself walking away empty. But when you choose to be a living sacrifice you come to see that putting God first fills you with purpose.

Being one body in Christ…
“We who are many, are one body in Christ.” There can be only one head of the church and that’s Jesus. He is the head of the body. When the church is acting as one, we are lifting everyone around up – we are thinking of others first – we are working in unison, in our different parts using our different gifts and as a result… we are working as one. When we choose to be transformed by Jesus, when we choose to be a living sacrifice – we are one body in Christ.

You can spend your entire life liking to be liked or you can choose to live for Christ.

Beware there is only one way that leads to life.

We All Like To Be Liked

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(Sermon Recap July 23-24 weekend – Given by Lead Associate Pastor Ryan Schreckenghaust)

The big phenomenon that’s taken over our world today… social media.
But the temptation with social media… we can present ourselves in any way we’d like online. We can get people to like us based on what we post, we have control over others perception of us – when in reality, it might not really be who we are.

And this kind of technology is dangerous to the soul.

We’re always telling teenagers to not give into peer pressure, not follow the crowd but shouldn’t we, as adults, continue to live by this?

The Bible tells us about two different men that relate to this with two different outcomes.

The first man is from the Old Testament; Absalom. Absalom pretended to be more powerful than he really was because he was defined by the need to be liked by others. And he thought by at least making the perception of power – everyone would like him. But Absalom pretending to be something he wasn’t eventually resulted in lives lost.

Pretending to be someone you’re not usually doesn’t turn out well.

The second man is from the New Testament; Paul. He didn’t care what others thought of him – he knew the pitfall of pleasing others. He knew he couldn’t serve both people and God at the same time. He knew he had to make a choice – because sometimes, God is calling us to something different than what others might think.
Paul believed this and lived it. He knew he was living for something greater than himself.

As we go into our everyday lives, battling between pleasing others and pleasing God – remember these three truths:

  • God is great – You don’t have to be in control.
  • God is good – You don’t have to fear others.
  • God is gracious – You don’t have to prove yourself.

When we live these truths out, we aren’t focused on being liked by others – but focused on getting closer to Jesus.

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

 

 

Next Generation

“They aren’t just kids – they are future leaders.”

The next generation is rising in our church.

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And we have a responsibility.

To help guide, encourage, support and love them.

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We may not realize it – but they are watching us.

They see how we talk about others, they way we enjoy life, how we treat each other in the community at church and most importantly, how we love Jesus.

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Above are all photos taken from Vacation Bible School (July 11th-14th) and our High School Mission Team this past week (July 17th-22nd).

We are so proud of our leaders and the next generation rising. We are praying for you; your growth, your leadership and mostly, your relationship with Jesus.

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Proverbs 22:6
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

#SummitChurchStories: Angie

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When you think of church, what is the first thing that comes to mind? A building?
But what if church is not actually a building?
What if church is actually the very people in the building?
People like you and me.
And with people, come stories… all different kind of stories.

Meet Angie, one of the people who makes up this great church we call The Summit:

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“I came to the Summit after an invite from a longtime friend whom had been attending for about a year. She couldn’t say enough great things about this place. I was like, why not, it would give me an opportunity to reconnect with my dear friend on a regular basis and get back into the Word.

Each Sunday, I came in, hummed a few songs, received the message, hummed a few more songs, had some prayer time, and then headed out the back door greeted by Pastor Jim’s friendly smile and farewell handshake. Each week my cup was being filled, I was surrounded by friendly people, and I heard great sermons. Life was good and I was content.

This routine carried on for well over a year, and then something started to stir inside me. I wasn’t sure what was causing it; I just knew something was different and I had to figure out why. Eventually, I started to realize that being content wasn’t enough, I wanted more…

Not long after this realization, I ran into an acquaintance from work as I was leaving church one Sunday. We chatted a few minutes and something was mentioned about small groups. I told her I was reluctant to join a group because I really didn’t know many people in the church and I’m not really one that likes to ‘join’ things (I’m more of the reserved type that likes to worship quietly and leave unnoticed). Well, the next thing I knew, she invited me into her small group and wouldn’t take no for an answer.   I was very apprehensive, but I figured I would put my toe in and see what the water was like, if I didn’t like it I would politely decline the next invitation.

We were a group of twelve and we met weekly on Wednesday’s. We had dinner, watched videos and discussed the messages contained in the study guide. It was a little awkward at first discussing God’s word with a group of strangers, but as time went on, we all became more comfortable and leaned into the experience. After two or three study series we were all cutting up and having a good time joking around with each other. This small group experience was great, who knew?

Our group met weekly for about a year when the group leader asked if we would be interested in taking on a new challenge. She thought we, as a group, were ready to embark on the Follower’s Made series. However, this decision came with one caveat; the group as we knew it would disband after the series ended. I was distraught. No longer had I considered the other eleven people strangers, they were my friends and I didn’t want to leave them. We eventually got over our sorrows and agreed we would take on the new endeavor together.

Although I hadn’t been ‘long’ in my walk with the Lord, I did think I had a solid belief and I considered myself a ‘follower’ of Jesus Christ. Well, that was my thought ‘before’ reading the first book in the Follower’s Made series called ‘Not a Fan’ by Kyle Idleman. After reading this book, and doing some self-reflection, I realized that I couldn’t be further from the truth. I was a ‘fan’. This book got me all fired up. I didn’t want to just simply ‘call’ myself a Christian; I wanted others to ‘see’ that I was a Christian. The Follower’s Made program helped me get closer in meeting that goal.

One of the lessons from the Follower’s Made study was to find our spiritual gifts and put them into action. Okay, this totally freaked me. I had no idea what a spiritual gift was, let alone try and find one that I could put into action. I had many long conversations with God asking Him to reveal my spiritual gifts. Deep down, I had an idea what He wanted me to do, but I kept trying to convince Him otherwise. There was absolutely no way I was going to put myself out there and lead a group of any sort. No way, no how, never!

Well, two small groups and one Follower’s Made group later, guess who ended up with the Leadership spiritual gift. You guessed it!

Trust me; this discovery didn’t go down without a long and fierce battle. I fought Him tooth and nail, trying to convince God that He really wanted me to use my other gifts – faith, administration, helping, encouragement. Turns out, those gifts come in handy while leading others on a quest to find their own spiritual gifts.”
Angie Ackerman

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Praying for Dallas

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I woke early this morning and grabbed my iPad to catch up on the news. Last evening we had stayed up to watch an old Errol Flynn movie, Captain Blood. It was a delightful, distracting swashbuckling romp; afterwards we skipped the news and went to bed. So I was stunned this morning by the news stories out of Dallas.

Having read the accounts of the sniper executions of police officers, even watching some of the raw video footage, I recoiled in horror. It may sound crazy in our culture today, but my first impulse was to turn to the scriptures to try to make some measure of sense out of what is an absolutely senseless, horrifying tragedy.

I’m rereading the Gospel of Matthew for my personal devotions, and having left off yesterday at the end of Matthew 9, my digital Bible opened to Matthew 10:1.

“Jesus called his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits so that they could cast them out and heal every kind of disease and sickness.”

 Reading the words it struck me that we live in a time where sickness of the heart and disease of the mind has reached epidemic proportions. And where is God in the midst of all of it? As always, sending His disciples out to be the ones to “heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers and cast out demons.” (Matthew 10:8) 

So how do we respond?

First, as always, pray. When we pray the world is changed; first within and then without. Pray.

Pray for the families grieving the death of the officers in Dallas. May they know God’s comfort. But please remember, prayer is intended by God to be the first step, never the one and only step.

Second, we must refuse to embrace the hatred that is cheapening human life and transforming our culture. We now routinely demonize political opponents, which is precisely the way to dehumanize them, even to the extent that violence becomes the natural recourse. We must refuse to hate. We have chosen to follow the Prince of Peace and that precludes the option of hating others. Christ died specifically for those whose behavior is reprehensible. We must love them, but never ignore their behavior.

Third, we must act to stop the violence. Christ cautioned his followers to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”  (Matthew 10:16) That means that we must actively engage with the culture, calling into question the unchallenged assumptions and horrific results. Evil triumphs when good people remain silent. The truth is that ALL lives matter to God. And we must speak on behalf of our God and hold one another accountable whenever those lives are demeaned or destroyed.

Christ didn’t just send disciples out into the world then; Christ sends disciples out into the world now.

Please – reread Matthew chapter 10 yourself to see what God is saying to you.

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Nicaragua Reflections

We feel a little different on the flight home from Nicaragua. We aren’t the same people we were a week ago. But really, how could we be? 

Whether it was our first time on this trip, or the 5th time, each of our experiences were unique and each of our experiences were life changing in some way. You see, we didn’t just build houses here… 

Last week we built eternal relationships with our Nica families, we saw poverty & joy intertwined in the same moment, we sat with & bought bracelets from 10 year old girls to support them from staying out of prostitution (at 10 years old!), we witnessed drug-addicted young men receive a second chance at life through a God-assigned ministry & its leaders, we led VBS for the kids in the community center in the village, we helped feed children who lived in “the dump,” we visited terminally ill patients at the hospital, we assisted the medical team in poor neighborhoods, we danced & cried at the special needs orphanage… 

No, it wasn’t JUST about building houses. We loved & received MORE love in return. How that is possible? We aren’t sure. But we do know it can’t stop there. 

This week we were challenged to find “glowing” moments. Glowing as in reflecting God’s glory, glowing moments, like the glow of Moses’ face after he spent time in God’s presence. And now, our challenge in coming back home: How will these glowing moments change the way we live back home? 

No…we don’t want this to be a one-week thing…we want this to be a life-long thing. We, as a group, want to thank ALL of the support, donations & prayers – we couldn’t have done it without you. And praise be to God for allowing us to be His hands and feet in Nicaragua. 

During our sharing time last night, one of the team members summarized this past week best: “I’ve never experienced being so broken and so filled at the same time.” 

So let us have more experiences where we are so broken and so filled…that the glowing we reflect is only credit to Gods glory.”