#10 – a book written by an author with initials in their name

100 in 2016

Gaining by losingGaining by Losing by J. D. Greear

During my junior year of college NC State, I began to hear of a church in Durham. Many of my friends were driving over to be a part of the congregation. The church was called Summit Church and was being pastored by J. D. Greear. I was familiar with J. D. Greear because he had spoken at summer camps that I had been to and he had spoken at Campus Crusade for Christ at NC State multiple times.

I never made it over to the church then, but I have not stopped hearing about the church since. The Summit Church was a replant of Homestead Heights Baptist Church in Durham, and has become one of the largest churches in North Carolina.

This book is a kind of manifesto about planting churches. Greear argues that every church should be a sending church because God is a sending God. Jesus was sent by God “to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). and in return Jesus has passed this mission on to his followers saying, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21). Jesus gives his followers a mission when he says to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20). 

Greear’s writing is enjoyable to read, and his personality is evident on the pages. He is open and transparent about his struggles and about the journey that has brought him and Summit Church to the point of sending people out from the church to plant other churches.

When God’s people faithfully go and proclaim the gospel to new places, lives will be changed, people will repent and be saved. New disciples must be taught to obey everything Jesus had commanded, and new disciples need to be sent out. Greear’s book lays out how his church has developed into a church that sends and plants. The way Summit Church plants churches will not be a one-sized fits all approach for you and for your church, because there is no such thing. But, Greear’s book should cause you to think deeply and seriously about how you are going as a church and about how you are going as an individual.

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