You Lead, I’ll Follow
The following was written by Summit Partner Dana Bates…
When my husband and I heard about the Second Stories initiative, we were overjoyed! As in jumping up and down, posting the news all over Facebook, telling anyone and everyone who would listen, excited! We knew God had heard our (and many others’) prayers! Why are we so excited about this initiative? Well, for a couple of reasons. For one, the 33rd St. Jail campus—that’s just purely biblical…a ministry close to the heart of Christ. I am SO proud to be a part of a church family that doesn’t back down, that isn’t afraid to think outside the box, that does the hard things, for the purpose of expanding the kingdom of God!
The second reason we’re about to jump out of our socks with excitement? Because we LIVE in North Orlando, and drive 35 minutes each way to church on Sundays. On weeknights, with rush hour, that drive turns into at least a 45 minute drive….which discourages us from being more involved during the week. But to have a campus right in our backyard, so to speak? Where we can build community with others who live nearby, AND invite our neighbors, without having to apologize for I-4 and its headaches? Praise God!
This past December, before Christmas, God had been preparing our hearts to give, before we even knew what changes were about to occur at Summit. We have 4 children ages 1-8, so most of the month of December I was consumed with shopping and preparing for the big day, December 25th. As I wrapped up shopping for the kids, I had this restlessness in my heart. This dissatisfaction with the ‘Americanized Christmas’, as we know it. The gluttony. The overindulgence of material possessions. At this point, we had finished shopping for everyone else and only had to buy gifts for each other. And after 13 years of marriage, we’d long since abandoned Christmas surprises! If I want something specific for Christmas (and let’s be honest, I always do!), I take no chances. I leave the catalog ON my husbands desk with the item number circled! Such was the case this Christmas. And through some savvy Black Friday shopping and couponing, we had gone several hundred dollars under budget on the rest of our list. We planned to spend that money on each other. But there again was that looming restlessness. That unshakable feeling that God had something more in mind for that money, something of eternal value. And who’s birthday is December 25th, anyway?! ‘Okay Lord, you have my attention’, I resolved. ‘You lead, I’ll follow’.
That next Sunday in church, Isaac shared with the congregation Summit’s vision for the 33rd St. campus. And as if a light bulb switched on in a darkened room, I KNEW what God was telling me to do with the rest of our Christmas budget. I leaned over to my husband in the middle of the sermon, and said, ‘We’re supposed to give our Christmas money to this. All of it. I don’t want presents, I want to be part of this.’ And my husband replied, ‘Okay. Let’s do it!’.
And we did. And we will continue to do so. There is no better feeling in life, than the fruit that comes from obedience! Peace….contentment…..no regrets!
If you would like to be part of the team that forms the North Orlando campus, please join us for a 20-minute interest meeting at Herndon this Sunday after service. On Sunday, March 4th, there will be interest meetings after service at Waterford.