Summit Church Update for Return to Worshiping Together Indoors (Summarized from the above video)
Our tentative plan is to resume indoor worship together on Sunday, September 13 at 10:00 am. We use the word ‘tentative’ in the spirit of James 4:13-15.
What will that look like?
Currently, we don’t plan to have any special guidelines for arriving and parking. But when you enter the building we will be using what we call “Restaurant Rules”:
- Wear a mask and practice social distancing in common areas.
- Follow the seating guidelines that will be communicated ahead of time and posted for the worship center.
- When you get to your seat in the worship center, it is your choice to leave your mask on or take it off.
What about kids’ ministry?
We will not have separate activities for kids. All families will worship together for the entire service. This is primarily because the number of volunteers in that ministry is so large that it is challenging to plan ahead amidst uncertainty.
A few encouragements along with this plan:
- This is a great opportunity to teach our children about worship in a new way.
- We will have plenty of space in the worship center and common areas to spread out if you need to move around.
- We will find ways to be deliberate about using corporate worship to teach and minister to little hearts and minds.
What about safety?
Based on what we know, meeting indoors is not without risk. As we make decisions, our objective is not to avoid all risk, but to do what is possible to mitigate that risk while continuing the mission that God has given Summit Church: to glorify God by making disciples who exalt Jesus Christ.
If you are in a vulnerable population — or if you are not feeling well — we would ask that you stay home and use our livestream at https://www.summitwestolive.org/live. Remember that the measure of your faith is a heart that seeks after God and obeys Him, not perfect attendance for worship services! And if you are well, we would ask that you join us for our current outdoor services and on September 13. Our intention in providing the livestream is to care for those in our body who cannot come together, not to add a convenient option to stay home.
How should we be thinking about the authorities that God has placed in our lives?
Summit Church is part of the community of West Michigan, and we play a part in caring for that community, physically and spiritually. We want to continue doing our part to stick with the plan that government agencies outlined from the beginning: let’s make sure the systems that care for people’s health and well-being are not overwhelmed.
Presently, the government in Michigan accommodates religious assembly, so we do not see this decision as dishonoring our government. Above all else, our decisions during this time have been and will continue to be founded on the Word of God, which includes passages like Romans 13, Titus 3, and 1 Peter 2.
How do we handle differing convictions about authority, humility, faith, safety, etc?
Different churches are free to make different decisions. At Summit Church, our decisions have been and will continue to be made by a unified plurality of leaders focused on honoring God by seeking the full counsel of His Word.
In terms of individual beliefs and convictions, our desire for our body is to apply the same pattern. Whatever your convictions, they must be founded on God’s Word, which includes the exhortation to live and communicate in ways that will “honor one another above yourselves”.
How is God guiding the leaders of Summit Church?
Since the outset of these circumstances early this year, the leaders have met collectively over 30 times to pray, plan, and discuss the life and ministry of Summit Church. Fortunately, we’ve been focusing on more than coronavirus!
God has taught us — and continues to teach us — much more than we could fit in one paragraph. But remember this: our citizenship in heaven takes priority over our citizenship here on earth, and it carries greater promises. God deliberately tests His people to see if their hearts and lives are for Him, and He is with them amidst the testing. When we face trials, we must look to Jesus, stick together, and stay focused on our mission to glorify God by making disciples who exalt Jesus Christ.
YOU ARE LOVED!