Church planting is no stroll in the park. As many church planters will attest, there are long hours, late nights, lots of stress, and constant prayer. However, some of the greatest assets to a team who is uprooting their lives and moving to another city are the godly men and women who have gone before them.
Mercy Hill Church has been blessed to glean from two church plants in particular that have gone out from The Summit Church in just the past year. The first – Summit Church Denver – was planted by lead pastor Bryan Barley and his team in Denver, Colorado. A few months later Trevor Atwood and his team planted City Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee – just outside of Nashville. As part of the one thousand churches that The Summit Church in Durham aims to plant over the next forty years, we are honored to serve alongside these men and women who have boldly followed the call of God to take the gospel to cities in need.
We want to give you a glimpse at what God has been doing through both Bryan and Trevor along with their respective teams in just a few short months.
Bryan and nine other team members began meeting in the living room of the Barley home just over a year ago. Bryan shared this vision with his team: “I believed the Summit Denver was a movement of God, and how we desired to continue His work in the city of Denver.” Since that day Summit Church Denver has seen their attendance increase to 80 plus during their weekly gatherings. As a result, they have already had to move locations twice – settling into their new location on January 1st of 2012.
Along with the incredible jump in attendance, they have had 47 people join as covenant members – committing to be missionaries to the city of Denver. They have established a solid small groups ministry with five different “city groups” spread out over the city. Already they have gained the reputation in the city as a church that exists to bless the city and the surrounding neighborhoods. And, by the end of this month, they plan on baptizing five more people and adding 15 more covenant members.
Several thousand miles east, Trevor Atwood has seen God work in similar ways. After just a few short months of being in Murfreesboro, Trevor shared this great insight: “Planters shouldn’t expend all their energy quickly looking for immediate results, but get into a steady pace moving toward a mission, and expect results to come over time.” And as they have settled in, God has wasted no time using them to bless their city.
Since moving at the end of July God has grown their weekly attendance to 70 plus with a total covenant membership of 53. They have baptized six people and seen four people accept Jesus and commit to living their lives on mission for him. At the close of last year, Boro City Church brought in $8,600 to be specifically set aside in order to bless Murfreesboro and the surrounding area.
Watching these two teams submit to the will of God and live intentionally in their respective cities has provided invaluable lessons for us at Mercy Hill Church. Both Bryan and Trevor have been open and honest about their successes and even more so about their failures. This candidness has allowed us as a church to work through issues before even arriving in Greensboro. From the leadership and the team of Mercy Hill Church – we are grateful and immensely thankful for Summit Church Denver and City Church and look forward to how God will continue to use them to spread His good news.