Many people become disillusioned with the Christian life in part because they fail to see anything meaningful or compelling beyond the regular Sunday morning check-up. But if Sunday is all the deeper you go, or all you know about Jesus, no wonder boredom sets in and other interests take over. Truth is, real Christianity is an all-consuming adventure, filled with wild, heart-thumping surprises (1 Cor 2:9), trails that challenge the most seasoned climbers (Ja 1:2-4) and the constant threat from cagey predators (1 Pt 5:8). Say what you like, Christianity may be many things, but boring isn’t one of them!

So why the disconnect? Well in some ways Christianity is like the sea. Standing on the shore, the sea appears beautiful, tranquil and mysterious on a massive scale, but it is also deep and dangerous for those who get in over their heads. So most people prefer to stand on the shore, where we can safely observe it, yet remain safe and detached, experiencing a mere fraction of the life and power raging below. What most people lack is an appreciation of what lies beyond Sunday morning, beyond what they can control. The Summit is an invitation to step into the wild, uncontrollable world of Jesus.

The Summit is a simple metaphor for our journey deep into the Kingdom of God. I chose this mountain climbing narrative because it illustrates quite well how as you progress, your perspective will begin to change, your vision will become clearer and far-reaching, and you will develop new skills that make you resilient and courageous.  But make no mistake, the journey will not be easy or without risk and you cannot get there on Sunday mornings alone. God will always meet you where you are, just not where you pretend to be. So the first step is often the hardest.

“Jesus promised his disciples three things - that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy and in constant danger.” -G. K. Chesterton

Eternal God, You are calling me to a journey the end of which I cannot see, upon paths as yet untrod, deep into the heart of mountains that are higher and wilder than I know. Though doubts fill my mind, still my heart leaps at the thought of it. I long for this adventure because I know I was made for more. So here I am, take my hand, guide my steps and lead me into the wild unknown. Amen.


PLANNER (Ephesians 4:18)


A Planner is always looking for the next big thing, next purchase, next promotion. Busyness is a substitute for feeling important, needed and valued. Spiritual life is put on the back burner for now.


Assessment: What has greater value, prosperity and security or kindness and humility?


Next Steps: (1) Create a Life Plan (2) Fill Out a Connection Card (3) Spend some quiet time

ATTENDER (James 1:8, Isaiah 29:13)

Life is a string of habits, routines and an insatiable appetite for novelty. Spiritual life is left to fills in the gaps and dines on the leftovers. Over time it becomes a passive, silent, malnourished hobby.


Assessment: What has greater value, attendance and personal fulfillment, or compassion and courage? If you don’t attend church this week, would anyone notice? Are you more of a hit-and-miss or a count-on-me member of a church?

Next Steps: (1) Attend Worship Regularly (2) Attend a Next Steps Class, (3) Begin to Give Regularly (4) Complete Stage I on RightNow Media

TRAVELLER (2 Cor 5:17)

Life’s purpose and meaning is radically redefined by Jesus. Spiritual life is energized, emotional and fully engaged.  Turning toward the Summit reveals there’s far more to life, far more to me, then I realized! I’m learning that I like who I am when I’m with Jesus.

Assessment: Are you feasting on the Word and Worship regularly, or nursing on milk and candy daily? Are you more likely to be hiding in the shadows hoping not to be noticed, or stepping out and taking bold risks?


Next Steps: (1) Attend a Bible Class (2) Volunteer on a Ministry Team, (3) Move toward a tithe (4) Work through a Network (5) Complete Stage II on RightNow Media

Connections: Surround yourself with three types of people to: The INSPIRED, the EXCITED, and the GRATEFUL.


TREKKERS (Isaiah 58:10)

Life is a daily adventure with Jesus. Spiritual life expands from Sunday to everyday, from the safety of a church pew to challenge of the office boardroom. Trekkers are challenged by the hard, messy work of serving and leading. Trekkers realize the need for constant training for what lies ahead and the support of a committed team when weather turns bad.

Assessment: How well are you connected, committed and contributing to a soul care group? Would you describe your spiritual life as bold and brave (a risk taker), or shallow and stale (a consumer)? 


Next Steps: (1) Regular Soul Care (2) Ministry Team Leader, (3) Stewardship (4) Create a Rule of Life Plan (5) Attend an Emmaus Weekend, (6) Complete Stage III on RightNow Media


Connections: Surround yourself with three types of people to: The INSPIRED, the EXCITED, and the GRATEFUL.


An then it all comes together… one day you wake up and you’re in this place of utter contentment. You may be in the midst of a raging storm, but you’ve been here before and your heart is calm. You’re in this place where everything feels right. You’re made peace with where you’ve been, what you’ve been through and where you’re headed. You stand with an unimpeded view of God. 

Trailblazers are outspoken advocates for the Summit and regularly lead others to find their path. Their comfort and even their own life, is secondary to fulfilling God's purpose to guiding others.


Assessment: Who are you currently mentoring?  What risks are you taking to intentionally engage others in the spiritual life of Jesus?


Next Steps: (1) Attend a Gospel Academy (2) Volunteer on a Ministry Team, (3) Move toward a tithe (4) Create a Rule of Life Plan (5) Complete Stage IV on RightNow Media

Ephesians 4:18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 

James 1:6-8 “the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”

Isaiah 29:13 The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.”

2 Corinthians  5:17 “if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

Isaiah 58:10 “and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”

Jeremiah 29:11-14 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity

Philippians 1:20-23 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;


As you begin, I wish you an adventurous life filled wonders and amazing moments that take your breath away, among friends who see the best in you, full of challenges that scare you and strengthen you.  But above all, I pray for a soul in love with God, patient with others and at peace with itself.