A big day for Summit Church

26 07 2009

Tomorrow morning at Summit Church we will be announcing where our next church plant will be beginning this fall.  I’m very excited about the chance to plant another campus!  The Elders have been praying and researching areas around the Upstate for several months.  Our plan is to gather another core group and begin loving on the new cirlce of accountability this fall.

After seeing God take 5 families and turn them into over 200 people living on mission with Him over the past 22 months, I’m pumped about what is next for Summit Church.  And not only are we planting a new church we are moving our current church one mile down the road to a new building this fall.  Busy times but good times.  Thanks for praying for us!


It’s A Girl!!!!!

28 09 2008

Well we are adding to the Malone family! We went this past week to the doctor and found out that we are having another girl due sometime at the beginning of February! As you can imagine we are thrilled and so excited to meet the new addition. I can’t wait to see how different and sames Caroline and our new little one will be!

Jen has been feeling great! I will keep you updated on everything as we move forward….

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings

19 09 2008

The past two weeks have been crazy!  It seems that I’ve been spending everyday, all day in meetings.  Not boring “staff” type meetings but meeting and talking with other pastors and church planters from around the Upstate.  Here is some info on some of the guys I’ve been talking with…

David, Greg, Josh, Brian:  These guys are from 3 churches that are pretty close to Summit.  They have commited to meeting and praying every month with us to see what God would have our 4 churches do every month to put the Gospel on display in our circle of accountability.  I’m very thankful for each of these guys and their passion to partner to reach our area!

Reggie:  He is a pastor of a church down in the Atlanta area and he and his team are going through our Renovation Center that meets monthly over at Summit.  This guy has a great heart and is commited to his people living on mission!

Walt:  He is a church planter that is in the process of launching a new church in Fountian Inn.  We talked this week and it was great to hear his grace story and what God has done to bring him and his family to this area.  I was excited because we’ve already been meeting with 4 or 5 pastors from Fountian Inn that are defining and reaching their Circle of Accountability!

Stephen:  He is going to be planting a church in Ashville and we met this past week to talk about next steps.  Stephen seems to have a real heart for discipleship and people growing their frienship with Jesus.  Ashville is a great area to plant.  We’ve been praying and hoping that God would give us somebody from that area that would take responsibility for the geography that God has placed them in.

Matt:  He is coming to plant up in the Greenville area from Clemson.  I’ve really loved getting the chance to know Matt and to hear why he is planting a church.  He is passionte and excited and he is leader.  I like that.  We spent time talking this week and driving around looking at the city adn thinking through a location that might work for his plant.  I’m looking forward to seeing what God does with him and their church!

Paul and Tom:  They are apart of Executive Ministries.  They were a great encouragment to my heart.  We ate BBQ yesterday and I used a Cheerwine BBQ sauce…it was awesome.  These men talked with me about how to partner churches with business men that have the same passion of reaching their Circle of Accountability!  This sounds like a phenominal idea and I pumped to see how it might play out!

Steve:  He is planting a Brazilian Church here in Greenville.  We met and talked and prayed together today.  It was refreshing to hear his take on the church and his passion to Portuguse speaking people have a place to worship and study and be encouraged to live on mission with God. I hope we can come along side them adn encourage them and support them in some way.

Phil and Geoff:  These guys planted a church about 4 years ago here in Greenville.  They meet in a business park like us and they meet over off of Pleasantburg Drive.  We ate ate at the new Copper River Grill today…very good and then had the chance to tour their space they use on Sundays.  It was very nice!  I like these guys a lot.  They have the same mission as us at Summit.  They are a little older and wiser than us and that is always good to be around and learn from.  I’m excited to see how God continues to use them!

So that has been my past two weeks of meeting with Pastors and Church Planters.  It does not include all the meetings that I have had with our staff and with people in our congregation or the fact that I’ve been trying to find time to study for my messages.  I often have people ask me what I do all day as a “pastor”….I meet.

Anger, Love and College Football

7 09 2008

I love college football season!  I just love it.  And I do love the Gamecocks.  I look forward to the season starting and read all the pre-season hype.  I love the countdown ticker on the USC website.  I look at the schedule and see who they should beat and who they will probably lose to.  I’m the eternal optimist when it comes to Gamecock Football.  This will be the year that they win the SEC.  But most years since I fell in love with them, they disappoint me and hurt me and make me angry!  SO ANGRY!

This past Thursday, perfect example!  They lost to Vanderbilt.  That’s right, Vanderbilt.  And get this, it’s not the first time…they lost to them last year too.  They made stupid mistakes and lost.  I was angry.  This may be part of transformation that still needs to take place in my life.  Surly Jesus didn’t get angry when his team lost.  I don’t mind losing to a better team but losing because you made stupid mistakes…totally uncalled for.

As mad as I was on Friday, I find myself today, Sunday ready for next week and our game against Georgia, the #2 team in the country.  I love the Gamecocks!  They’ve taught be how to be a good loser and they’ve taught me that life is full of disappointments.  They’ve taught me not to get my hopes up to much and to savor the Carquest Bowl….when it comes to the Gamecocks, I’m full of anger and love.

Prediction:  USC wins 20-17…(eternal optimist)

C S Lewis

28 08 2008

I spent the first part of this week in Columbia meeting with other pastors from the Infinity Alliance.  I love those guys and their heart for taking the Gospel to 302 million Americans.  On a macro level it was quite overwhelming to look at all that needs to take place in the years to come and at the same time we understand that the re-evangelism of America will not be realized in our life time.

But on a micro level it was encouraging to return to Greenville on Tuesday night and meet with 5 Pastors from 5 different churches in Fountain Inn.  These guys get it!  They are meeting and praying together and even having their congregations worship together as they cast vision for every man, woman and child to have the repeated opportunity to see and hear the Gospel without them coming or going anywhere!  Lets just take responsiblity for our geography and get after it!

The past few days I’ve been thinking about some of Jesus’ “harder” statements like these:

Those who lose their life will find it

If you want to follow me, deny yourself and take up your cross and follow me.

Whoever loves his mother or father more than me is not worthy of me.

Here is a quote from CS Lewis that has really had me thinking about the state of Christians in America:

The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self- all your wishes and precautions- to Christ.  But it is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead.  For what we are trying to do is to remain what we call “ourselves”, to keep personal happiness as your great aim in life and yet at the same time be “good”.

WOW….this is it for so many Christ-followers.  Many of us try to keep ourselves as the main thing and just be “good” and we judge how things are going with us spiritually on how “good” we are being instead of asking am I constantly surrendering all of me to Christ.  We have churches full of people that are trying to be “happy” and not only that they would say this is what God wants above everything, their personal happiness, and then after they make sure they are happy they try to be “good” for God.

What we value most becomes our foundation for life.  Are we valuing our “happiness” and trying to be “good” for God or do we value Him and Him alone and in doing so actually find true life?

Everybody Loves John

25 08 2008

Today was an encouraging day at Summit as we re-caped the entire Gospel of John.  We’ve been studying through John’s Gospel for a while and it was so great to see the story of redemption play out in John’s words.  God really is on a mission of redeeming people to Himself and that is so beautifully captured in the life, death, resurrection and words of Jesus. Our people shared what God has been teaching them as we have gone through John and that was so encouraging and challenging.

I am currently sitting in a hotel room in Columbia, SC watching the closing ceremonies of the Olympics (that is some serious money they spent) getting ready for some meetings with the other guys with The Infinity Alliance (www.theinfinityalliance.com) I’m excited to meet with them and hear about what God is doing around our country in other churches where the mission is every man, woman and child with the repeated opportunity to see and hear the Gospel without them coming or going anywhere!

Be on mission today!

Where have I been?

20 08 2008

Great question!  I went on vacation last week to North Myrtle Beach with my family.  That would include my wife and daughter, mom and dad, brother and sister-in-law and two nephews as well as my sister and little six month old niece.  That’s right, eleven people in one condo and we called it vacation.  It was a great time of being with family and eating good food and watching the Olympics.  I did not get a lot of sleep but I did get some great time with those that I love the most.

I played golf and read and went swimming with my daughter.  Didn’t really feel like blogging while on vacation but I’m back and look forward to sharing some thoughts on a new book I’m reading called The One True Thing by Howard Baker.  I’m really loving it!  I’ll also be talking some about Leadership in the Church as we start a new series at Summit Church called Alone at the Top. Talk to you soon…