J.D. Greear, lead pastor of Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, has been noted for taking a 300-member church and growing the congregation to more than 9,000, making it one of the 100 fastest-growing churches in the U.S. So perhaps Greear can afford to say that pastors should stop their obsession with “gathering and counting” and instead get excited about the possible impact of “raising up and sending out” their members.
But what the North Carolina pastor suggests is not exactly revolutionary, as he points to the nearly 2,000-year-old command of Jesus for his believers to “go and make disciples of all nations,” the basis of what Christians call the Great Commission, found in Matthew 28:16-20.
Another passage Greear points to is John 14:12.
“One of Jesus’ promises, He said that greater works would we do than even He did. Think about that? How can any one person do a work that is greater than Jesus’ work? He didn’t mean that we would preach greater sermons, that we would pray with greater insight, or see greater miracles,” Greear said in an interview with The Christian Post.
“What He meant was when the Spirit of God was distributed on all the members of the Body of Christ, the collective impact of that they had in the world would be greater than if the Spirit stayed centralized on just one person, even [if] that one person was Jesus Himself. So he says when I send the Spirit onto the whole Church, it will be greater.”
But Greear did not always see things that way. The Southern Baptist leader and former Middle East missionary reveals in his latest book, Gaining By Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches that Send, that God had to challenge him personally before he saw the light.