Home > Uncategorized > The narrow road // SENT

The narrow road // SENT

Guest Blogger
Curtis Alan, Pastor of Church Planting at the Summit

I suspect we’ve all had those “ah ha” moments – where confusion and chaos in our lives suddenly becomes clarity…when suddenly the light bulb goes off and it all makes sense. I’m no exception, although up until about a couple of years ago, those moments had been reserved for those infrequent times when Algebra suddenly clicked…or when I finally realized how to use the copier at work.

About 4 years ago, I was on a late-night flight back from the West Coast when I had such a moment. My life was in absolute turmoil – God was doing something in my life and I was struggling to sort it all out.

At the time I was literally “living the dream.” I was a director at one of the top companies in America and was compensated handsomely. I lived in a dream home, drove a nice new car, my kids were in the best schools in the state, and we spent our family vacations in Europe. Our lives were in a nice, tidy, and comfortable box.

However, about a month earlier, I had returned from an absolutely unexpected experience. I had spent six incredible weeks volunteering in an area devastated by the 2004 tsunami. There I used my business and management skills to develop projects to re-develop communities there…and plant churches in a vehemently Muslim context. Before leaving, I was asked if I’d return with my family to continue the work. I admit that I had laughed the idea off with an arrogant “you don’t know who I am and what I have”.

But, after returning home, I was a wreck. My heart was burdened by what I had experienced. I couldn’t stop thinking about what I had seen God doing in this place. suddenly all the pieces didn’t fit in my nice tidy box anymore. After much prayer with my wife, we had concluded that God was leading us to go…to sell what we had, leave the “box,” and move our family to the Third World to help plant churches. It made no sense, in many ways it was terrifying, but I couldn’t shake the call.

So there I was on the red-eye back from the West Coast. I had flown out for a series of meetings that were intended to merge the division I led with another business unit. I had wanted this change for years, lobbied my vice president for it countless times. It would mean more money, more responsibility, more prestige…and more things in the box.
As I sat in the seat headed home on the darkened plane, I read Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship. I came upon some comments that he wrote on Matthew 7: 13-14  (“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”). His insight caught me right between the eyes.
But if we behold going on before step by step, we shall not go astray. But if we worry about the dangers that beset us, if we gaze at the road instead of at Jesus Christ who goes before, we are already straying from the path. For He is himself the way,the narrow way and the straight gate. He, and He alone, is our journey’s end. When we know that, we are able to proceed along the narrow way through the straight gate of the cross, and on to eternal life, and the very narrowness of the road will increase our certainty. The way which the Son of God trod on earth, and the way which we too must tread as citizens of two worlds on the razor edge between this world and the kingdom of heaven, could hardly be a broad way. The narrow way is bound to be right.
He’s right, of course, absolutely right. I had a choice – walk down the broad road that the world understood and rewarded or follow the narrow road towards Him, in His presence.

The Gospel  demands a response. It starts with a decision whether or not to accept and follow and it continues with a submission to go. Not all of us are called to the other side of the world. However, the  road to the lost co-worker in the next office or the broken neighborhood downtown is just as narrow. Whether to another zip code or to another time zone, we’ve all been sent.
At the Summit, this compels us to plant gospel-centered churches and we believe that everyone plays a part. Whether it’s joining a church plant, being part of a small group that plants new groups in new communities, or supporting through prayer and short-term trips, we can all love our world by  churches. That’s why we want everyone to be a part of our annual missions celebration called SENT. If you call the Summit home, this is a night you won’t want to miss. So mark your calendars for Friday, Oct 23rd – you can find out more at http://www.summitrdu.com/sent <http://www.summitwestclub.com/www.summitrdu.com/sent&gt; .

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