Plant 1000 churches in our generation… Jesus commissioned his disciples to take the gospel to the world. They did so by planting churches. This wasn’t by chance – it was God’s plan, and his plan hasn’t changed. God’s strategy for fulfilling the Great Commission is planting churches. By planting (& replanting) churches around the world we will see the gospel advance beyond our wildest dreams.
By training leaders. Just like then, God uses called and competent men to lead his church. Our goal is to play a part in developing and equipping those kind of leaders. Through training, coaching, support, and funding, we aim to equip pastors to steward their gifts to plant healthy, thriving churches.
Gospel. The gospel changes everything. The gospel is not simply the means by which we are converted – it is the message by which we are transformed. So we seek to make the gospel, and Jesus himself, the center of all we do. The gospel is the foundation that shapes and drives our theology and our practice. (1 John 4:19; John 15:3-5)
Balance. The greatest truths are often found in tension. We are all prone to create false dichotomies, to think in terms of “either-or.” But what the Bible often calls us to is “both-and.” We believe depth and width, evangelism in word and deed, and missional and attractional ministry, are not opposites to choose from but tensions to embrace. (John 20:21; 1 Cor 14:16-23; 1 Pet 2:4-9; John 1:14)
Multiplication. The Great Commission is accomplished through multiplication. Jesus chose to change the world by preaching to many while investing more in a few. By multiplying disciples, leaders, and churches, we’ll see the gospel advance beyond our wildest dreams. So we’re committed to planting churches that will plant churches in strategic cities and among unreached peoples around the world. (Matt 28:18-20; Matt 25:14-30; Rom 15:20; 2 Tim 2:2)
For Church Planters
For Existing Churches
Mike has served for the last 9 years as the Pastor of Church Planting and Leadership Development at The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC. During that time, the Summit has planted 30 churches in the U.S. and launched the Summit Network. Mike received his M.S. from the University of Texas in Biology (really using that degree) and spent time as a missionary in Taiwan before earning his M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston, MA. Mike met his wife Jamie on a mission trip to Southeast Asia (great first date spot) and they were married in 2011; Mike and Jamie have two daughters: Madelyn & Amelia. Mike directs the vision and strategy of Summit Network, and serves as the primary instructor of the Church Planting Residency.
Josh serves on the Church Planting staff at The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC, and has been part of the Summit Network since its launch in 2013. Josh received his B.A. from Hampden-Sydney College double-majoring in Religion and History. After graduation, Josh spent 2 years on the coaching staff of the Hampden-Sydney College football team before relocating to RDU to pursue his M.Div. at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Josh met his wife Meredith in Farmville, VA (yes, it’s a real place) while they both served as volunteer leaders in a high school ministry. Josh and Meredith were married in 2011 and have two children: a son named James and a daughter named Annie. Josh oversees the assessment of prospective planters.
What makes the Summit Network different from other networks?
Check out our distinctives on the About page. Also see below for why we decided to start a network in the first place.
How do I become a Summit Network planter?
All the information you need is found on the Plant page.
How do we become a Summit Network partner?
You can find everything you need on the Join page.
What is the doctrinal statement for the Summit Network?
A description of our doctrinal convictions can be found on the About page.
There are so many networks already out there. Why start another one?
We’ve found that the multiplication of local churches is most effective when they share a common DNA. Broader networks specialize in being able to take on larger initiatives. But within those broad networks, we need tight networks of churches that can partner together more closely for the sake of multiplication. Assessment, training, and coaching are often more effective in these networks because of their shared identity.
The Summit Network exists to be a tight network. We are not trying to replace the important roles that broader networks play. All of our churches participate in broader networks. Rather, we are a group of churches that work closely together around a common identity and vision.
Why call it the Summit Network?
First, we felt like naming ourselves the Summit Network was consistent with the DNA of the kind of churches we want to build and plant. We considered several other names, but none was as simple as just calling ourselves the Summit Network. Second, the Summit Church in RDU will serve as the primary, initial hub for the network. Third, there is actually more than one church in the network named the Summit.
We believe God’s strategy for fulfilling the Great Commission is planting churches. Church planting is the most effective strategy for seeing lives and communities transformed by the gospel. We also believe that almost everything rises and falls on leadership. Our Church Planting Residency is designed to prepare planters to best steward their gifts to have their maximum impact through church planting.
Residency is a full-time, 9-month training experience at a Summit Network or partnering church. We view residency as one-part finishing school, one-part church planting incubator with Gospel DNA. From the beginning, God has called and competent leaders to build his church. Our residency is designed to invest in those kind of leaders to help them succeed.
Residents begin with the vision of a plant. Over 9 months, we share with them everything we’ve learned about planting a healthy, thriving church. We help them develop their vision, build a strong team, raise the resources they need, and develop the strategies and systems of a gospel-centered church. We help them clarify what kind of church God has called them to plant in their city and how to make that dream a reality.
Typically, we take 5-7 residents a year. Residents gather twice a month for training and coaching with seasoned pastors and planters. Our churches help them recruit, sending not only financial resources but people.
Residency begins August 1st and ends April 30th. We begin considering candidates in October of the prior year and begin making decisions in March.
Inquiry → Assessment → Approval → Residency
To inquire, fill out our Church Planter Interest Form and someone from our staff will follow up with you.
When Jesus commissioned his disciples, he revealed the key for reaching the world is found in sending. The million-dollar question is: How? How do you become a sending church?
Whether you’re planting for the first time or want to become a better sending church, you’re invited to join us for a church planting workshop. Workshops are day-long interactive equipping sessions hosted at the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C. Participants receive an in-depth look at the philosophy and strategy of planting gospel-centered churches with the goal of starting or improving their own church-planting strategy.
We tailor our workshops to meet the needs of participating churches.
Please email Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
“A solid 10 out of 10. The content was perfect and the size of the workshop allowed us to talk through individual situations that were helpful to the group as a whole.” Chad Cossiboom, Shades Mtn. Baptist Church (Birmingham, AL)
Boone, NC – Appalachian State University
Located at 3,000 feet above sea level it’s hard to imagine Boone reaching new heights. But as the town attracts national attention for its growing university, its bluegrass culture, and its breathtaking landscape, Boone is doing just that. Over the last decade, Appalachian State University has expanded while retirees from across the U.S. have flocked to Boone, making the town one of the fastest growing in America, but since 2000 there has been a 4% decline in Evangelical Christians; “The Heart of the High-Country” needs to be reborn.
Cullowhee, NC – Western Carolina University
Home to more than 9,500 university students, the Cullowhee Region of NC is dramatically nestled between the Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Known for its breath taking landscape and the ever expanding Western Carolina University, the Cullowhee Region has seen a 21% growth in population over the last decade. As the region continues to attract thousands of college students from all over the world there is a great need for vibrant gospel-centered churches.
Charlottesville, VA – University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA is one of the nation’s most historic cities and is home to one of the nation’s most prestigious public universities. Bright college students are attracted by UVA’s excellent academic reputation while “Cville’s” wine and beer tours, hiking, art scene and world-class entertainment attract residents & visitors from around the region. God is at work in several churches in Charlottesville but more labors are needed, only about 1 in 10 Cville residents are involved with an evangelical church.
Athens, GA – University of Georgia
You probably know about UGA’s reputation for athletic prowess and campus life. But you might not know that Athens has become a hub for research, small business launches and is one of the fastest growing towns in GA. There is massive potential in Athens to plant a church that reaches both residents & reaches, disciples and sends college students out on mission across North America and the world.
Known for its world-class beaches and up-tempo night life, Miami has become a magnate for sports icons, retirees, and international immigrants alike. Dubbed the “Capital of Latin America,” and with 59% of its population born outside of the U.S., Miami is a city full of diversity. As the nations flow into Miami there is a great need for gospel-centered and multi-ethnic churches; it is estimated that more than 4.5 million Miami residents do not know the love of Christ.
New York City, NY
As the most populated and globally-connected city in the United States, there’s no place like the Big Apple. As the nation’s financial, commercial, and cultural capital it’s difficult to fully express the national and global influence that New York exerts. With nearly eight-hundred different languages spoken by New York City residents, the nations have come to NYC. But “The City that Never Sleeps” needs a gospel-awakening—only four out of every one-hundred New Yorkers know the love of Christ. Simply put, New York City is one of the most strategic and least reached cities in the World.
Las Vegas, NV
You’ve probably heard of Vegas’ luxury casinos & mind-blowing shows, but you may not know that the city’s low cost of living, growing job market & 310 days of annual sunshine have made it one of the fastest growing metroplexes in the country. The city is in many ways “Pre-Christian”, its characterized by the shocking realities of a culture unengaged by the gospel & the opportunity to reach thousands who have never heard of Christ. When the pleasures of sin fail there is a powerful opportunity for the gospel to redeem.
“Gospel” is a common word in Detroit, it refers to the music that used to radiate from the city but many of the church buildings that housed the country’s greatest Gospel singers now sit empty. Economic hardship & spiritual decline have left a mark on Detroit but Motor City is showing signs of new life. A revitalization movement is underway as thousands of young professionals have moved into Detroit’s downtown as the city’s economy is once again growing. The residents of Detroit & thousands of Arab citizens living in nearby Dearborn, MI need the gospel to once again radiate from Motor City.
Famous for cheese steaks, fine art, and top-notch education, Philadelphia is a beautiful city with a rich cultural history. Home to numerous national monuments and more public art than any other city in the U.S., Philly is a culture lover’s dream. In the eyes of the world Philadelphia is booming, but spiritually, Philadelphia is dying—only six out of every one-hundred Philadelphians consider themselves evangelical Christians. Ironically, most of those living in the “City of Brotherly Love” don’t know the love of Jesus Christ.
San Francisco, CA
Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge leads into one of the most beautiful, creative, and influential cities in the U.S. Known for its rich culture of art and music, artists and young professional are flocking to San Fran. “The City by the Bay” is the second most densely populated city in the US and yet its proximity to Silicon Valley, the world’s center of technological innovation, and its robust economy continues to draw new residents from all over the world. Known internationally as a center of alternative lifestyles and liberal activism, San Francisco needs gospel-centered churches. Only 4% of San Francisco residents know Christ as Lord.
New York, NY
Fort Lee, NJ
Los Angeles, CA
We want to help like-minded churches grow and plant churches. We’re not a network that plants churches, but churches planting churches. At the same time, there are advantages that come when a group of like-minded churches that share a similar DNA and theological vision partner together. By offering shared assessment, training, coaching, and funding, we can help local churches identify, develop and send church planters.
Inquiry → Compatibility Assessment → Approval → Coaching
To inquire, tell us a little bit about your church by completing our partner interest form and someone from our staff will follow up with you.
J.D. Greear, Pastor
Bryan Barley, Pastor
Brandon Shields, Pastor
Dante Randolph, Pastor
Andrew Hopper, Pastor
Brad O’Brien, Pastor
Ben Tugwell, Pastor
Trea Brinson, Pastor
Trevor Atwood, Pastor
Matt Hahn, Pastor
John Murphy, Pastor
Mark Hallock, Pastor
Dan Freng, Pastor
John McGowan, Pastor
Ethan Welch, Pastor
Lawrence Yoo, Pastor
Spence Shelton, Pastor
Chase Gardner, Pastor
Louis Tamburro, Pastor
Los Angeles, CA
D.A. Horton, Pastor
Kyle Mercer, Pastor
Chip Robinson, Pastor
Ryan McCammack, Pastor
Corbin Hobbs, Pastor
Rocky Mount, NC
Dayton Hartman, Pastor
Louis (@lotamburro) became an atheist in college, a Christian in 2001, a pastor in 2005, and is now seeking to plant a gospel-centered church in East Orlando. He and his wife Andrea have three children: Noah (6), Caleb (4), and Tenley (3). Louis considers himself just a name that is trying to point people to an even greater name, Jesus.
Kyle (@kylewmercer) has served as the Director of College Ministry at FBC Durham for the last 3 years. Before that he was on staff with Campus Outreach for 5 years at UNC-Greensboro. He and his wife Margy have two children, Addison (3) and William (1). The Mercers are excited to plant their family and a gospel-centered church, in Winston-Salem.
D.A. (@da_horton) is a national speaker and writer who previously served as the National Coordinator for Urban Student Missions at the North American Mission Board, the Executive Director of ReachLife Ministries, and as an urban church planter, pastor, and lead teaching elder in Kansas City, MO for almost 6 years. He and his wife of 12 years Elicia have 2 daughters, Izabelle and Lola, and one son, D.A. Jr. (aka Duce).
Will (@will_mcgee) served on staff at the Summit 5 years ago and most recently served as a college pastor in Alabama where he led that ministry from 10 students to 400. He and his wife Rebekah have 2 children, Israel Biruk (4) and Edith Joy (2). The McGees are now living in Brooklyn where they are thrilled to be a part of what God is doing in NYC.
Corbin (@corbinhobbs) and his wife Allie recently moved to Denver from Louisville, KY to plant The Heights Community Church. For the past 3 years, Corbin has been pursuing a degree from Southern Seminary while serving at Sojourn Community Church. The Hobbs are excited to see God made famous as His gospel takes root in their city.
Chip (@ChipRobinson74) has served First Baptist Church in Mt. Pleasant, SC for 6 years, including the last 3 as Associate Pastor. Prior to that Chip spent 6 years in the restaurant business. He and his wife Kristen have 3 daughters, Berkeley (15), Avery (11), and Emory (10). The Robinsons are excited to follow God’s call to plant a new church in Charleston, SC.
Ryan (@RyanMcCammack) has served as the preaching pastor at Gospel Life Church in Joliet, IL for the last 11 years. He and his wife, Tricia, have 7 children (Ian, Calvin, Sydney, Geneva, Paton, Selah, Felicity). Over the last several months, the Lord has led the McCammacks to plant a church on Atlanta’s east side.
Invest in the mission to plant 1000 churches.
Your contributions will go to equipping future Summit Network planters.
To donate online, use our online giving form. Enter the amount you would like to contribute under Other and under Explain, enter “Summit Network.” You may also setup recurring donations via this form.
To contribute by check, make your check payable to “The Summit Network” and send it to us at:
The Summit Network
2335-114 Presidential Dr
Durham, NC 27703