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Episode #045

We begin our series of SBC presidential candidate interviews with J.D. Greear and discuss this week’s celebration of 125 years of ministry at LifeWay Christian Resources.

News Recap:

This week’s podcast is sponsored by Southeastern Seminary’s new 81-hour M.Div. The 81-hour M.Div. is specifically designed to better equip students to take the gospel to their neighbors and the nations. For more information, visit

An Interview with J.D. Greear (Starts at 16:28)

J.D. Greear is the pastor of The Summit Church, in Raleigh-Durham, NC and author of Gaining by Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches That Send (2015), Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary (2011), Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You Are Saved (2013), and Jesus, Continued…: Why the Spirit Inside You Is Better Than Jesus Beside You (2014). Two main things characterize The Summit Church: its gospel focus and sending culture. The gospel is not merely the diving board off of which we jump into the pool of Christianity, it’s also the pool itself. Joy, reckless generosity, and audacious faith all come by learning more about God’s extravagant love found in Christ.

God has blessed The Summit Church with tremendous growth. Under J.D.’s leadership, the Summit has grown from a plateaued church of 300 to one of nearly 10,000, making it one of Outreach magazine’s “top 25 fastest-growing churches in America” for many years running.

J.D. has also led the Summit to further the kingdom of God by pursuing a bold vision to plant one thousand new churches by the year 2050. In the last ten years, the church has sent out more than 650 people to live on church planting teams, both domestically and internationally. J.D. completed his Ph.D. in Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where he is also a faculty member, writing on the correlations between early church presentations of the gospel and Islamic theology. having lived and served with the SBC’s International Mission Board among Muslims, he has a burden to see them, as well as every nation on earth, come to know and love the salvation of God in Christ.

He and his wife Veronica live in Raleigh and are raising four ridiculously cute kids: Kharis, Alethia, Ryah, and Adon.

The Summit Church

  • Under the leadership of Pastor J.D., average weekly attendance at The Summit Church has grown from 350 in 2002 to just under 10,000 in 2016.
  • The Summit Church has sent out 149 people through IMB; 75% of those are located in 10/40 window.
    Over last 5 years,The Summit Church has planted 25 domestic churches in partnership with NAMB, all Southern Baptist (including 5 that we recruited to SBC). Of those churches, 15 have been sent out of the RDU congregation along with 325 church members.
  • This year, The Summit Church will plant 7 more churches—all in SEND cities.
  • The Summit Church baptized 928 people in 2014, according the ACP data.
  • Nearly 20% of the attendees in English-speaking services at The Summit Church are non-anglo, a dramatic increase from 5 years ago.
  • Half of the campus pastors at The Summit Church are non-anglo.
  • More than 100 of members have moved into lower-income neighborhoods as part of The Summit Church’s DWELL initiative to evangelize and plant churches in under-resourced communities.

This Week in SBC History

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