Dear summit Family,

Every living thing has times of transition. These are good and vital moments but must be handled carefully. The next season of growth and development always depends on what happens during these times. Over the last few years, I have increasingly felt from God that the time was nearing for a transition of my role at The Summit. After 50 years of ministry, I can pretty well sense these moments. It is always accompanied in me by a growing clarity from God and confirmation from the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and the people of God. I have also felt a growing sense that it is time for other great leaders to take on increasing roles of leadership so The Summit can move forward to even greater heights.

In that light, after discussion with Holly and much prayer, I initiated a conversation with our Elder Personnel team after The Summit’s 20th anniversary last November, followed by a discussion with our whole Directional Elder team at our annual retreat in January. We began to seek the Lord to give us direction on what these new leadership roles at The Summit would look like and we are amazed at what God has orchestrated!

First of all, I will not be leaving The Summit! In September we will begin a year of transition and co-leadership involving several of our key leaders. In the fall of 2020, I will move into a fresh role as the Founding and National Engage Pastor. I am very, very excited about this role in terms of our 20/20 Vision.

My role for the last 20 years has been to give directional leadership to The Summit as a whole and also serve as Lead Pastor for our Little Rock location. I am thrilled to announce that after our year of transition, Kyle Reno will become the Directional Pastor of The Summit Church, BJ Stricklin will become the Lead Pastor of our Little Rock location, Jonathan Burgin will become the Lead Pastor of our Conway location, and Zac Reno will continue to be the Lead Pastor of our Saline County location. All of these transitions will gradually take place throughout this next year. Inside this letter, you will find much more detail as to what this next year and the years to come will look like at The Summit Church.

Our Directional Elders could not be more excited about each of the men who are moving into new roles for the next chapter of The Summit. I have seen this coming for a while and believe in these men and their giftings so deeply. I honestly think they will take The Summit to new places at each location, and expanding locations, that we have never been. For Holly and me, the last 20 years of me serving as Senior Teaching and Directional Pastor have been the greatest of our lives. My prayer is that God would use my new role to help expand the ministry of The Summit to our state and nation, for His glory!

The future is filled with vision and opportunity. God has given us the scope of our 20/20 Vision: To spiritually influence every county in Arkansas, plant 100 churches in North America, and impact 100 countries of the world through prayer, planting, and partnering over the next 20 years. Now He is putting the leadership in place to accomplish this dream as we all serve Him together!

By His grace,

A TIME OF TRANSITION

FOR 20 YEARS, Bill’s role at The Summit has been two-fold: to give directional and visionary leadership to The Summit and to pastor The Summit Church Little Rock. As we have grown and expanded into multiple locations, it has become increasingly harder for one person to do both of these things. For this reason, Bill’s role will be divided into two parts.

In September of 2020, Kyle Reno will assume the role of the Directional Pastor of The Summit Church, giving leadership to The Summit as a whole. Throughout 2019 there will be a year of transition where Bill and Kyle will co-lead in this role. Our Directional Elders will continue to lead us, just as they always have, and Kyle will serve within that team in the same way that Bill has.
Kyle will also oversee our Lead Team which consists of the Lead Pastors of each location as well as our Central Team which has increasingly grown to serve all of our locations. Because of Kyle’s initial, founding leadership in Conway, he will continue to provide leadership there alongside Jonathan Burgin and preach there regularly. He will also begin preaching in Little Rock more frequently.
As The Summit has grown and now has three locations, the Elders see the need for someone to serve solely as the Lead Pastor of each location giving a focused day to day leadership to what God is doing in each Summit location. The Elders unanimously feel that God has called BJ Stricklin to fill this role in Little Rock and Jonathan Burgin to fill this role in Conway. Both of these men have a strong sense of calling to these new positions as well as a growing vision for the future.

Both BJ and Jonathan will also have a year of transition and shared responsibilities with Bill and Kyle as everyone moves into their new roles. By His grace, God is continuing to give us a great team!

Hear from
the Elliff's & Reno's

Lead Team
Roundtable

A New Role


AS FOUNDING & NATIONAL ENGAGE PASTOR, BILL WILL BE LEADING OUT TO ACCOMPLISH TWO OF OUR GOALS IN OUR 20/20 VISION: “To spiritually influence every county in Arkansas and plant 100 churches in North America…through prayer, planting, and partnering over the next 20 years!” 

He will lead our Summit Send Church Planting Residency, as well as develop a SummitSEND Network of churches across America. This will be comprised of our Residency church plants, other churches we’re supporting in the US, and also any churches that want to join. Its mission is to be an outreach of The Summit Church to give significant help to new church plants and also assist existing churches to presence-centered health and growth. Bill will also oversee the development of our “every county” initiatives across our state. Our plan is for each Summit location to be involved with an Arkansas county every year through  prayer, partnering, or planting. Bill will continue writing, teaching, and leading across our state and anywhere nationally that God gives him the opportunity. He will also continue to preach at The Summit Church in the coming years.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: When will this transition begin?
A: This September 2019, we will start our year of transition marked by co-leadership in several areas. The following Fall of 2020, each man will assume his new role fully.

Q: Did the Elders initiate this with Bill?
A: No. After much prayer and sensing it was time, Bill initiated this transition conversation and plan  with our Elders last year.

Q: Will The Summit still function in the same way?
A: Yes! The Summit is committed to a plurality of Elders and has operated that way for 20 years, and will continue to do so! Our Directional Elder team will still lead the church. Kyle Reno will fulfill the role of the Directional Pastor within that team, just as Bill has done in the past.

Q: Will Bill still be here?
A: Yes! Bill will continue to play a vital role at The Summit. It will be shifting, however, to oversee our state and national initiatives. He will still be preaching in Little Rock and our other locations, but less than he has in the past. He will still be on the Directional Elder team but wants to take a leave of absence for several months in the Fall of 2020 to give Kyle a chance to establish his leadership with our Elders.

Q: How do the Elders & Staff feel about these transitions?
A: They couldn’t be more excited, and see this as a very healthy, natural transition and a great plan for the future multiplication and growth of The Summit.

Q: Do all these men feel a sense of call to their new positions?
A: Each man has a strong sense of calling to their new position and is filled with a growing vision for the future!

Q: Will the Summit change?
A: Our mission, core values, and philosophy of ministry will remain exactly the same, by God’s grace. Our Elders have a deep conviction to develop a praying, Presence- Centered church, filled with the life of God and committed to developing “multiplying communities of fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ,” just as we have been doing for 20+ years. One of our deepest commitments at The Summit has always been the flexibility to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Spirit-led change is, gladly, in our DNA. Our prayer is, that we will grow and reach more and more people for Christ, which always calls for the changing of the “wineskins” (methods and structures) of ministry along the way, but only as God directs. Through prayer and the illumination of God’s Word and a plurality of godly leaders, we will seek to follow Him fully!