Serving to Make the Invisible Visible

Jan 20, 2017

“I just want to say thanks for your help with the backpack that is really helpful for us. I hope God bless [sic] you for everything you’re doing, and gives you the chance for keep helping to us [sic]… Remember, ‘with God, all things are possible.’”

This note was written to our church by a Riverside High School student, one of more than 2,000 students at 24 Triangle schools and organizations who received a backpack from the Summit’s backpack drive last August.

In addition to being filled with much-needed school supplies, each backpack included information on getting connected with a mentor from GoMentor, a nonprofit organization launched by a Summit ministry team that has a vision to see every student connected to the opportunities they need in order to thrive.

While donating a backpack filled with notebooks and pencils may seem like a small way to serve, the fruit produced from giving these backpacks is evidence that God multiplies even the smallest acts of faithful service.

“Many of these students receiving backpacks are under-resourced students who have been abandoned or hurt in some way,” said Matt Mig, the Summit’s pastor of community development and outreach.  “When life experience says otherwise, receiving this backpack is a small way of telling these students that they’re loved and cared for.”

As the Summit’s pastor J.D. Greear likes to say, the local church is “the paint that makes the invisible Christ visible to our community.”

Most of the students participating in GoMentor are facing difficult situations at home and at school that can lead to dropping out of school, going to prison, or becoming homeless. Mentoring and tutoring students is an incredible opportunity to build relationships and to demonstrate and communicate the hope we have in Christ. These mentor relationships are not just welcomed in the public schools; they’re requested by many school leaders.

“There’s value in not overlooking the things we’re asked to do,” Mig said. “As a result of our church answering a need for these schools with our backpack donations and mentoring programs, they’re now requesting more help from us, including one school’s principal asking for us to pray over their students during testing. By serving in small ways, these schools know we’re committed to helping them, and that opens doors for more opportunities to serve and share the gospel either indirectly or directly with students and teachers at the schools.”

Since 2005, the Summit has dedicated a full week each year to pray for our city, serve our partners, and tackle big projects that need a large number of volunteers. But you don’t have to wait for the next ServeRDU to get involved in an area that has so much need.

If you’re interested in serving, visit

By Abbey Temple