This is the third post in a 9 part series on frequently asked questions about Summit’s counseling ministry. The 9 questions in this series are:

  1. What is the difference between meeting with a Summit campus pastor and a member of the counseling team?
  2. What is the relationship between Bridgehaven and Summit?
  3. What are the differences between a Summit small group and a G4 group? (This Post)
  4. How do I know if Bridgehaven or the graduate program is a better fit for me?
  5. How would the counseling provided by a formal pastoral counselor compare to a licensed counselor?
  6. How do I know if my life struggle merits counseling?
  7. What can I do to place myself in the best position to benefit from counseling?
  8. How do I find a good match in a counselor for my needs?
  9. How do I find a good counselor in [name of city]?

Let’s start with the question, “What does a Summit small group look like?

A small group usually consists of 7 to 15 Summit members who meet on a regular basis in someone’s home to study and discuss the Bible, pray for one another, care for one another, and do ministry together. These groups meet all across the Triangle on various nights of the week.

We can use this description to begin to draw some distinctions.

  • G4 groups meet in one location and on one night; the Blue Ridge campus on Monday nights.
  • G4 groups meet for a more narrow purpose, to address a particular life dominating struggle or major life transition (life of active groups here).
  • G4 groups are a place to get life back in order more than “do ministry together.”

This is because a Summit small group focuses on general discipleship – the overall spiritual maturity of a group of believers who are facing a variety of challenges and opportunities – while G4 focuses on particular discipleship – setting aside a season of life to overcome a particular life-dominating challenge with people facing a similar challenge.

G4 is a ministry that provides a peer-support setting for individuals to invest several months overcoming a life dominating struggle… for the purpose of fruitfully enjoying life and ministry as part of a general small group.

“G” is for Gospel-Centered Groups: Often recovery or support groups are criticized for centering an individual’s identity in their struggle. We want to provide the benefits of peer support, subject-specific groups while emphasizing that our identity is not found in an issue, but in an individual – the person of Christ.

“4” designates that four types of groups are provided:

  1. Recovery – Groups helping individuals recover from addictions or other life dominating struggles. Examples: addiction, anger
  2. Support – Groups for those needing encouragement and support during a period of suffering or major life transition. Examples: grief, divorce recovery
  3. Therapeutic Educational – Groups providing education to navigate specific life issues. Examples: blended family principles, parenting an addict
  4. Process – Groups for those needing help processing problematic emotions or traumatic experiences. Examples: depression, trauma

To see the list of the current group topics visit

So, which is for you?

  • If you are looking for a group of people to do life with as you grow in general discipleship and find ways to reach your community, a Summit small group is the place for you.
  • If you feel like a life challenge is preventing you from engaging relationships authentically or are part of a Summit small group and need more intensive care in a particular area, then a G4 group would be an excellent fit.

G4 Overview from The Summit Church on Vimeo.