We are Thankful for you

We are Thankful for you

We want to take this season of gratitude around the Thanksgiving holiday to express our love for everyone who makes up the Upstream family. We are thankful for the way each of you join together as a collective of ‘sent ones’ to help push the conversation of mission ‘upstream.’ Today’s post is a simple thank you from our Executive Director, Larry McCrary! Happy Thanksgiving.

Working Together to Mobilize Well

Working Together to Mobilize Well

We are passionate about seeing local churches fulfill their God-given role in reaching the nations. Through experience of coaching hundreds of churches across the United States, we have found that outside help is often critical in generating an honest assessment of a church’s current mission reality, bringing focus, implementing needed changes and engaging the entire church congregation in a compelling vision. Today’s post offers some common benefits of ‘getting help’ in developing a sending culture in your church & how we can do this together.

Cultivating Missionary Skills | The How of Mapping Part Two

Cultivating Missionary Skills | The How of Mapping Part Two

Ministry requires more than knowing the names and locations of streets and highways in your city. Observations need to be made in multiple dimensions. The first step in developing a map is to plot physical locations in and around a city— beginning with the 5 elements of a city: paths, nodes, districts, edges, and landmarks. Today’s post gives tangible help in discovering the last 3 elements.

Cultivating Missionary Skills | The How of Mapping

Cultivating Missionary Skills | The How of Mapping

Ministry requires more than knowing the names and locations of streets and highways in your city. Observations need to be made in multiple dimensions. The first step in developing a map is to plot physical locations in and around a city— beginning with the 5 elements of a city: paths, nodes, districts, edges, and landmarks. Today’s post gives tangible help in discovering these first two elements and how to begin thinking strategically about them.

Gains & Losses in Missionary Care

Gains & Losses in Missionary Care

Upstream exists to help churches send locally & globally. We’re constantly asking how we can develop resources to help. The Upstream Podcast is one aspect of our regular rhythms to have a conversation together about healthy & effective sending. In this epsiode, Larry & Susan provide join Brad to chat about what it means to send & be sent and the many gains and losses that come along with it.

Cultivating Missionary Skills | Mapping

Cultivating Missionary Skills | Mapping

Good map-making is the fieldwork out of which strategy is formed. Knowing who and where the people are is key to your ability to work among them. It is something to do before you know “what to do.” While you are walking the neighborhood, you will also have the opportunity to meet people, initiate conversation, become conversant in local culture, and pray for the people there. In today’s post we provide helpful tools to begin thinking about the ‘what’ & ‘why’ of this essential missionary skill from our resource The Tradecraft Workbook.

Cultivating Missionary Skills | Following The Spirit

Cultivating Missionary Skills | Following The Spirit

We must not forget, our missional endeavors are not on our own, they are God’s. As such, God guides us by His Spirit. Often we may find ourselves believing this truth in theory, but struggling to live in the tensions of our strategic planning & being sensitive to the leading of the Spirit of God. Today we share an excerpt from the Tradecraft Workbook with some thoughtful questions to help us move forward in faithfulness.

Spirit-Led Sending Part-Two

Spirit-Led Sending Part-Two

One of our most popular posts from 2017 was a two-part interview with Dr. Gregg Allison discussing the role of the Spirit in churches sending missionaries. Dr. Allison is a professor of Christian Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological seminary and an elder at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, KY. He is the author of Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine, as well as Sojourners and Strangers: The Doctrine of the Church, and his latest book, 50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith: A Guide to Understanding and Teaching Theology.

Create Versus Join: Everyday Life on Purpose

Create Versus Join: Everyday Life on Purpose

One key missional question is: Do I create something from nothing, or do I join something that is already in existence? This is a question that must be answered both in North American contexts and in overseas.’ When we go into a new area to begin ministry, how do we connect with people? Today we share an excerpt from Larry McCrary’s new book, The Marketspace with creative ideas of how to leverage everyday life with gospel intentionality.

Spirit-Led Sending

Spirit-Led Sending

One of our most popular posts from 2017 was a two-part interview with Dr. Gregg Allison discussing the role of the Spirit in churches sending missionaries. Dr. Allison is a professor of Christian Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological seminary and an elder at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, KY. He is the author of Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine, as well as Sojourners and Strangers: The Doctrine of the Church, and his latest book, 50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith: A Guide to Understanding and Teaching Theology.

Giving and Receiving Hospitality

Giving and Receiving Hospitality

“When we close the doors of our home, we close the doors of our heart.” Today we share an excerpt from Larry McCrary’s new book, The Marketspace: Essential Relationships Between the Sending Church, Marketplace Worker, and the Missionary Team, on the essential role of hospitality. While we’re talking to expats, the truths here apply to anyone living in any culture!

Apprenticeship to Jesus Diagnostic | Part Three

Apprenticeship to Jesus Diagnostic | Part Three

Are we being faithful to do what Jesus has told us to do? Are we still growing in listening to God and his call on our lives for the next season? What are our metrics of success? How will we know if we're doing it? Derick Sherfey shares the last post of a three part mini-series of a personal discipleship diagnostic flowing out of 10 convictions of a balanced pursuit of apprenticeship to the way of Jesus.

Free Download: Choosing Your Best Alternative Pathway to Mission

Free Download: Choosing Your Best Alternative Pathway to Mission

Are you looking for an alternative to serving as a traditional missionary? Are you considering how to best leverage your skills and season of life to advance God’s mission? Whether you are a student, retiree, business owner, artisan, teacher, freelancer, spouse of a visa holder, or just seeking a job transfer, this 1-page PDF chart can assist you in determining a realistic pathway forward.

Apprenticeship to Jesus Diagnostic: Part Two

Apprenticeship to Jesus Diagnostic: Part Two

Are we being faithful to do what Jesus has told us to do? Are we still growing in listening to God and his call on our lives for the next season? What are our metrics of success? How will we know if we're doing it? Derick Sherfey shares Part Two of a three part mini-series of a personal discipleship diagnostic flowing out of 10 convictions of a balanced pursuit of apprenticeship to the way of Jesus.