Christmas is about Mission

Christmas is about Mission

Carols and concerts, pageants and presents, food and more food. The holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year for both the religious and secular as the €œspirit of Christmas€ seems to fill the air. And while many fight to keep Christ in Christmas, we must remember who this Christ is and why He came. Christmas is a reminder of the primacy of Jesus as the Sent One.€

Looking Back & Looking Ahead

Looking Back & Looking Ahead

This time of year is always a great opportunity to look back on God’s faithfulness & to look ahead with anticipation of what is to come. Upstream exists because of you— the Collective of practitioners and sent ones who help shape and put to use our content fueled by donors and partners like you who help make this happen. We were encouraged to look back on 2018 in this Year End Review and to share some exciting things coming up in the life of Upstream in 2019. We hope you are encouraged, as well, as we hope to resource you to live sent.

An Upstream Missions Hermeneutic

An Upstream Missions Hermeneutic

In this episode, we are joined by Travis McGowan, who has also appeared in one of our favorite articles from the blog series, Mobilizing Smaller Churches. Travis is a non-staff pastor at Sojourn Church New Albany who has thought a lot about God’s mission. Travis has developed a hermeneutic, or way of thinking about missions, based on Psalm 51, a confessional psalm (not usually a go-to passage for the topic of missions). So naturally, the folks at Upstream wanted to have him on the show to talk about it.

Leaving Well

Leaving Well

It takes a lot of work to move to another place on mission. Arriving well means leaving well, but what does that look like? It includes transitioning relationships, responsibilities, finances, housing, vehicles, wills, and all the paperwork that goes with it. Leaving is overwhelming! So we created this 2-page PDF as a literal checklist of each important task involved in leaving well.  

How Not to Send Marketplace Workers

How Not to Send Marketplace Workers

Most pastors honestly don’t know where to begin in sending “non-traditional” workers overseas well. In today’s post, we share a recent podcast episode where Larry McCrary sits down with our own Bradley Bell to have a candid discussion of the learning curve this has been for Brad as he has stepped into his somewhat recent role as a Lead Pastor of a sending church. The two offer some helpful things to think through for pastors to be just as intentional with ‘alternative pathway’ sent ones as we are with traditional ones.

Cultivating Missionary Skills | Bridges & Barriers

Cultivating Missionary Skills | Bridges & Barriers

How do you begin conversations about the gospel with friends, neighbors, and co-workers who are not Christians? Do you use a tool or resource, tell stories, or ... ? How do you bridge the gap in conversation and turn it to spiritual matters? In today’s post we share another helpful excerpt from The Tradecraft Workbook on overcoming barriers by identifying bridges to the good news.

Cultivating Missionary Skills | Exegeting Culture Part One

Cultivating Missionary Skills | Exegeting Culture Part One

Where are the hints of the suppressed memory of the Creator in your own local culture? Where can you see people hinting at the attributes of God in your city? What about another culture to which God is sending you/your church with the gospel? How can you use those instances as springboards for gospel interaction? In today’s post, we share an excerpt from The Tradecraft Workbook to begin thinking through how to exegete the culture you’re trying to reach.

Resources for Sending

Resources for Sending

Upstream exists to resource the local church, missionaries, and organizations to send well. We are a collective of voices from practitioners serving in the trenches seeking to resource other practitioners serving in the trenches. Today’s post is an overview of recent books we’ve produced as an overflow of our conversations around all the things sending & mission, as well as a link to all our many free downloads of whitepapers & resources. We hope these serve you well!

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.