What Church Leaders Should Look For in Potential Marketplace Workers

What Church Leaders Should Look For in Potential Marketplace Workers

As interest and opportunity continues grow for people to enter the global marketplace with gospel intentionality, what exactly should church leaders do to shepherd church members with such an interest? Using insights from his forthcoming book on the topic, The MarketSpace, Larry McCrary provides guidance for church leaders in assessing the readiness of their potential marketplace workers.

A Practical Tool for Mapping

A Practical Tool for Mapping

If we're going to be faithful sent ones, we must do the work to know the actual culture & the actual people as they actually are, not as we assume or hope it to be. One of the first things to do "when we don't know what to do" is humbling ourselves as listeners and learners through mapping, an essential Tradecraft skill to live as a ‘sent one.’ In this Guest Post, Keelan Cook outlines one practical method of organizing what we learn through our mapping efforts.

Sending Well: It Takes a Community

Sending Well: It Takes a Community

It can be overwhelming to determine whether or not a church member is ready to be sent. Thus, many church leaders choose to let others beyond their church determine that for them. In this article Bradley Bell addresses the issue and provides a practical way to view the wider community who contributes to the assessment and development process.

Learning Dependence

Learning Dependence

Derick Sherfey reflects back on what he has been learning in his first three months in a new city beginning the journey of planting churches. God is inviting us out of our isolation and trying to live sent with the illusion of self-sufficiency and into greater intimacy with him and greater dependence on His strength in our weaknesses.

How to Pastor Members with a Missions Interest

How to Pastor Members with a Missions Interest

Some articles are worth reading twice. This week we take a look back at an article written on the old blog by Bradley Bell (previously published under the pen name Zach Bradley). Bradley takes on the practical question of those who approach pastors with a missions interest. Rather than seeing this an a mere administrative task, we can take this as a sweet opportunity to make much of Jesus.

A Tale of Relationships, Traditions, and German Pubs, Part Two

A Tale of Relationships, Traditions, and German Pubs, Part Two

Earlier this year Andy Jansen interviewed church planter, Bob Carlton, about living intentionally on mission. We titled it, “A Tale of Relationships, Traditions, and German Pubs”. Along the lines of the topic, Bob introduced us to his friend Ashley Lamb. Although her story may not include German pubs, it’s clearly in line with the same theme as the original article, thus the continuation, “Part Two”.

A Great Communion in The Great Commission

A Great Communion in The Great Commission

The good news we are celebrating all around the world this weekend is the motivating factor of everything we do at Upstream. This Good Friday & Easter post is an invitation to remember, rest, rejoice, and be restored in the gospel. It is a prayer to live in light of our resurrected King's Great Commission to declare & demonstrate this good news to the nations, that we would also accept our Savior's invitation to the Great Communion of being with him- to receive his forgiveness, to experience his love for us, to know and enjoy him, and to continually be changed as we behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus.

A Paradigm for Developing Leaders

A Paradigm for Developing Leaders

One of the key phases of our Sending Church Elements is 'Development.' We all know that in order to be faithful to make disciples of all nations, we must be intentionally developing leaders to live out our identity of 'sent ones.' But we could all use more leaders in our churches and ministries. 

Derick shares a paradigm for diagnosis from Eric Geiger & Kevin Peck's book "Designed to Lead" to help provide clarity on where to begin: conviction, culture, and constructs. 

The Number One Resource of the Past Ten Years

Upstream is celebrating 10 Years of helping churches send locally and globally. We've asked people who have been part of 'The Collective' over the past decade to look back on how God has used our relationships & resources to help push mission 'upstream!'

We'll be sharing some of these stories throughout 2018. Want to include your voice as we look back on God's grace & faithfulness?
We'd love to hear how Upstream has been part of your journey!
Email your thoughts to derick@theupstreamcollective.org!

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Written by Paul Davidson

When I think about the resources that have most influenced my ministry over the past ten years, an array of websites, blogs, podcasts, articles, books, and leadership retreats come to mind. However, there has been no greater resource that has shaped my ecclesiology, and in particular my missiology, than The Upstream Collective.

The Impact on Church Planting

I remember having coffee with Larry McCrary almost a decade ago as he shared with me the vision of Upstream. As a young missionary, I knew I didn’t have the whole “missions” thing figured out. However, I knew enough to see that most churches suffered from a lack of equipping for the Great Commission, along with an unhealthy view of who was to carry it out. Upstream’s vision made sense: equipping churches with the training that had traditionally been reserved for paid professionals. In other words: enabling them to think and act like a missionary.  

Since that meeting, Upstream has provided me and the churches where I've served with practical training on how the church can embrace and fulfill its missionary identity. I have personally participated in some of their roundtable discussions with mission-focused leaders from all over the country. The takeaways from those gatherings guided me as a young missions pastor in laying a healthy foundation for a church plant. They put us on a trajectory that approached God’s mission far from the status quo. Instead of leaving it in the hands of outside organizations, the guys at Upstream pushed us through a necessary missions identity crisis and gave us concrete tools for sending our own people.

The Impact on International Missions

Most recently, as an international missionary who is leading teams of young adults, Upstream has provided pre-field training for all of our two-year interns. I completely trust in this training because I know it’s led by missiological practitioners who have dedicated their lives to reshaping missions. Thanks to their training, our new teammates arrived with healthy expectations, contextualized evangelism training, tools to transition well, on-the-field support, and so much more.

As a former missions pastor and current missionary, I cannot overstate the value that The Upstream Collective has added to my ministry. There isn’t a single network out there that can do a better job of equipping you and your church to live out a healthy ecclesiology and missiology. If you only have the time to connect with one organization in 2018, make it Upstream.