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.
This week we look back at a revised "C2C" narrative and a story from Bradley Bell (previously published under the pen name Zach Bradley), which inspired this revision. Have we forgotten to include the church in our actions and words when we share the gospel? How can we emphasize covenant community as gospel alongside personal relationship with Christ?
Missionaries aren't islands to themselves. They need the care of their pastors and gospel community, just as much as other believers. In this article Zach Bradley encourages pastors to know and stay connected to their sent ones, and he offers practical advice on the unique challenges of caring for those overseas.
You can always count on Upstream pointing you to great books. One of the books we love is Introduction to Global Missions by Zane Pratt, M. David Sills, and Jeff K. Walters. Closer back to when this book came out, Zach Bradley was able to ask Jeff Walters himself what makes this particular book on missiology unique and helpful to the church today. This is a republication from our old blog.
Why can't missions and dating just learn to get along? There are many people and entire sending agencies that think mixing the two is impossible -- or at least not worth the risk. After all, how could you mix the two endeavors without destroying one or both of them? But then again, what if emotions don't care about such logic? One thing is clear: our hearts refuse to keep this topic out of sight and out of mind. Zach Bradley delivers a hard-earned perspective based on his own experience.
This series unpacks Sending Church Element 04: Involving the Entire Church. In Part Five, Zach Bradley explains how sending churches can make use of a "sending pipeline" to inform every member of their sent identity. He also discusses the necessity of including missionary thought and practice in the churches' basic discipleship.
Smaller churches are easily overshadowed by the sending capacity of big churches and sending agencies. But practically speaking, is this a sound way to think? In this article from our old blog, Zach Bradley interviews Pastor Luke Holmes to find out exactly how much we're losing out by ignoring the vast number of smaller churches, and he presents a few challenges to be overcome.
The Sending Church Elements are a framework for growing as a sending church. This is a series about Element 04: Involving the Entire Church. Building on the idea from Part Two that missions culture should be built slowly in order to permeate the entire church, this article gives a real-life example thanks to Antioch Church in Louisville, Kentucky.
At Upstream we sometimes point out that missions can get so practical, you have to trace backwards from a practice to find its root in theology. Well, there is no step behind our triune God for grounding our identity as senders and sent ones. For that reason, we love Michael Reeves' book, Delighting in the Trinity, and how it points us back to our sending God. This is a republication from our old blog.
The Sending Church Elements are a framework for growing as a sending church. In this fourth post in a series about Element 02: Embracing Spiritual Conviction, Zach Bradley discusses the importance of repentance for a church's development of genuine conviction in God's mission.
In our aim to help every church see themselves as a sending church and every Christian as a sent one, we want to recommend great books to help along the way. From our old “Recommended Reading” series, Zach Bradley took a look at Tim Chester and Steve Timmis’ Everyday Church: Gospel Communities on Mission. This book is both a biblical and practical look at how churches can live out their faith in a post-Christian context.
In our aim to help every church see themselves as a sending church and every Christian as a sent one, we want to recommend great books to help along the way. That's why we are kickstarting our old "Recommended Reading" series with Colin Woodard's American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America.
The Sending Church Elements are a framework for growing as a sending church. In this third post in a series about Element 02: Embracing Spiritual Conviction, Zach Bradley discusses the importance of corporate prayer in helping a church become who God wants in his mission.
The Scriptures show us there is something special about the relationship between sending churches and sent ones, but maintaining that relationship across the miles and years is nearly impossible. In this article Zach Bradley describes a method for providing ongoing missionary care that is being used by sending churches around the country.
We often overestimate our ability to change what our hearts direct their affection towards via intellect or sheer will power. God's answer is the application of scriptural truth by the power of the Holy Spirit through meditation and prayer. God can not only use our personal prayer to reform our own hearts and develop a heart for the nations, God can even use our prayers to affect the prayer and life of our entire church. This article by Zach Bradley was previously published on our blog under a different title.