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Upstream Cohorts are designed to help missions leaders lead their churches to become better sending churches. The Cohorts consist of training sessions and group discussion alongside other missions leaders. Followed by individual coaching sessions. All designed to take the Sending Church Elements and apply them to your unique church. Our goal is to see your church grow in its capacity to send well to the nations. 

Our Sending Church Elements Cohorts give a broad overview of the Sending Church Elements. The Upstream Team provides these cohorts in a variety of contexts that meets your needs and your schedule.

Our specialized cohorts take a deep dive into specific Sending Church Elements and topics.


We offer 3 types of Cohorts



The context for this cohort is online and with group members selected by the leadership of one church. The Upstream Team will tailor the content to focus on the Sending Church Elements that the church wants to dive into over four, 2-hour sessions online.This cohort is especially helpful for churches wanting to build a missions team or develop a missions culture amongst their leadership & volunteers



This cohort begins with a two-day conference in Louisville, KY giving an overview of the Sending Church Elements. It is followed by group and individual online coaching that will apply the sending church elements to you context. This cohort is especially beneficial for those wanting to build relationships with other missions leaders.




Specialized Cohorts will focus more deeply on specific topics and Sending Church Elements  introduced in Foundations and Advanced Cohorts. These topics include: Missionary Care, Developing Partnerships, Short-term trips, Multi-site Missions Leadership, Local Missions, International Ministry, and much more.

What people are saying about Upstream Cohorts


"The Foundations Cohort was such a blessing to me! I took this within my 1st year of being on the job and it has helped me have a better foundation of the why I am doing what I am doing and who am I doing it for. There is a Biblical element to this cohort and understanding better what my role is and how that blessings and challenges the church. I am grateful that I participated and would highly recommend this to others as well."


Katy Creasman

Faith Promise Church

Knoxville, TN


"Out of 100+ hours of classes I have taken to get my theological degree, none were more beneficial to me in my missions ministry than The Foundations Missions Leader cohort. This cohort was only two days long but has given us enough information to work on for a year as we try to set the foundations of what our ministry is going to be and look like for the next 10 years. Rather your are trying to build your missions ministry from the ground up or looking for ways to improve, reshape or refocus it, this cohort is the best place to find out how."


Trevor Brackeen

Doxology Church

Fort Worth, TX


"Being in the Foundations Missions Leader Cohort helped me develop the theological and practical foundations for missions that our church needed but didn't yet have in place. I've only been on staff for about 9 months, so it was really helpful to learn from Upstream's experience and from the experiences of the other missions leaders in our group. I feel much more equipped to fulfill my role as missions pastor and lead our people to live on mission now that I've completed the cohort."


David McWhite

Edwards Road Baptist Church

Greenville, SC


"No matter where you are in the process of becoming a sending church, this cohort will give you helpful insights and resources to implement a strategy to accomplish your churches mission to send laborers to the nations."

Steve Elworth

The Chapel

Baton Rouge, LA

Upcoming Cohorts

  • Sending Church Elements Cohort | Fall 2023, In-Person
    Aug 27, 6:00 PM EDT – Aug 29, 1:00 PM EDT
    Upstream Office, 900 E Jefferson St Suite A, Louisville, KY 40206, USA
    The Sending Church Elements Cohort provides an opportunity for church leaders to understand the Sending Church Elements, evaluate themselves by them, and strategize for how to become a mature sending church.
  • Missionary Care Summer 2023
    August - October 2023
    August - October 2023
    The work of the sending church does not end at the Commissioning ceremony of a Sent One. It really is just the beginning. This specialized cohort will focus doing both proactive and reactive missionary care so that those who are Sent Ones stay connected to their local church and are shepherded well.
  • Developing Healthy Global Partnerships Cohort 2023
    August - October 2023
    “Developing Healthy Global Partnerships” will be led by Larry McCrary. Larry and his wife Susan live in Europe and work extensively with mission organizations and national partners all over the world. During this cohort you will create a grid for developing healthy partnerships.