• Mike Ironside

Building a Strategy: Sending Church Element 4

A sending church builds a strategy by creating a clear sending process and defining a field strategy for the church to ultimately fulfill its vision. The sending process creates a mobilization strategy for short-, mid-, and long-term sent ones. The field strategy gives direction to the impact sent ones are expected to have. This includes a budget that reflects sacrificial giving and intentional planning. - Upstream Collective Sending Church Element #4


At many Christian camps they play a game called “Ultimate Chaos.” In this game soccer, ultimate frisbee, and ultimate football are all played at the same time. While this game is a blast, it accomplishes nothing and is wildly dangerous. You can’t keep score, it’s hard to remember who is even on your team, and you are going to get a flying object to the head at some point in the game.


Too much of our church’s efforts are the same—different games being played on the same field. This can be fun and it can give the facade of activity, but it lacks the clarity and synergy that makes real impact. Building a strategy around that vision brings definition and implementation to that vision. It defines the values that motivate your missions vision and how your missions team will conduct their business. It provides the strategy for a clear sending process as well as a strategy for what type of impact your church wants to make around the globe. It provides measures of how you judge success and failure, so that your church can learn and grow towards the future. Strategy gives you 90 day, 1-year, 3-year, and beyond goals that you can plan and work towards under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.


"Strategy brings guidance to our church's culture and narrows its focus towards sending people and resources to make real field impact."

We’ve all heard it said often that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” There is no doubt that this is true. Through cultivating missions awareness, establishing missions convictions, and developing a vision we have begun to create and communicate culture to our people. Culture without strategy, however, just leads to ineffectual talk. Strategy brings guidance to that culture and narrows its focus towards sending people and resources to make real field impact.


Upstream is here to help you Build a Strategy for global missions in your church. Here are a few ways:

  • A subscription to the resources on our website gives you access to practical ideas to help you Build a Strategy for your church. Resources include:

“Building a Strategy Worksheet”


“Developing a Focus & Funding Strategy”


“Missions Budgeting Tool”

  • Our book, Sending Church Applied (Fall 2021), will take a deeper dive into how to Build a Strategy with your missions team and church leadership.

  • The Foundations Cohort will give extensive training and personalized coaching to help craft and finalize your church’s global missions strategy and communicate it clearly and compellingly.

©2020 by The Upstream Collective.