The Global Church wants to Send!
At Upstream we are getting more and more requests from churches and mobilizers around the world who have heard about what we do and want to see their local churches not only as recipients of the gospel, but as participants in the Great Commission as well. We are super excited about this because it allows for a mutual learning experience. As the U.S. Church comes alongside and helps the global Church become mission-activated, we are able to give and to receive ideas and resources for sending workers all over the world.
Are You an Upstream Partner Church?
If so, thank you! Our hope is that you are benefitting from the valuable resources we offer and are becoming a better “sending church” as you use them to shape your missions efforts. But did you know that your partnership with us is blessing the global Church as well? By financially partnering with The Upstream Collective, you are providing resources that enable us to fulfill these requests for help, thereby blessing other nations on several continents.
The Joys and Struggles of Technology
We recently wrapped up an eight-month video training with a special group of church leaders in Southeast Africa. During our time together, one of our African Mobilizers who was a part of the training shared these thoughts about the view of missions in his country: “The gospel came here by way of Western missionaries over 150 years ago. They brought the gospel, but they did not teach us missiology. They saw converts and churches started, but they had no global vision of reaching the world beyond themselves. The mindset is that missions is for Western people. When God said, ‘Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations,’ He was not just talking to the Western church–He was talking to every believer.”
This mobilizer was a former missionary to South Asia and longs to see churches in his target country become sending churches to unreached people groups, and although he and his wife desired to stay on the field, they knew the Holy Spirit was leading them to return to their home country and began to train churches there to become Great Commission churches.
As pastors in this country have caught the vision through their weekend mission training, they are being asked by church leaders, “If we want to send out one of our own, how do we do it?” Through this leader’s research, he found www.theupstreamcollective.org on the web and reached out.
Our team at Upstream approached this as an opportunity to “train-the-trainer” so that he could take what he learned and use it to establish churches that send in his own context.
One of the challenges in this country is that many believers have the mindset that being a missionary requires being a pastor, so sending lay people often requires a paradigm shift. The churches there are working to cultivate awareness and begin deliberately putting people in a sending pipeline. They dug in and developed Mission Convictions (which they found to be particularly helpful), Sending Pipelines, and Strategies for Assessing, Developing and Caring for Sent Ones. In fact, they didn’t wait to finish our training together; they immediately began teaching others, some as far as a five-hour drive away, what they had just learned from us.
We Meet Them Where They Are
Here are a few recent examples of how Upstream has been able to provide training and support to local churches in other countries:
A church in another African country is forming a group to create a strategy for mobilizing their congregation to engage “cousins” with the gospel. Although they live on the same continent, they will be engaging a people group that will require them to overcome cultural barriers. They are looking for practical tools for sending short-term trips and for developing a sending pipeline as they raise awareness in their church. Our training team is helping them put together short-term team training and helping them develop their cross-cultural skills.
A woman in Peru recently reached out to Upstream to organize a training on the Sending Church elements and asked if she could bring along some of the staff and leaders at the church. We always want other people in the church to be a part of the training, so we encouraged her to include them. When Larry did their first call, there were more than fifteen people gathered for the training, and they continued to meet online for three months every other Saturday morning.
A group of Italian church planters desired to have Upstream help them implant a mission-sending DNA into their core groups. We dove deep into Acts 11 and 13 and talked about how the young Antioch church serves as a great example of a new church that obeys God’s leading by sending out their own.
How Can You Pray for the Local Church?
As you intercede for local churches around the world, pray that they will become senders. Pray that God will raise up short- and long-term missionaries who have a desire to help mobilize nationals for missions so that they may become a sending force. Pray that they will become convinced of their responsibility to teach, train, and send out missionaries.
Pray they will find creative ways to raise support. Sent Ones often struggle to raise enough funds to relocate and to sustain themselves once they move. Pray that their local congregations will want to be participants in sending and will create new models for supporting their Sent Ones.
As you partner with national churches, we encourage you to help them become sending churches. Be intentional about creating partnerships that are reproducible and encourage multiplication. And if you don’t have partnerships with local churches in another part of the world but would like to find out more about developing them, you can contact us at email@example.com for more information.
Interested in making an impact on the nations through the Upstream Collective? Consider becoming an Upstream partner. Support the global church in sending, help us continue to write great content, and gain access to valuable sending resources. To learn more visit: www.theupstreamcollective.org/ucpartners