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Introducing Upstream Sending

The Upstream Collective, along with a dozen churches, have come together to build a new type of sending organization—one that intentionally takes a back seat so that local churches can lead the way in sending their people to the nations. Enter Upstream Sending.

We developed Upstream Sending because we believe that healthy missionary sending needs an interdependent model—a model where the organization and the sending church work so closely that we can’t succeed unless both of us do our parts. That's why we believe that our relationship with a sending church shouldn't have an expiration date.

Every sending situation is different, so we’re committed to working with each church to develop a process and pathway that works for them. Our focus is empowering the local church to send well and engage well globally. This means we don’t have a one-size-fits-all field strategy. Instead, we adapt our strategy to the visions of the sending churches we partner with.

In addition, we provide missiological guardrails that communicate what practices Upstream Sending (and those we help send) will and won’t be engaged in. These guardrails allow for a wide range of healthy mission practices, but also help us identify and improve practices we feel are unhealthy.

We are also committed to teaching healthy missiology and practice in our sending church coaching, our pre-field training, and our on-field strategy coaching.


Upstream Sending is characterized by six distinctives:

  1. Interdependent Sending

  2. Flexible Sending Pathways

  3. Ongoing Relationship

  4. Network of Receiving

  5. Healthy Mission Practice

  6. Gospel Renewal


Upstream Sending will be led by Nathan Sloan, who is the founding executive director of Upstream Sending.

For the last 11 years, Nathan has led global missions at Sojourn Collective in Louisville. Under his leadership, Sojourn has sent over 100 people mid- and long-term, including 6 church-based teams. He has coached leaders and church planters in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. At Sojourn, Nathan also led local missions, domestic church planting, and served on the preaching team.

Before moving into local church ministry, Nathan served as a cross-cultural missionary in Kathmandu, Nepal, training pastors and discipling young leaders.

Nathan holds a doctorate of missiology (DMiss) from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and is an adjunct professor of Global Missions at Boyce College. Nathan is married to Sarah, and they have two children.

Learn More

The church sends. We’re here to help.

We are committed to helping missionaries not only declare the gospel, but be renewed in the gospel through their abiding relationship with Jesus. Find out more and learn how to partner with us.


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