• Mike Ironside

Inviting Sent Ones' Influence: Sending Church Element 14

Updated: 5 days ago

A sending church invites sent ones’ influence when it eagerly desires the unique encouragement that comes from sent ones, as modeled in the New Testament. Whether the sent ones are on field or furlough, the church initiates opportunities for them to influence through presence, reporting, and exhortation.

- Upstream Collective Sending Church Element #14


In Acts 14:21-28 we see Paul and Barnabas reporting back to the church of Antioch. It says in this passage that they, “told all the works that God had done,” and “spent no little time there.” Sent-Ones have unique experiences that can help Sending Churches improve their ministry to their city. Like any culture, many churches’ programs, strategies, and efforts are based on traditions and are heavily influenced by cultural blind spots. Whether we are aware of it or not, some of these have influenced our view of Scripture. We have all elevated ideas that are simply cultural to Biblical ideals because that’s the lens we have seen the world through all our lives.


Sent-Ones have a unique perspective. By simply living overseas, some of their cultural blinders have been removed and they are able to see the diamond of Scripture from a different light. This gives them a unique perspective that can greatly bless the church. By Inviting Sent-Ones’ Influence the church is able to better see its blind spots and adjust its practices to align more closely to the heart of Scripture.


"By Inviting Sent-Ones’ Influence the church is able to better see its blind spots and adjust its practices to align more closely to the heart of Scripture."

Beyond recognizing our blind spots, Sent-Ones returning and having influence is also one of the best mobilization tools for your church. When Potential Sent-Ones have the opportunity to get to know and build relationships with your church’s Sent-Ones, they are more likely to commit to going overseas. People can get excited about the idea of missions and even a place and go. But the people a Sent-One works with is important. Knowing and loving the people they could be sent to can help a Potential Sent-One make the commitment to go wholeheartedly.


Upstream is here to help you Invite Sent-Ones’ Influence in the life of your church. Here are a few ways:

  • A subscription to the resources on our website gives you access to practical ideas for Inviting Sent-Ones’ Influence in the life of your church. Resources include:

“Tips for Inviting Sent-Ones’ Influence”


“Crafting the Perfect Furlough”

  • Our book, Sending Church Applied (Fall 2021), will take a deeper dive into how to Invite Sent-Ones’ influence in a way that’s encouraging to the Sent-One and influential to your church.

  • The Advanced Cohort will give extensive training and personalized coaching to help you Invite Sent Ones’ Influence in your church in ways that are unique to your context.