We are so grateful for the way God has used Upstream in 2018. Here are some of the highlights:
Each year we desire to finish strong financially. This year we are raising $20,000 for our upcoming year as we want to launch out into some new areas of growth. We have a small pool of private donors who have committed up to $10,000.00 towards matching donations.
Would you consider helping us reaching this goal?
Your gift is tax deductible and you can donate online or send a check to our offices (PO Box 23871, Knoxville, TN 37933).
Only about 55% of our income is provided by our resources, training, and consulting. For the rest we depend on private donors and church partnerships.
Our donors and partners help Upstream to—
Supply recurring income to fuel the ministry as we strive to help churches, church plants, and missionaries around the world.
Serve younger and/or smaller churches with few resources
Resource church planters and church planting core teams
Influence current missiological-ecclesiological thought and practice
Expand the sending church movement throughout the global church by working directly with missionary teams and churches internationally
In fact, we believe so much in our training and ability to help the global church that our Executive Director, Larry McCrary, and his wife, Susan, are moving to Madrid, Spain to lead from there. They will also be working to plant a church in the city center. This helps us live out a core conviction of being not just theorists, but practitioners of mission.
Overseas, Larry and his team will be starting several initiatives, including—
Marketplace Training Abroad
Four times a year we hold a weekend training event for people who go to the mission field through nontraditional pathways, such as marketplace workers, students, and retirees. We have found that the churches we work with desire for these people to be trained well, yet nontraditional training is hard to find. We have also learned that there are a good amount of these workers already living overseas who desire greater connection and more training in order to be effective cross-cultural witnesses. We will be launching a training lab in Madrid in 2019 to help equip these people. By having this event overseas, we will be able to significantly increase the reach of our training.
An Urban Sending Church Training Hub
For ten years Upstream has been all about helping sending churches identify, mobilize, and equip their members to take the gospel to their neighbors and the nations. Whether you are a student, marketplace worker, artisan, or full-time vocational missionary, our cross-cultural training expertise equips the local church to send out their own.
Many of the churches we work with send out people to urban centers. In 2019 Upstream will be opening an urban hub in Madrid where sending churches can send their workers for training intensives to be better equipped to serve cross-culturally in urban centers.
We will be offering the following training intensives:
1-2 week experience
1-2 month intern experience
Marketplace training weekends
Missionary care training weekends
Sending church labs
For full-time vocational missionaries: how to receive short-term teams, new team members, and marketplace workers
The Sending Church Goes International
We have seen great traction with our sending church elements and our book, The Sending Church Defined. These resources have been the source documents for our content, coaching, cohorts, consulting, and training. We have been using these services to help equip the North American sending church for the last five years, learning from the churches that we work about the best practices of their sending, developing, and caring for sent ones.
We have a strong conviction that churches do not need to be merely recipients of the Great Commission, but also participants.
So, we are exploring how to expand these resources to international churches, helping them to increase the effectiveness of their sending. With our director living this out globally, it gives us an opportunity to equip the church worldwide.
Our Upstream Podcast
We also have seen a surge of interest in the Upstream Podcast. We are gaining new followers weekly as we dive into topics that interest sending churches. In 2019 we want to grow this part of our ministry by increasing the number of our podcasts. To do this we need to resource our podcast team, purchase some equipment for recording, build a larger platform, and develop our mobile studio for including more guests.