• Mike Ironside

Maintaining Strategic Focus: Sending Church Element 13

A sending church maintains strategic focus by regularly reevaluating the effectiveness of its field strategy, and ensuring that its strategy is not relegated to missions organizations. Sent ones are kept accountable to the church’s strategic focus, and partnerships are evaluated for their effectiveness in supporting the church’s strategic focus. - Upstream Collective Sending Church Element #13


While providing ongoing care is important for your role with your Sent-Ones, you haven’t sent members of your church simply to live overseas, have a good quiet time, stay emotionally healthy, and have fun with their team. You have sent them to accomplish the mission that is before your church and the Sent-One. Part of being a great Sent-One and great supporting Sending Church is to take time to re-evaluate how ministry is going for the Sent-One.


While it’s likely that day-to-day supervision of your Sent-Ones will have been delegated to a partner organization, this does not mean that the Sending Church has no role in maintaining strategic focus cross-culturally. The Sending Church has been a part of guiding the Sent-One to their vision and strategy. Alongside the Sending Organization the Sending Church should provide insight and admonition to the way the vision and strategy are being carried out. With the historical understanding of the Sent One that the on-field supervisor may not have totally gotten to know, the Sending Church can provide unique insight and encouragement to help the Sent-One live out the vision and strategy that is before them.


"The Sending Church can provide unique insight and encouragement to help the Sent-One live out the vision and strategy that is before them."

Sending organizations and partnerships should be regularly re-evaluated. Sending organizations’ and partnerships’ purpose are to create speed, synergy, efficiency and support in global missions. If they are not doing this, but rather creating sideways energy for your sent ones, the partnership needs to be re-evaluated. This is important so that Sent-Ones are not stuck in partnerships that take them away from the goal they were sent-out to do. Sending Churches should not be afraid to challenge partnerships and discontinue relationships if this is found to be true.


Upstream is here to help you Maintain Strategic Focus. Here are a few ways:

  • A subscription to the resources on our website gives you access to practical ideas for Maintaining Strategic Focus for the church and the Sent-One. Resources include:

“Partnership Agreements”


“Questions to Ask When Re-Evaluating Strategy”


“Learning Missionary Skills”


“Leading Cross-Cultural Teams”

  • Our book, Sending Church Applied (Fall 2021), will take a deeper dive into how to Maintain Strategic Focus for your church and for your Sent-Ones.

  • The Advanced Cohort will give extensive training and personalized coaching to help you Maintain Strategic Focus in ways that are unique to your context.

©2020 by The Upstream Collective.