The Sending Church Gathering is only two months away! Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with sending church leaders from around the country and learn how God is using their local church as the mission agency. Early bird registration still open here.
If you are unfamiliar with the Sending Church model, here are some answers to frequently asked questions…
1. How does a sending church partner with mission organizations?
There are many wonderful parachurch organizations with decades of experience in cross-cultural missions. They have knowledge and expertise that can be invaluable in preparing and sending missionaries. The proper place for these organizations is to come alongside the sending church in a supporting role. Churches are the vehicle for God’s mission and have been given the mandate to make disciples of all nations. Parachurch ministries can offer tools and resources that facilitate the mission for sending churches.
2. How do you care for those you send?
Care for sending church missionaries and their families is vital for the success of their mission. As sending churches care for their missionaries, they involve the entire body in their lives and ministry. The church will pray, help communicate needs, send care packages, provide for training, send short-term teams to encourage and help with long-term strategy. They will hold missionaries accountable and provide for pastoral care. Caring for missionaries may also be an opportunity for partnership with organizations who have the experience and resources that sending churches cannot provide because of difficult access or lack of funds for travel. The sending church is responsible for the care of her missionaries, but can benefit from partnering with mission organizations poised to provide help as needed.
3. How do you fund those you send?
There are many options for funding those sent through local churches. They could be any one or a combination of the following:
A. Sending church fully or partially funds the sent one
B. Sent one raises his own funds, inside and outside of the sending church
C. The sent one finds a job or starts a business in the new place to which he is sent (Tent-making or Business as mission)
D. Sent one goes through a mission agency that fully or partially funds
Again, there are many variants, or mixing and matching of these options, but these are the 4 main ways in which missionaries are sent out by sending churches.
4. How do your church members catch the vision of Sending Church?
A sending church must infuse mission into the fabric, the DNA of the church. Mission must become the focus and thrust of everything the church does. Mission is not a department in the church, it is who the church is. The sending church understands her missionary identity is central to her purpose until the Lord returns.
5. How do you decide who will go and where to send?
In Acts 13 we see that the Spirit calls and sends through the church. It was while the early church was worshiping through prayer and fasting that the Spirit set aside Paul and Barnabas for the work He had for them. Sending churches should expect the same pattern for mission today. Through communion with the Lord as a body, the church discerns who He is sending and where. The church confirms the leading of the Holy Spirit in the lives of her members and commissions them for the work He is calling them to do. Strategies are fine, as long as they are secondary to the Spirit’s leadership and confirmation through the church.