A Sending Church is Good for Everybody
By Brad Pausley
We loaded up the van as we had done many times before a family trip. 1-80 was a very familiar road for us as many of our loved ones lived somewhere off of it. This was a long eighteen hour road trip across 1-80, but this one was different from the rest, because we would have one less family member on the way home than when we set out. I knew this but it didn’t sink in until everyone was crying as we hugged our oldest brother and said good-bye. He stayed for college while the rest of us returned home. It hurt to see him go as his seat was now vacant in the van and all his stuff was gone, but it was also exciting knowing this was what he was always meant to do. Our family had been preparing him for this and my parents knew it would be hard to send a boy off to college, but he would be able to grow and flourish in different ways then he ever could if he stayed with us.
In the church we often have to say “goodbye” to some in order to be able to reach those who are beyond our reach.
J.D. Greear in his book “Gaining by Losing” writes, “the health of a church is not determined by its seating capacity, but its sending capacity.” In the church we often have to say “goodbye” to some in order to be able to reach those who are beyond our reach. A friend of mine has said, “sometimes you have to say goodbye so that others can say “hello.” That person that others are saying “hello” to is Jesus. In this way a church knows that it is for the good of everyone to be a sending church. Here’s a few reasons why it is good for the senders:
It produces joy
The Apostle John wrote, “I have no greater joy than to see my children walking in the truth.” John isn’t talking about his real children, but those in his churches. A sending church has the privilege of seeing its people that have already been re-born, nurtured, raised up and sent out, now doing the same for others. This brings a sense of parental Joy as their “children” go to places they would not be able to go on their own and reproduce others there.
It causes others to be fully committed
The New Testament gives a pattern for sending out our fully committed people. We see this played out in Acts 13 where we are told the story of how Paul and Barnabas were sent out from the church in Antioch. There is no doubt these guys were fully committed to the ministry and it would have hurt to see them go. I am sure some were tempted to think about offering the guy who came once every six weeks and ate all the donuts, but the point is not sending people so they will become committed, but sending out our already committed.
When we are committed to sending our most committed this will leave holes in our present ministry. These holes show to others that there are places where they can step up and fill in the gaps, thus making them more committed to the church and ultimately the mission of God.
It is good for those being sent. It inspires faith
It takes great faith to leave a ministry that you have loved and perhaps been reborn in. It takes great faith to leave an established ministry to go to something that is just getting started or perhaps struggling. Those being sent have the opportunity to rely on God in a different way than they ever have before.
It grows perseverance
It is difficult to be on the frontlines and in the trenches of ministry. Why do I use a war analogy? Because ministry is war! It inspires those being sent to be strong, to know that preparation for battle is just as important as the battle itself. It helps them see that a solo mission will end in defeat. It must be fought together arm in arm with others who hold fast to the same confession. As the Apostle Paul instructs the body of believers in Philippi, “stand firm, contending side by side for the faith of the Gospel, without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.”
It is good for those receiving the senders
If the goal is to say goodbye so that others can say hello, then those who get to say hello have the greatest benefit in the world of saying hello to the savior.
For this reason and others we want to take our mission of making more and better disciples to the East side of Des Moines. We are in the works of assembling a core team of fully committed disciples to help people on the Eastside Worship the God they were created for, grow in Him and serve Him. If you’d like to know more about our team and why we’ve chosen the Eastside, you can visit soteriadsm.com/eastside or watch the vision video here.
A sending church is good for everybody, that’s why we are striving to be one.