What is a Sending Church?
A Sending Church is simply one who takes seriously the Great Commission and is the driving force in the training, sending, and care of Christ’s ambassadors both on a local and global scale. A Sending Church recognizes and equips her people, in accordance with their missionary identity as followers of Christ, to make disciples of all nations. As a part of the sent people of God, sending churches organize themselves around the responsibility and privilege of joining God on His mission. This is a monumental task, and churches need not enter into it alone.
What is the Sending Church Gathering?
The Sending Church Gathering is meant to connect those churches who are already sending or who would like to learn what it means to send for the purpose of learning, encouraging and sharing resources. It is a time to learn what it means to send, how a sending church is wired, what one does, and what the goal of sending should be. The hope is that gathered practitioners would share with, encourage, and challenge one another in their missionary endeavors. Instead of individual churches reinventing the wheel in each step of sending, why not learn from and strengthen one another along the way?
This gathering is meant to be a little different than others. Whereas there will be times of teaching from a stage, there will also be equal time spent in small groups of practitioners around tables discussing the topics at hand. Both Monday night and Tuesday will have plenary speakers followed by “round table” discussions of the topics introduced by the speakers. The idea is that an overarching view will be presented by the speaker, while the nuts-and-bolts of the application of the ideas will happen among practitioners around the tables. By the end of our time together, our hope is that you will have practical handles on Sending Church, lasting connection with other practitioners with whom you can conspire/cooperate, and even a few practical resources to help you along the journey of sending.
When crowds refused to disperse at Elvis Presley concerts in hopes of another encore from the king of rock and roll, the announcement that “Elvis has left the building” had to be made. Pastor Pat Hood recalls from childhood one such performance that came to his hometown, and with his new book The Sending Church he makes a similar declaration: "The church must leave the building."
Indeed, our lives should be “sent” in worship to the King of kings, spreading out from our weekly gathering places to extend God’s Kingdom worldwide. To that end, Pastor Hood shares stories from his experiences at LifePoint Church, a congregation with smalltown roots that has also planted churches in Bangkok, Thailand, and Brussels, Belgium, among other places.
How does man's heart move closer to God's heart? How do we "live sent" in our community or halfway around the world? What good things that happen in church life might actually threaten to obscure the greater things being orchestrated by God? How does everyone at church move from being a member to a missionary? Find out in The Sending Church.