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“True growth only comes
through scattering and gain only comes by losing. It’s counterintuitive, but
it’s true,” said sending church pastor J.D. Greear of Summit Church in Raleigh,
N.C., keynote speaker for the opening session of the 2015 Send North America
Conference. “Jesus’ promises about the greatness of the church were always tied
to sending. He always focused on leaders being raised up and sent out, not an
audience being gathered in and counted.”
It’s a strange message,
Greear said,—become empty to be filled, die to live. But the blank check, the
empty box, the life on mission, they’re all things that are available to be
filled in by something—or Someone—greater.
“The call to leverage your talents and life for the Great
Commission is included in the Great Commandment,” said Greear. “Why not get a
job in a place that is strategic?”
The Summit Church saw 153 members leave last year to launch their 24th
and 25th domestic church plants. Another 210 of their members live
overseas working with church plants.
“I was honestly scared to give away too much from our church,” said
Greear, who used John 12:20-25 to emphasize his points. “True growth only comes
by scattering. Jesus’ promises of the greatness of the kingdom are always about
sending, not gathering.
“Jesus’ promises are nothing short of staggering. It is to your
advantage that I leave. Can you imagine? … The Spirit of God filling every
believer is an advantage over Jesus remaining. The greater works that Jesus
promised are realized when ordinary believers are sent out and multiply.
“’So called’ ordinary people who live on mission–they are the tip of the
Greear concluded with three obstacles that keep churches from practicing
the principles of sending:
By Faith Morgan, a writer for the North American Mission Board.
More coverage from Send 2015
Date Created: 8/3/2015 7:39:14 PM
By Joe Conway
NASHVILLE – Less than 24 hours before the start of the
sold out 2015 Send North America (SNA) Conference, Esther Fasolino had one word
for why she was attending, “Missions!”
“We’ve come to learn,” said Fasolino, a member of Immanuel
Baptist Church in Toronto. “The breakout topics are fantastic.” Fellow Toronto
resident Ivonne Anlar said their group of 12 would spread out among the diverse
breakout session offerings to maximize their coverage.
“We want to share the experience with as many people as
we can,” said Anlar.
The conference, hosted at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena,
Aug. 3-4, is sponsored by the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and the
International Mission Board (IMB). The number of participants plus volunteers
was expected to top 14,000.
Among those picking up their registration packets Sunday
were the Alvir family from Morehead City, N.C. Merari Alvir is a church planter
launching a bilingual church in the Outer Banks community. He and wife,
Jessica, brought their two oldest daughters, Jessari and Helen, to experience
“We’ve been involved in ministry 20 years,” said Alvir, a
native of Guatemala. “We came to be prepared to do missions. We want to plant a
bilingual church and were struck with the need for Hispanic church plants in
the United States.”
Alvir said the family just returned from their annual
mission trip to Guatemala. He and his wife, a daughter of missionaries, strive
to broaden their daughters’ call to mission and to keep up their language
“We expect to be revitalized by the conference,” said
Alvir. “We expect to embrace the calling of mission on our lives. We want to
make disciples and plant churches and want that in the DNA of the churches we
plant. We want it in our daughters’ DNA.”
Just a block away from early registration, hundreds of
volunteers were gathering in preparation for hosting attendees at the event.
“We want to help people find their mission,” said
18-year-old volunteer Kaden Davis, a member of First Baptist Church,
Waynesboro, Tenn. “God has called us and we are to be on mission. We want to
help people be on mission, too. We expect to see God’s Spirit move among the
people here. It is exciting.”
At a Sunday briefing, SNA Conference executive director
Aaron Coe reminded event volunteers that just five short years ago a missions
gathering like the Send Conference was only a dream. Coe said approximately 280
pastors are registered bringing some 8,200 members from their congregations.
“This conference is about aligning our lives behind God’s
plan to advance His kingdom,” said Coe. “We want to change the conversation and
help people understand they are the ministers. God wants to use each one of
these people to share the gospel with their neighbors and friends. I can’t wait
to see what God will do.”
The conference has drawn church members and leaders from
all 50 states and four Canadian provinces. The main sessions will be held in
the Bridgestone Arena. Breakout sessions will be hosted in the Music City
Center and the Renaissance and Omni Nashville hotels.
There will be
three stations for next steps in the venues where participants can respond to
missions callings. A six-week, next steps Bible study will launch through the
Send North America Network on Monday, Aug. 10. The Bible study will be
supported with videos and blog posts.
Learn more about
the Send North American Conference at sendconference.com. To explore missions
and church planting through NAMB, visit www.namb.net/mobilize-me. Discover more about
global missions at www.imb.org.
Joe Conway writes for the
North American Mission Board.
Date Created: 8/3/2015 10:42:53 AM
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering®© Copyright 2015 North American Mission Board, SBC