Please login to continue
Forgot your password?
Recover it here.
Don't have an account?
Sign Up Now!

Register for a Free Account

Name
Email
Choose Password
Confirm Password

The Send Network Church Planting Blog

Send Network Values: Brotherhood

February 1, 2016 by Micah Millican
Lostness is pervasive throughout North America, particularly in the 32 Send Cities. The North American Mission Board is not only concerned, but also strategically positioned to respond to the plight of those far from God. Because of the partnership of Southern Baptist churches, we are ready to accept the weight of responsibility for mobilizing God’s people to be on mission. Our Send North America strategy prioritizes planting churches to see disciples made throughout our world. Part of that strategy is fostered through the work of the Send Network. This network seeks to create a band of brothers who are united in shared mission throughout North America. For this to happen, our three core values for the Send Network are brotherhood, multiplication and the kingdom of God. In the following blog series, we will take some time to explain our motive and desire behind each of these values. To begin, let’s talk about brotherhood.

Brotherhood

Why do most men love movies like Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, Glory, Gettysburg, Saving Private Ryan, The Thin Red Line, Black Hawk Down and We Were Soldiers? Because they scratch an itch that we all have—the desire to accomplish the impossible, to struggle for the win when the odds are stacked against us; all the while with like-minded brothers by our side. Brotherhood is what we long for. The same goes for church planters who serve on the front lines of ministry. Not only do church planters long for brotherhood, but truth be told, when it comes to planting in the Send Cities, they simply can’t live without it. So where is it found, how is it experienced and what is the end result?
Brotherhood however, changes everything. Real brotherhood serves as an apologetic for the gospel by providing real-life examples of people united by the gospel who love each other well and live on mission together.

Brotherhood begins with the gospel.

In the book of Ephesians, Paul describes all people as outcasts, strangers, without hope and without God in the world. God, through Jesus, saw our need and responded. He did so by sending His one and only Son to live the life we could not live, die the death that we deserved to die, and to conquer sin, Satan and death on our behalf (Eph 2:1–10). Those God saves are forgiven and adopted into His family. This change in our vertical relationship with God also changes our horizontal relationships with one another (Eph 2:11–22). Because of Jesus, we are united in His family and given new brothers and sisters. The gospel makes brothers, even when two people may have nothing else in common. Sure, there are all sorts of differences between the church planters in our Send Cities. Some are full time, others bivocational. Some are transplants, others indigenous. Some are missional in their approach, others seeker-sensitive. Some are seminary trained, others are not. The point is this, there’s little consensus when it comes to methods and models. But if there’s one thing that all of our planters can agree on it’s this; Christ died and Christ rose again. The gospel unites these brothers.
The gospel makes brothers, even when two people may have nothing else in common.

Brotherhood occurs when planters actually act like brothers.

It’s not enough for a planter to believe another planter is his brother. It’s not enough for a planter to see another planter as his brother. For brotherhood to occur in a city, a planter has to treat his fellow planter like a brother. What do good brothers do for each other? They care for each other, they sacrifice for each other, they pray for each other, they confront each other and they regularly confess sin to each other. Brothers don’t just talk about being brothers; they act out of that relationship. That means you celebrate when another planter is experiencing the favor of God through unprecedented growth. It also means you pray, encourage, comfort and support a brother who is walking through a particularly hard time (or you might even offer to preach for him for a few weeks to give him time to heal). According to Paul, brothers bear one another’s burdens, and in so doing, fulfill the law of Christ (Gal 6:1–10).

Brotherhood shows the world the gospel.

Jesus told His disciples in John 13:35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”Lost people are naturally skeptical about the gospel. How much more so than the announcement of a new church plant? As far as they are concerned, church plants come and church plants go, if they even notice them at all. Non-believers watch the internal squabbles and factionalism of many churches with skepticism, causing them to question the gospel message itself.
We long for the day when God raises up a band of brothers, united and armed with the gospel, to push back lostness in our 32 Send Cities and beyond.
Brotherhood however, changes everything. Real brotherhood serves as an apologetic for the gospel by providing real-life examples of people united by the gospel who love each other well and live on mission together. In God’s kindness, those who are exposed to the gospel through our brotherhood may become our brothers in Christ one day. The Send Network prays for this kind of brotherhood within every city. May the Holy Spirit do what only He can do. We long for the day when God raises up a band of brothers, united and armed with the gospel, to push back lostness in our 32 Send Cities and beyond.