The Send Network Church Planting Blog

Healthy church DNA includes "sending"

January 24, 2017 by J.D. Greear

Since becoming a pastor at The Summit Church, God has done some incredible things in our city. I am surrounded by faithful men and women who, in the words of William Carey, “expected great things from God, and attempted great things for God.” Many of these men and women believed God for much greater things than I did. And God has rewarded that faith in more ways than I can count.

At the heart of the Summit’s transformation from a plateaued church to a growing church has been an ironic principle—the idea of sending. We’ve grown to be the sort of culture where sending is in the very air we breathe. And as odd as it may seem, writing sending into our DNA has done more for our church here than we ever imagined. It seems that the more we focus on sending people out there, the more people get serious about reaching people right here.

We firmly believe that our experience isn’t all that abnormal—at least, not from a biblical standpoint. What we see around us is, of course, specific to our context, but should be an example of what God intends for every church. God didn’t create the church to hash out the exact timing of Jesus’ second coming, or to get together and bemoan the worsening condition of society. He created the church to send the church.

Early in my pastorate, a well-meaning pastor told me that we shouldn’t think that much about sending people out during our first ten years of our ministry; we should instead focus on building up our church locally. I know he meant well, but I have come to see this as very bad­ advice. Inherent in the call to follow Jesus is a call to mission, and to be called to him is to be called to his mission. If a church is not engaging in mission, it really has no point in existing.

Being a disciple means being sent; so sending should pervade every aspect of what a church does. We don’t need to relegate missions to a specific “department” of our churches; we need sending to be the ethos of our churches. First-time guests should know from the moment they set foot on our campuses that sending is in our blood. Members should be able to own and articulate the vision of sending as much as any staff member.

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