Church planting can be isolating. It is a hard calling—a calling where pastors and their families face great stress and personal pressure to start something from scratch. These realities are compounded by the financial challenges that come with moving to a new city and the family challenges that come from loving and leading in the midst of these changes. Then you have the reality that planters are working to bring the gospel to bear on many who are content in their sin and see no need for the local church. All of the forces of hell seem to battle against the calling of a church planter. It is no doubt that planters serve on the front lines of ministry in an all-out war. This war certainly isn’t a fight against flesh and blood, but it is a war nonetheless.
The Send Network recognizes these challenges and strives to come alongside planters in their work. It’s unhealthy for planters to go at it alone, even when they are embracing their entrepreneurial spirit. Scripture warns against the dangers of isolation in Proverbs 18:1, “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” Simply put, there’s no place for the lone-ranger planter, or any other Christian for that matter. That’s one of the main reasons we instituted our Send Network Orientation.
But be honest, when you think of orientation, what comes to mind? Chances are, you envision a never-ending meeting in a stale conference room with a monotone speaker shuffling through a 100+ page binder of information you will likely forget before leaving the meeting. Orientation is the opportunity every company has to back up the truck and dump information. These meetings are often terrible, and we, at Send Network, get that. For that reason, the Send Network Orientation is altogether different than any orientation you have been a part of.
It’s about casting vision, not simply downloading information. During the three-day event at the North American Mission Board we host new church planters from our 32 Send Cities to celebrate what God is doing in the cities. Along the way we seek to cast vision and equip our planters to embrace our network’s core values: brotherhood, multiplication and kingdom.
Published March 14, 2017