What We Do
PDX Loft is Upstream's training mechanism based out of Portland, Oregon. We provide training for churches, church leaders, church planting teams, and missionary teams focusing on the essential skills and tools needed for ministry in todays urban centers ranging from city mapping and cultural exegesis to a theology of the city and more.
Training, consultation, a roundtable…it doesn’t really matter what you call it — the Sending Church is about helping your church through the process of finding, adopting, and becoming an integral part of another culture. It’s about the church owning the Great Commission. It’s about sending your own to impact the world.
Traveling mission think-tanks, usually lasting 7-10 days, to major global cities designed to give church leaders a taste of what God is doing around the world. We try to have at least 2 trips a year. Our Jet Set mini-site will give you more details as well as a chance to sign up for our upcoming trips.
SENDING CHURCH – A DEFINITION
A Sending Church is a local community of Christ-followers who have made a covenant together to be prayerful, deliberate, and proactive in developing, commissioning, and sending their own members both locally and globally, often in partnership with other churches or agencies, and continuing to encourage, support, and advocate for them while making disciples cross-culturally.
One of the biggest perks at Upstream is encountering churches who are living our their sent identity. As part of our desire to encourage churches on mission, we want to put before you some of their stories—not as a way of saying, ‘This is what you should do,’ but rather, ‘This is what some friends of ours […]
You can always count on Upstream pointing you to great books. One that is a bit dated but remarkably helpful to the sending church conversation is Today’s All-Star Missions Churches: Strategies to Help Your Church Get into the Game by Tom Telford. Telford is the vice president of mobilization for United World Mission and has been working for years […]
As local churches take the lead role in sending their people cross-culturally, it means they’ll be more actively identifying, assessing, and developing potential sent ones. This is no easy business—even for the church that’s been doing it for years! Indeed, every believer can grow in the tradecraft necessary for living faithfully on mission in their neighborhoods, […]
Nathan Garth Pastor of Global Missions, Sojourn Community Church
Our local church, Sojourn Community Church, had been pouring the majority of our efforts into reaching our neighbors with the gospel as well as planting new churches in needy cities around the country. As we began to realize that we needed to be more intentional in reaching the nations with the gospel, the Upstream Collective was there to help. Our elders were able to take a Jet Set trip around Europe to meet key missionaries and ask the question, “where could we as a church be engaged?” From this trip, Upstream continued to help us explore this question through coaching, exploring new mission opportunities, providing training for our people and through a deep and growing friendship. Sometimes it can be hard to define just what the team at Upstream does. This is because they go above and beyond the norm and find creative ways to help local churches become churches that are intentionally on mission both in their neighborhoods and among the nations.
John Shepherd Lead Pastor, River Oaks Community Church, Murfressboro, TN
Our work with the Upstream Collective has helped us put hands and feet behind our desire to be a missional church. Our church now has a strategy that we are using to move our people to be missionaries where they live, work, and play, as well as sending teams into our nation and world.
Jason Egly Ekklesia http://www.ekklesianashville.com
The Upstream Collective has been a vital part of the planting of Ekklesia Nashville, as well as my personal growth as a leader. My friends at Upstream have taken a personal interest in my life and in our church — mentoring us, advising us in our vision, mission, and strategy, and walking with us through both the painful and joyous seasons. I am eternally grateful for their ministry and influence and recommend that every young church plant join in on the conversation of what it looks like to “think and act like a missionary” in their current context.