a collective of churches that think and act like missionaries

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What We Do


Sending Church

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.

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Jet Set

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.

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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.

Latest Blog Posts

  • Sojourn+Upstream

    From the Board

    The last couple of posts here on the blog have focused on the new partnership between Upstream and Sojourn International. Here to speak on behalf of the Upstream board is co-founder, Caleb Crider. Back in 2008, a small group of missionaries in Western Europe began to dream together about churches taking the lead in global mission. […]

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  • Sojourn+Upstream

    A New Partnership

    Nathan Garth is the Pastor of International Missions at Sojourn Church in Louisville, KY, board member for the Upstream Collective, husband, father, and all-around cool guy. He has lived on mission internationally, and he is an incredible resource for the Church. We are thankful to call him both partner in ministry and friend, and he […]

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  • apple watch

    Time for Change.

    Upstream has a history filled with change. We’re used to it around here. It’s time for a little more change. Here to talk about it is Upstream co-founder, Larry McCrary: In the fall of 2007, Ed Stetzer and I put together a trip to Barcelona, Spain. He spoke to a group of overseas Christian workers […]

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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.

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.

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.