a collective of churches that think and act like missionaries

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What We Do

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Training—PDX Loft

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.

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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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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.

Latest Blog Posts

  • A POTATO PRODUCTION FOR ITV

NINJA WARRIORS on Saturday 11 April 2015

UNDER STRICT EMBARGO UNTIL 00.01 ON TUESDAY 7TH APRIL 2015

PICTURE SHOWS: CORBIN MACKIN

Ninja Warrior, the toughest obstacle course on television is coming to ITV this spring.

Already a smash hit in the USA, Sweden, Malaysia and Japan, Ninja Warrior UK will be hosted by Ben Shephard, Rochelle Humes and Chris Kamara.  This brand new entertainment series is the ultimate test of strength, speed and courage.  Viewers will watch contestants pushed to their limits as they compete to complete TV’s toughest challenge.

Contestants from all walks of life ranging from 'Have a Go Heroes' to 'Superhuman Athletes' are invited to take on the challenges of the course.  Viewers will be entertained by both those who can superbly execute the course to those who spectacularly fail, crashing out of the course into the water below.  Each part is laden with jaw-dropping challenges, heart-stopping excitement and adrenaline-fuelled action as the contestants attempt to complete three punishing and potentially hilarious stages.  

250 ambitious competitors will start but few will successfully overcome the toughest obstacle course ever seen on British Television.  Can any survive to the end to face the vertical challenge of scaling the heights of an impressive scaling tower named, Mount Midoriyama, and be crowned the first 'Ninja Warrior UK'

Photographer: Rachel Joseph

©ITV, FOR EDITORIAL RIGHT ONLY

    Free Resource: Sending Church Checklist

    Now trending: #sendingchurch Ok, so maybe it’s not actually taking over Twitter. But it’s definitely a growing topic. And as a trend in its early stages, #sendingchurch is pretty idealistic. Like American Ninja Warrior, it looks a lot easier than it actually is. One veteran sending church leader said to me just last week, “I really like The Sending […]

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    Ask-a-Missiologist: Does a Pastor Really Have a Biblical Responsibility in Global Mission?

    Ask-a-Missiologist is a newly featured series in which we do just that—ask a missiologist a current pressing missiological question. This week’s contributor is Ken Winter (@kenwinter), senior associate pastor of Grove Avenue Baptist Church in Richmond, VA. He also served for nine years with the International Mission Board as the Vice President of Church and Partner Services. This week he addresses the […]

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    Adventures with Larry & Caleb: Is ‘Person of Peace’ Really a Thing?

    Upstream co-founders, Larry McCrary (@LarryMcCrary) and Caleb Crider (@calebcrider) are living in very different places: for Larry, Madrid, Spain; for Caleb, Richmond, Virginia. Along with their families they’re not just teaching Tradecraft missionary skills, they’re also applying them. So we wanted to tap into their unique experiences, and at the same time parallel their local and global […]

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Testimonials

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.