The Missional Tensions of Going and Sending

Our God is a sending God. God the Father sent God the Son, Jesus Christ, to seek and save the lost (Lk 19:10) – namely, us. In turn, Jesus Christ now sends us with the message of the gospel (Jn 20:21; Jn 17:18; Mt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8) empowered by the Holy Spirit who was sent to help us on this mission (Jn 15:26).

Going and Sending.

Sending, by its very nature, requires us to leave one place and go to another. This inevitably creates tension for those that are going and for those that are sending. These tensions are most frequently experienced through the planting of new churches, new campuses, and new community groups. Since these tensions are common in missional churches, though rarely spoken to, I thought it would be helpful to address them briefly.


The Tension of Going.

The tension of going is created by the desire to stay while knowing you should go. To stay would be comfortable, familiar, easy and predictable. Going is uncomfortable, unfamiliar, difficult and unpredictable. Yet, you are compelled to take part in the planting of a new gospel work, see lives changed and participate in the expansion of the Kingdom of God. This is the tension of going.

The Tension of Sending.

The tension of sending is created by the desire to keep those you love near but knowing they must be sent so the gospel can be proclaimed and believed. Sending others often means we send those we most love. Sending others also means our campus will look different once they are gone. Not sending them would be comfortable, familiar, easy and predictable. Sending them is uncomfortable, unfamiliar, difficult, and unpredictable. This is the tension of sending.

Healthy Tensions.

In the end, these are healthy tensions. They mean that we love one another, enjoy being with one another and will miss regularly seeing one another. At the same time, they show that we place the mission of the gospel over our own personal preferences and comforts. Instead, by following Jesus through these tensions, we become “all things to all people, that by all means [we] might save some. [We] do it all for the sake of the gospel, that [we] may share with them in its blessings.” (1 Cor 9:22-23)

For the Joy of All People,
Pastor Adam

HT: Mars Hill West Seattle