The Bittersweet Joy of Sending Out Our Best

This weekend we had the bittersweet joy of commissioning another 75 Summit members, who are planting another four domestic church plants—in Los Angeles, Orlando, Brooklyn, and Winston-Salem. In the past 5 years, we’ve sent out 400 people to plant new churches in North America. Praise God!

I call this “bittersweet,” because we always feel a little torn as we send out our people. We’re sending out some of our most effective evangelists, key volunteers, and close friends. They’ll all be missed. In some ways, saying goodbye to these friends is a loss for our church. But we also celebrate this “loss,” because that’s how the kingdom of God grows. God’s kingdom doesn’t go forward as we protectively hoard, but when we open our hands and give God our best. Growth in the kingdom of God works on the principle of the harvest: we reap only as we send out; living comes by dying; gaining comes by losing.

As we often say around the Summit, we’re okay with celebrating numbers, as long as we’re celebrating the right ones. Here’s why I’m particularly thrilled about these 75. We’ve been sending people to plant churches for five years now, and we’ve recognized that for every one person we send, twenty new people end up worshipping every weekend. So the 75 people we sent out this weekend represent 1,500 people that, Lord willing, will one day hear the gospel message. That’s the power of multiplication.

I’m praying for great fruit for these teams in the coming weeks, months, and years. Would you pray with me?