Raise Em Up. Send Em Out.By Blair Cushman
May 4, 2021
Ever since I heard Trent Griffith cast the vision for it, a regular prayer of mine for our church has been, “God, make us a worshiping and sending church.” God has saw fit to answer that over the last few years, growing us as worshipers and transplanting our people according to his wise providence. In the four years I have been in New Braunfels we have raised people up and sent people out.
As GCC churches and pastors we get the importance of, and even have strategies for, raising up and sending out church planting pastors and church planting core groups. However, I have begun to stretch that vision into other areas of conviction we hold as the Great Commission Collective. The need for this became clear to me in our recent search for a new Worship Director. As we combed through applicants from outside our Collective, who were talented men and women with experience and humility, one thing consistently lacked: fit. They had never heard a vision for vertical worship. Many were still steeped in denominational traditions or fighting the horizontal battle of traditional vs. contemporary music. This lack led our elder team to ask, “Where is the next generation of worship leaders?” and, “Who is raising them up?” We have since committed to doing our part in raising up to send out the next generation of worship leaders. The man we hired has this vision before him and will do the lion’s share of the work while we as the elders set the direction and allocate the resources to see the vision become a reality as God provides the right people.
Furthermore, as our church has grown and we seek to bring on a Soul Care/Small Groups Director we have asked, “Who is raising up the next generation of soul care guys?” Seminaries are training people in biblical counseling but who is giving them the vision and training for soul care within the church? From day one of planting we have sought to cultivate an uncommon community of mutual care for one another but now that we have grown, who will take us to the next level? Who will take your church to the next level? Who will carry the convictions forward and equip the church in soul care? There are more needs than any single person has margin for. Therefore, we have committed to doing our part in raising up and sending out the next generation of soul care leaders for our community and beyond. The fields are ripe for harvest.
Why? Why would we commit to raising up to send out the next generation of leaders in worship and soul care? Of all the ministry opportunities that we should devote ourselves to as a church, why this? Here are four reasons.
We value Kingdom focus.
Our heart is for gospel expansion! We want to be a church doing our part to invest with a more holistic ministry in view. Our convictions about worship and soul care aren’t merely theoretical but are given to us by God through His Word. We need to raise up and send out more preachers who are laboring alongside faithful worship leaders and soul care leaders so that Jesus is being worshiped and obeyed.
We value intentional care.
Our heart is to care for the broken and beat up of this world. This last year has chewed up and spit out the multitudes in our world. People suffered untold harm when the corporate gathering was taken away and face to face ministry was distanced. The pandemic revealed yet again that God cares for His people through the intentional ministry of His people. Something profound happens as we meet. God shows up when we care for one another’s soul.
We value deliberate collaboration.
Our church can’t do it all. Neither can your church. But we can do our part. As we collaborate together as a Collective pooling our resources and skills together we are making Gospel advances. It would be a great joy for us to resource another church with a ministry leader who gets our convictions.
We value purposeful discipleship.
If nobody is committed to multiplying these type of leaders then eventually these convictions will die out. For a while we might shuffle guys around but that doesn’t advance the gospel ball down the field. It is mission critical for us to make, mature, and multiply leaders who will make, mature, and multiply other leaders in worship and soul care.
I have no plans to stop praying that God will make us a worshiping and sending church. Do you have plans to begin praying that God will do the same for you? As the weeks and months and years go by where these prayers reach God’s ears I have an eager anticipation for how He is going to answer, all throughout our Collective.