I just finished a book called Gaining By Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches that Send by J.D. Greear. The premise is basically that the more people you send or give away for whatever reason, the more likely the church is to thrive because that is God’s plan for all churches as seen in the Acts of the Apostles. In a nutshell, God is a sending God and the church is a sending place. So the new – but old – metric for church success is how many people is your church sending out into the world to make a difference. “Sending is already in the DNA of any Jesus-following church.”

 Several years ago, I did a seminar and the subject was “God Is a Sending God.” In that seminar I said that the goal of every church is to send people back into the world to change it. For the seminar, I made the graphic below. In the presentation, the graphic was a movie depicting how one aspect of DNA flowed into another. So I’m glad to see this book. It takes my concept much further than I did. The rise of the multi-site church and the emphasis on church planting play right into this metric.

How would it change your church if you measured your success by how many people you sent out into the world? One thing it would change is this – you would have to have a leadership pipeline to be able to constantly replace the leaders you were giving away. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Greear is the pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC, a megachurch with more than 100 church plants under its belt and a goal of 1,000 by 2050. Two main things characterize The Summit Church: its gospel focus and sending culture. Greear is the author of five books.

Question: What are some key Scriptures that illustrate the claim that God is a sending God? Share your favorites in the Comments section below.