Vision

Apples to Orchards

By David Drury

Becoming a giving and sending church takes ministry to another level.

“As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” This is what Jesus said to his disciples in John 20:21, and it has become the inspiration for a church’s identity and name in Plano, Texas, where nearly 300,000 souls live. Sent Church, as the congregation renamed itself, is in the greater Dallas–Fort Worth metro area (often referred to as DFW). Within this sprawling 13-county area of Texas that more than seven million people call home, DFW is a place the people of Sent Church are not just home in, but are sent to and sent from.

Pastor Dwight Nash emphasizes the missionary calling of every believer in Sent Church saying, “It’s our privilege to be missionaries (Sent Ones) for Jesus, whether we have to cross an ocean or an alley or a cubicle to tell someone of his love and forgiveness.”

As Sent Church trains up people to be sent, it has short-term, mid-term and long-term goals in mind. Sent Church has been establishing leadership buy-in, developing leaders and apprentices for new small groups and churches and helping a steering team determine the preferable outcome to their vision of sending in the DFW area and beyond.

"It’s our privilege to be missionaries (Sent Ones) for Jesus, whether we have to cross an ocean or an alley or a cubicle to tell someone of his love and forgiveness.”

Next year’s goal is for everyone in leadership to grow and multiply/reproduce. Of this leadership replication, Nash says, “The discipleship and leadership training engine of 2 Timothy 2:2 are the keys to beginning and furthering a movement.”

Sent Church has planted churches before, but this intentional leadership development opens up all kinds of new possibilities for multiplication. Sent Church envisions a dramatic increase in small groups, leadership capacity and developing several new church plants and training models. Two dozen new church plants of all sizes in many locations, and just as many new small groups that ideally will become seeds of new church plants themselves are long-term goals.

Reflecting on what God is multiplying out from Sent Church, Nash says, “We used to only think about apples and trees, but now we envision orchards of churches coming from this one, small seed called Sent Church!”