Creating More SENDING Capacity

“The greatness of a church is not in her seating capacity, but in her sending capacity” ~Rick Warren.

I’ve heard this saying over & over again for the past 15 years or so from Pastors and church leaders from all different perspectives of ministry. But I haven’t seen much about how to expand the SENDING capacity of a local church or a real change in strategy to developing SENDING capacity. Both are necessary for a missional movement. How can we understand the difference & add real SENDING capacity to our strategies?

  • Seating capacity is about managing the movement of people into relationships. Sending capacity is about managing the movement of people into mission.
  • The mission that Jesus gave the church was a SENDING strategy. The Great Commission & the Acts 1:8 Challenge are foundational
    • Matthew 28:19 (NLT) – “go and make disciples of all the nations…”
    • Acts 1:8 (NLT) – “you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
  • Seating capacity is easier. Not cheaper, but easier. It’s easier to draw a big crowd than to send a lot of people into missional roles in the world. It takes longer & requires different things from the leaders.
  • Seating capacity is INSIDE. Sending capacity is OUTSIDE. Serving inside the church is great, but if the only mission opportunities we give people are inside, we fall short of a true  Acts 1:8 SENDING strategy.
  • Being SEATED is much more comfortable than being SENT. Going to church is for the majority of people, very safe, sanitary, & can be enjoyable. Being SENT requires sacrifice, risk, & a sometimes delayed reward for effort.
  • I can be SEATED in my own strength. Being SENT requires the power of the Spirit.
  • Being SEATED tends to make much of the leaders. Being SENT makes much of the mission. We hear a lot about the churches & leaders with the most SEATING capacity.
  • SEATING capacity is easier to track and clean up after. It’s more static. SENDING strategies are hard to control and can get messy.

Do you see any difference between SEATING capacity and SENDING capacity? How does your church include SENDING in its strategies? What resources do you know about to aid SENDING capacity and SEATING capacity?

Later this week I’ll share some thoughts about developing SENDING capacity and some of the best resources I’ve found on Sending.

Posted on February 4, 2013, in Ministry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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