Send Network hosts orientation for 200+ new church planters


ALPHARETTA, Ga. — More than 200 church planters represented 189 sending churches at Send Network’s most recent orientation for newly endorsed church planters last week. Five different languages were spoken among the planters, who hailed from 24 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.

This orientation, hosted at the North American Mission Board’s headquarters, was the first to be hosted in conjunction with a Sending Lab, a collaborative workshop for pastors of established churches that helps them develop a vision and plan to send church planters from their congregations. These two equipping events intertwined to create opportunities for pastors and planters to network and learn from one another.

“By hosting a Sending Lab in conjunction with the Send Network orientation, the pastors will have the opportunity to hear the new vision of Send Network, and worship alongside a few hundred church planters from all over the country,” explained Gus Hernandez Jr., Send Network’s director of Sending Churches.

“There is no limit to what God can do through a group of people with a shared mission,” said Send Network Executive Director Noah Oldham at the events’ opening session.

Over the following two days, while a new class of church planters dug deep into Send Network’s five values through mainstage talks, aspiring sending churches attended sessions that helped them identify next steps for finding, developing and sending church planters.

“Our vision at Send Network is to join God’s activity to see His kingdom expand in North America by 1% over the next decade,” Hernandez shared. “To see this vision become a reality, we need to see many new churches planted in North America. Sending Labs are designed to inspire and equip pastors to lead their churches to get involved with planting.”

“The room was filled with churches where the pastor is the only staff member at the church but has a vision for multiplication, and other churches who have planted multiple churches a year. The camaraderie and collaboration to be able to learn from other people, no matter where they are in the church planting journey, has been helpful for us all,” shared TJ Joy, the church planting pastor at Long Hollow Church in Nashville, who attended the Sending Lab along with new church staff members to help them better understand Long Hollow’s passion for church planting.

“Whatever you’re asking God to do in your church… it’s too small. That’s what the Bible says! He is able to do far more abundantly,” Matt Carter, Send Network’s vice president of mobilization, told new planters  in his talk on Send Network’s value of “think multiplication.”

He urged planters to weave the idea of multiplication into the DNA of their church plant from the very start, pointing to the theme of multiplication throughout the Bible, from passages in Genesis to Revelation.

“The goal is not planting churches,” said Vance Pitman, president of Send Network, during the orientation’s closing session. “The goal is the expansion of the kingdom of God in cities and communities all around the world.”

The orientation took place just days after the announcement that José Abella was named as the vice president of Send Network Español. More than 70 of the 200 new church planters were Spanish-speaking, highlighting Send Network’s emphasis on resourcing churches looking to make an impact for the gospel among Hispanics.

“I am so encouraged by the traction that we’re seeing already in the last two years with Send Network Español” Pitman shared with planters at the orientation. “I believe José is God’s man for the hour to lead us where we need to go, and I could not be more excited.”

“What if God has allowed, in His Sovereignty, this influx of Spanish-speaking people in North America for us to see a church planting movement take place so that we become a sending nation for the gospel to go to Spanish-speaking people all over the world,” said Pitman.

This coming year, Send Network will be hosting Gathering events to give all interested in church planting an opportunity to fellowship and collaborate while learning from some of today’s foremost experts in church multiplication. To view dates and register for a Send Network Gathering, visit