The Sending Church's Role

ABT exists to serve the church’s mission. We believe that sending out church planters and giving them direction in that work is the responsibility of churches. Our function at ABT is Bible translation and related supporting work, which ultimately supports the goal of discipleship and church planting. We refer to churches we partner with as sending churches.

The church-planting team carries out Bible translation under the direction of ABT, and church planting under the direction of the sending churches.

The Support Team

Primary support for each church-planting team member is provided by his sending church. However, most sending churches will want to appoint a smaller support team to serve as a connecting link. This smaller support team can stay in touch and look after the church’s foreign worker(s) in specific ways.

We suggest that the support team include one or more of the church’s leaders. At times it may also be appropriate to include someone from another congregation. Some churches or church groups appoint a mission board to function as the support team. Regardless of the model used, it is important to ensure that the wives and other ladies on the church-planting team, and not only the men, are cared for with intentionality.

Areas of Support

The following are essential areas of support which the sending church or support team should undertake.

Prayer support. Intercede continually, and keep the church and other intercessors informed of prayer needs.
Moral and emotional support. Stay in touch, provide a listening ear, and be an intentional encourager.
Logistical support. Deal with home-front details so they don’t have to. Be ready to find and send short-term helpers.
Communication support. Keep the worker connected with the home church. Share news, sermons, and prayer needs. Visit regularly.
Financial support. Provide a channel for funding. Commit to providing a portion of the individual’s or family’s budget.
Re-entry support. Prepare them for reverse culture shock upon return. Help them integrate into a home setting that no longer feels like home.

The Sending Church Encounter

ABT representatives meet with each sending church. This Sending Church Encounter takes place while a worker is still in training, preferably after a support team is formed. It provides an opportunity for discussion, establishing relationships, and clarifying roles.

Partnering with Other Churches

Church-planting teams often comprise individuals from various sending churches. ABT will facilitate discussion about compatibility between potential team members and their sending churches, and help clarify the roles and expectations of each.

Church Planting

The church-planting team looks to their sending church(es) for guidance in things related to church planting. Usually it is best if one sending church is chosen, by agreement with the other churches, to provide such guidance. Other sending churches may provide input as agreed upon.

ABT encourages churches and teams to approach church planting from the beginning in a way that leads toward the goal of a maturing indigenous church. By “indigenous” we mean a truly local and native church that does not depend on foreign methods, resources, or leadership, in order to continue and grow. We offer resources to help show what this might look like, but we do not attempt to exercise authority over the church-planting process.

Financial Responsibilities

During training, ABT reimburses the member-in-training for one third of training expenses. We encourage the sending church to contribute an additional one third to these costs.

Before field placement, a monthly support amount is determined by the sending church in conjunction with the worker. Annual budget amounts for a family typically range from $30,000 to $50,000 depending which part of the world they live in.

The sending church establishes a fund to provide a channel for financial support once a worker is on the field. ABT contributes one third of the monthly support amount to that fund. The sending church contributes an additional one third. Additional support may come from other interested individuals, whether directly to the worker, through the church, or by means of team sponsorships that ABT would offer at the church’s request.

See How ABT Operates




Audio Sermon

"Foreign Servants: EXTENSIONS of your local church!"
Preached by Joe Root to a sending church in Kansas
Consider the Scriptural call to establish indigenous churches, and the sending church's role in this work.
The entire sermon. 46 minutes.

The Church That Sends


Or click the link below for a shorter version. This includes the second half of the above message.
23 minutes.

12 Points of Encouragement for Sending Churches





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  • “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
  • “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witness of these things.” Luke 24:47, 48
  • “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19
  • “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3
  • “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the Gospel.” Ephesians 3:6
  • “That they all may be one; as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:21
  • “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’?” Mark 11:17
  • “Ask of me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance.” Psalm 2:8
  • “Behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes.” Revelation 7:9
  • “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1
  • “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
  • “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
  • “As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country.” Proverbs 25:25
  • “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:10
  • “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.” Psalm 22:27
  • “Truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” Numbers 14:21
  • “Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.” Psalm 96:3, 4
  • “For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14
  • “That all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.” 1 Kings 8:60
  • “For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations.” Malachi 1:11
  • “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.” Psalm 86:9
  • “For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:11
  • "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10
  • "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3, 4
  • "You are worthy. . .; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God." Revelation 5:9, 10