Unity is defined as: the state of being united or joined as a whole. It can be hard to imagine unity in such a divisive world today, but there is a movement happening whose purpose is to do exactly that. The Send is bringing unity to people of all ages, all ethnicities, from every country, state and city. With the mission of helping people find their purpose and discover their gifts and laying down their titles for the purpose of a greater, united cause, some of the world’s largest ministry groups are coming together for The Send. And they are coming to Kansas City! A mission called forth by God in the midst of Covid-19 is coming to the loudest stadium in the world.
The Send was born from the ministry of The Call, which filled stadiums for 18 years with a message of “prayer and fasting and a mission of encouraging America to turn back to Jesus.” In 2011, the leaders of The Call along with missionaries from Youth With A Mission (YWAM) stated that they “sensed from the Lord it was time to move the vision to sending believers out into purposeful mission and evangelism.”
Andy Byrd with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) says, “too often people have waited for those with certain positions, titles, gifts, and personalities to be the ones to be used by God to share the gospel or disciple new believers, and the ordinary person would disqualify themselves from this work. The goal of The Send is to activate the everyday common person to go out and into their schools, communities, or wherever else they go and be an expression of the love of Jesus.
Byrd adds, “There's a lot of people that would say they believe in evangelism, the gospel, the power to save, or that Jesus came to seek and save the lost, but statistically very few American Christians share the gospel, and statistically around 1% will ever lead someone to follow Jesus in their lifetime. What is the disconnect between what we believe and read in the scriptures and what the statistics are showing about our lifestyle?”
The movement of The Send has been developing for several years. In 2016, approximately 70,000 people gathered in the L.A. Coliseum for an event called Azura Now and committed to the call to go anywhere for the gospel. This movement began activating believers in evangelism on a grassroots level, and as a result, a group of national ministries gathered in Orlando in a desire to see this momentum become a national movement. On February 23, 2019, 58,000 people gathered with 250,000 online, and each attendee was asked to adopt one of five mission fields—high schools, universities, communities, vulnerable children or nations.
The momentum has even gone global to Brazil, where there were gatherings in three stadiums on one day totaling 140,000 people and another 2 million online, in February 2020. There are also plans to gather Argentina and Norway in 2022. At the same time, the leaders of the movement were able to develop a relationship with Arrowhead Stadium here in Kansas City.
Among other Christian leaders and ministries, Crazy Love, Circuit Riders, Lou Engle, Youth With A Mission, Lifestyle Christianity, Christ For All Nations, Jesus Image, and Dunamis Movement are all part of making this event happen. The mission behind The Send is to move believers from inaction to action by living out the Great Commission Jesus gave in Matthew 28:18-20.
“Our goal is to close the gap,” Bryd says. “Not with obligation or guilt but with a recognition, a reminder of the power of the gospel to save. We should be motivated out of compassion, out of love, and out of mercy to say, ‘It's not okay for me to believe this and yet not show it in some way.’”
There is also the reminder that living out one’s faith often comes at a cost that believers in the United States don’t always experience.
“In many places in the world, to call yourself a Christian comes with a great cost,” Byrd says. “To say that (you are a Christian) and not be willing to pay the cost or live the life is a little bit absurd because the sacrifice is so high. In much of the freer world, there's not much sacrifice. It's easy to say and have Christian language but not necessarily need to back it up with the lifestyle."
“Missions is an outworking of God’s nature and character towards His creation, and obviously the gospel is the center point of that because it’s the only power to redeem…it’s the only way to restore a relationship with God,” Byrd says. “Of course, the ultimate sending of God was Jesus himself.” The church has the privilege and mandate to be sent by God to continue to proclaim and show his love.
Francis Chan is part of the The Send leadership and will also be a speaker at the Kansas City event. Byrd says Chan is marked by integrity and authenticity and is committed to the word of the Lord and the Great Commission. The main message is everyone can be a part of the spreading of the gospel - the good news that Jesus died on the cross for people’s sins, rose again, and made a way for people to have a relationship with God.
“No one should disqualify themselves because everybody is part of God's missional purposes,” Byrd says. “The love of God is walked out in acts of love, service, kindness, mercy, and compassion. In the midst of that, the gospel is the center point because it is the ultimate act of love and the power to redeem, but every believer should feel qualified to walk out the unique way that God created them to do that.”
The Send is committed to helping each person discover their missional journey through their gifts and abilities. It’s possible to be a “missionary” in your school, in your work place, at the coffee shop down the street, or in another country. Everyone gets to participate. We need to lay down our pride, our titles, our egos to unite together as one body, as one church, for the purpose of one mission… telling the world about the love of Jesus Christ. The Send is coming, will you go?
The event in Kansas City is free, and they are encouraging participants to get involved in foster care and other practical ways of serving. Byrd says the church is called to help the hurting through relief, mercy, compassion, food for the hungry, and care for marginalized children. The Send also believes that it is so important that America continues to focus on nations around the world with every little access to the gospel. Today there are still 3.2 billion people considered unreached. The Great Commission must include every tribe, tongue, and nation. To find out more information go to the TheSend.org.