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  • Writer's pictureBradley Bell

Moving Upstream: May 2024 Newsletter

Not into reading? Watch this funny 30-second video summary instead.

Work hard, play hard.

That's what Upstream's executive team (Larry McCrary, Nathan Sloan, and myself) did this past month during a strategic retreat in Knoxville. Upstream is growing and ready for a brand refresh. So we put our heads together, while also making time for good coffee, good food, and even a bike ride through Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains. Thankful for these guys!

New Upstream Book Projects

A big part of this past month was getting three new Upstream book projects under contract. This is the culmination of a long process that includes potental authors submitting proposals, the proposals being accepted by Upstream's acquisition team, and the contracts being negotiated. It's a lot of work!

Although I can't give away all the details about these projects, here are their titles:

Navigating the Seasons of Reentry: Helping Returned Missionaries Experience Post-Traumatic Growth

Missiology for Missions Pastors: Mobilizing the Church for All Nations

The Missionary Father's Toolkit: Becoming the Supportive Parent of a Cross-Cultural Worker

Coming your way in 2025!

Preaching and Teaching

I am continuing to enjoy opportunities to preach and teach. Pictured here, I was able to co-teach at a missionary care event in Knoxville in partnership with TCK Training. Other occasions included:

Co-leading a webinar for Missio Nexus on the topic "Is the People Group Paradigm the Only Way to Think About Missions?"

Facilitating a cohort call with Cameroon missions pastors on the topic of cultivating missions awareness

Preaching at Steubenville Baptist Church in my hometown on the first Sunday following their pastor's transition

I do miss the privilege of preaching weekly. However, I find that I have much more energy to bring home to my family without the weight of sermon prep and delivery (especially on weekends). This has allowed me to do things like start a weekly PE class and Bible class for my girls. They love it!

Join Us in Prayer

You can be part of what God is doing in and through us by praying in the following ways:

  • For an all-day sending church training with a church in Ohio this Friday. Pray for this church to catch the vision for sending (they have huge potential). Also, my family is coming along and afterward we're headed to Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Niagara Falls (Canada side!).

  • For the final production of my next book, The Sending Church Applied. This co-authored book is the followup to The Sending Church Defined and will be important to Upstream's ministry. It has been a loooong project. Pray we can complete the arduous final edits.

  • For our family’s first summer without the rigors of pastoral ministry. We are still learning what it's like to not carry so much. In the past summer has flown by. This year we want to slow down and enjoy it together.

As always, thanks for your support!

Pictured (left to right): biking Cades Cove with the boss Larry McCrary, the girls getting their passports, preaching at Steubenville Baptist Church


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