Joshua Swanson: Welcome to Conversations on the Walk, I’m your host Joshua Swanson, and today we’ve got a special midweek drop where we interview worship leader Lindy Coffer from Circuit Riders, among other things, and alongside her is Andy Byrd, the founder of The Send. The Send aims to rally a generation towards their missionary vocation, emphasizing the importance of reaching out to every high school, university, nation, and community globally.
With the gospel message. This week, The Send is hosting an event in Nashville on February 3rd, which serves as a moment for individuals from various backgrounds to come together in unity. And it’s really more than just a gathering, it’s a launch pad for action and commitment. The essence of The Send revolves around a response to the generational need for a spiritual awakening and for transformation.
Before we dive in, though, I wanted to quickly thank our partner, Planning Center, for their support. So, Planning Center is a set of software tools to help you organize, coordinate, and communicate with your church teams. They know how to connect with your congregation. They can be found at planningcenter.
com. I also want to thank the Worship Leader Institute. We are launching a new set of community groups, and this is really the best way to connect with other worship leaders, to mentor and be mentored, to grow in your craft. And in your faith, so head to worshipleaderinstitute. com to find out about the bi monthly community groups.
Okay, here we go. First up, Andy Byrd has a key figure in the leadership of the University of the Nations and YWAM Kona. Andy has spent over two decades with YWAM, traveling to numerous nations with the singular mission of nurturing a revival generation.
We asked him how the SEND plans to innovate and adapt its strategies to effectively reach diverse populations across the globe with the Gospel.
Andy Byrd: The real vision of the SEND is to, uh, is to empower the body of Christ to reach the lost and to be the innovative. Um, strategy, we feel like, you know, there are several ways you can go with maybe large scale gatherings, gathering the lost themselves and trying to reach the lost in large scale gatherings or large scale gatherings that gather the body of Christ.
and empower, champion, encourage, train them to reach the lost, which multiplies the innovation, multiplies the strategy, the impact, and also makes it more personal, more relational. So the sense ultimate strategy, whether it’s in America or we’re doing it in Norway or South Africa or the Philippines. It’s to empower, train the body of Christ to be those that are reaching the lost, that are impacting the world around them, that are innovating, and that’s our primary strategy.
Joshua Swanson: In what ways does the SEND foster unity among different denominations and Christian organizations?
Andy Byrd: Our real goal there is to, first of all, our gatherings would be representative of the broader body of Christ, and we work hard, probably each campaign is about 18 months long, 18, 12 to 18 months. where we are doing numbers of pastors gatherings, lots and lots of, uh, sit down, you know, smaller meetings with different leaders, different streams, inviting them to take part in that overall campaign, which the ultimate goal is not the gathering.
The ultimate goal is the activation of as many believers as is possible. The gathering is just a, uh, one piece of the puzzle. So our collaboration unity is not only at a mobilization level and an empowerment level, but then at a training level, we work with probably as many as 20 to 30 partners with each event from many different streams.
They are the ones that are following up with all the commitments. from a SEND day, like a SEND event, to help train and empower them to actually fulfill their commitment, whether it’s in foster care or reaching high schools or universities or becoming a cross cultural missionary. So our unity and collaboration is, is strongest at a, um, at an outcomes level and then also at a gathering level.
Joshua Swanson: Then we asked Andy, could you elaborate on the measures the SEND takes to ensure the long term impact of your evangelical efforts, especially in regions with limited Christian presence?
Andy Byrd: In terms of sustainability of submission, long term impact, again, because everything, the SEND is not recreating anything and the SEND is not We’re not the ones reaching high schools or universities or not straight creating a new platform to send long term missionaries.
Everything we’re doing is in collaboration with long term ministries who are vetted and who have been doing this for a while are extremely fruitful, believe in young people and have a long term vision. So the longevity of the SEND is the, you know, the 16 year old that’s at the SEND who gets so ignited with faith to reach their high school, gets connected and trained by one of our partner ministries, plans St.
Jesus Club on their high school, and hopefully walks that out for the remainder of their high school years, which will, yeah, in many ways establishes them in the vision in their hearts to reach the lost and their friends for many years to come. Another example would be a family. Um, The response to the invitation to foster care or adoption is immediately connected to a partner organization who will walk with them in the long term to actually fulfill that commitment.
So everything we do is in partnership and that’s what actually creates the sustainability and impact.
Joshua Swanson: What have been some of the most significant challenges The Scent has faced in its mission? And conversely, could you share a few impactful success stories?
Andy Byrd: I’d say one of the biggest challenges in this hour of America’s history is, um, is simply gathering the body of Christ.
It seems like since COVID, it’s been a little bit more difficult to gather the body of Christ in large scale ways. It’s in America, we all wrestle with a measure of individuality and, um, can, you know, movements can become isolated. And so I think one of the biggest challenges is, is getting people to work together and partner in unity at, at broad and in deep levels.
And then I would say some of the biggest triumphs, of course, have been when that has happened. And there are just scores and scores of testimonies. Um, I think of one, one church in, uh, the Boston region that was deeply involved in the Send Boston. And out of that, they have planted 12 Christian Jesus clubs.
on 12 different high schools in the Boston region. And their youth group is the sustaining factor for that, their church. And now many young people are coming to the youth group that have never been in a church before. Kids are getting saved. And every week on those public schools, kids are getting to hear the gospel.
So that’s one of many, many testimonies. We regularly get to hear of families that have engaged in foster care and have adopted kids who had no hope for reunification. And of course we get to hear lots of stories of people that are now living in the nations as missionaries that were at one of the early sins.
And so all of those are extremely encouraging. I would say the other has been unity movements that have emerged out of the sand, uh, with pastors and networks, uh, working together in new ways. to reach their city.
Joshua Swanson: Our last question for Andy was, how has leading The Send transformed your own faith journey?
Andy Byrd: I think for me personally, um, it’s been a huge stretch of faith, um, to, you know, look at the difficulty and the crisis we’re in. Thinking specifically of America, of course SEND is working broadly and internationally, but in terms of America, we’re in such a difficult place. And it’s, it’s one thing to realize that, maybe even be frustrated by it.
It’s another thing to do something about it. And I think the challenge of feeling that we have to do something about it, and then the faith required. Uh, to, to do something like that broad, uh, unified collaborative has been the most challenging and rewarding thing I’ve probably ever taken part in. And I think on a personal level, you know, the amount of pressure at times, uh, the amount of criticism at times.
Allah has forced me to run so much deeper into, um, just fellowship, communion with Jesus. And it’s been remarkable. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. And I think the battle is that pressure doesn’t cause us, or busyness doesn’t cause us to turn. further away from Jesus. And I can say for myself, it has pressed me deeper into his presence.
And for that, I am so, so grateful. So it’s been a challenging and just unbelievably rewarding journey that I’m so grateful for.
Joshua Swanson: When we come back, we’ll chat with Lindy Cofer about the role of worship in evangelism. Stick around.
Next up, Lindy Kaufer. Lindy, alongside her husband Chase, has dedicated her life to a profound calling. To activate and empower the church to be a beacon of hope. For the 3. 2 billion people across the globe who have yet to hear the gospel. Their mission extends beyond borders, reaching out to every nation with a message of love, hope, and salvation.
They’re based in Huntington beach. Lindy and Chase are on the front lines as full time missionaries with the SEND and with YWAM circuit riders. We asked Lindy, in what ways SEND’s mission?
Lindy Cofer: So worship has always been such a high priority for the send because a core scripture for the send is Isaiah 6 Which if you’re not familiar most of us are Isaiah is seeing the Lord high and lifted up It’s in this place of seeing Jesus knowing who he is that he’s trembling and saying Whoa is me from a man of unclean lips and we know it’s from this place.
He’s And then he’s commissioned. So we know worship is that place where people see and exalt and know Jesus for who he is. And so for each send, we are really prayerful in who’s leading worship and how we set it up for the day, because worship. Is, is central, it is absolutely central to all that we do for the sins because it’s from this place of worship that God commissions us.
So we’re, we’re so excited about what the Lord’s been doing in worship. We’re excited to see what he’s going to do in Nashville. And we really believe the Lord is raising up missionaries, missionaries that are also musicians. We’ve used this term musician areas, but yeah, we are, Isaiah six has been that anchor scripture for us.
And we’re excited to see what the Lord’s going to do.
Joshua Swanson: Could you share your perspective on the role of worship music as a form of evangelism?
Lindy Cofer: One of my favorite topics is to talk about worship as evangelism. I really believe the days we’re living in now and even more in the days to come that God is going to use worship as one of the greatest ways to reach people because in the heart of every man we have a desire and a longing for God because we were created by God for God.
So this place of worship as we’re exalting Jesus for who he is, lifting up his character and nature. It’s really anchored in that second Corinthians 10, three through five verse, you know, for though we wage war, we’re not waging war according to the flesh, but we’ve been given divine weapons to destroy arguments and lofty opinions that come against the knowledge of God.
When we exalt Jesus, we are lifting up who he is. We are proclaiming the knowledge of God, which biblically means these are divine weapons that tear down arguments and lofty opinions coming against who God is. So I really believe the place of worship is a place where people come saved or unsaved in an unsafe setting.
They’re going, why does my heart feel softened? Why am I experiencing what I’m experiencing? It’s because we were made to come into the knowledge of who God is. So I really believe the Lord is using worship as evangelism now and it’s going to continue to increase. as we see the Lord pour out His Spirit across the earth.
Joshua Swanson: How has leading worship for the send impacted your own spiritual life? And can you share a moment where you felt a deep connection with a mission through music?
Lindy Cofer: I love this. You know, I was asked the question, how is leading worship for the send impacted my own spiritual growth? And it has impacted me deeply because there is nothing, a song is a song, you know, but when there are hearts Unified around who Jesus is and hearts going after Jesus and unified hunger.
It does something. It does something in the spirit. It does something in the atmosphere and it does something in you personally as a believer. So leading worship at the send has been one of the most humbling. Things the Lord has given me the opportunity to do because it goes so far beyond a song, and it really moves into this place where we’re unifying around who Jesus is, what he’s left us with, him being glorified and responding to the Great Commission.
And I feel such a deep connection with the people there, what God is doing, because there are songs we sing, and you just know, we’re not just singing a song here, we are declaring something that we all believe, that we all mean with our whole heart.
Joshua Swanson: Looking forward, what innovations or changes do you anticipate in the realm of worship music, evangelism initiatives like The SEND? Oh,
Lindy Cofer: I just I love this. This is so fun. One thing I see the Lord doing, not just in worship, but throughout everywhere, is he’s purifying his church. He’s bringing us back to simplicity.
The simplicity of reading the word, knowing the word, living a life of prayer, a life of worship, and a life that, that preaches the gospel. A life that reaches our neighbors, and that’s what Ascend is about, right? We want to activate the church into mission fields that are happening every day in our neighborhoods and to the nations.
So one thing I see about the future of the worship movement is that there is going to be an emphasis of discipleship within the worship movement like we’ve never seen before. We really are moving into a day where it’s not going to be about big names or big headlines, but Jesus being exalted and the presence of God being manifested in a way where we are seeing change and transformation in our own lives, in our families, in our neighborhoods, and in nations.
So I think we are in for some exciting turns as we’ve seen the worship movement lead the way in so many powerful ways. There’s always a sound and a song that marks a move of God and what I’m seeing from young people, especially from Gen Z. It’s a sound of authenticity. It’s a sound of purity. It’s a sound of boldness.
But it’s a sound that doesn’t seek to exalt itself, but exalt the name of Jesus.
Joshua Swanson: Thank you to Lindy Cofer and Andy Byrd for spending time with us. Again, as a reminder, the SEND event in Nashville is this Saturday, February 3rd. The SEND. org has all the details that you’ll need. Hopefully we’ll see you there. If you haven’t done so already, it would really mean a lot to us if you would subscribe to our podcast and leave us a review.
All right, until next time, I want to thank the team at Life Audio for their partnership. If you go to lifeaudio. com, you’ll find a collection of faith centered podcasts about all kinds of good stuff, health and wellness, parenting, current cultural events, devotionals, Bible teachings, and more. So you can check them out at lifeaudio.
com. I’m Joshua Swanson. Thanks again for listening.