What if I told you that 24 communication pros spent a week building websites, designing logos, making audio/visual adjustments and repairs, setting up Facebook pages, and coaching pastors on best social media practices in Northwest Arkansas and Joplin, Mo.? And what if I told you that one team drove to an abandoned mountaintop zoo to help one church and another team drove to a city on the year anniversary of a devastating tornado?
What if I told you that this team of creatives from a dozen different states—as far away as Washington and Virginia—donated 1,200 billable hours to 15 ministries? And that the dollar value of their donated work would have six figures if it were written up in an invoice?
Would you believe it? The pastors and ministry leaders who were aided by the creative missionaries could hardly believe the amount of work accomplished in such a short time, but that’s Creative Missions for you.
“For four years we’ve had graphic design, video and website needs and your team knocked it out in a week,” said Andy Swart, lead pastor and founder of The Metro Church in Rogers, Ark.
Joshua Ramsey, senior pastor of Boundless Grace Baptist Church in Avoca, Ark., said the team of creatives he worked with accomplished in “one day what would have taken us five years to do.” The team that visited with Ramsey designed a logo, signage and business cards, built a website, shot and edited an intro video, and set up podcasting of sermons in 14 hours.
They weren’t the only ones burning midnight oil; the dining room on the first floor of Creative Missions HQ—officially known as the Country Inn in Rogers—was filled nightly with lit MacBooks (and one Samsung) until the early morning hours.
The fruit of the group’s tireless labor was on full display Thursday night at a closing service held at the Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel in Bella Vista. Representatives of many of the churches that were helped fought back tears to share testimonies of the eternal impact the teams had made on their ministries and the lives of their members and families.
“For the first time since we started pastoring, we don’t feel alone,” said CJ Brummett, a former Walmart executive who took over as pastor of Newsong Church in Centerton earlier this year. Brummett was featured in a promo video shot for the church that is sure to be a lasting memory for many of the creatives—an opening shot of him pulling up to the church in his Harley.
As plentiful as the finished products were from the week, the promo videos, websites, audio/visual installations, logos, signage and Facebook pages weren’t all that was produced. Just knowing that a team was coming to their church was a call to action that spurred new volunteers into action, the creation of a committee, website, logo and Facebook page all before the missionaries had even checked into their Rogers hotel.
“You all have helped our church in ways you probably will never fully realize,” said Rhonda Evans, administrator of The Church of Northwest Arkansas in Springdale.
After the inaugural trip last year, Jon Rogers said:
“No, we didn’t build a church building or construct an orphanage. No we didn’t run a VBS or witness on the streets. We have created sustainable solutions for churches to effectively communicate an ultimate message of God’s never-ending love for each community these churches are involved in.”
The same is true this year; sustainable solutions were created and ultimately lives will be changed for the gospel because of the work of the 2012 Creative Missionaries. If you would like to contribute toward printing and paying some bills that remain, it is not too late. To those of you who provided support, thank you! You helped make this effort a success!
Check out the week of Creative Missions in photos and tweets >>
Note from the Editor: Big thanks to the many participants (find the full list here, follow them on Twitter here) who gave of their time, resources and energy, and also tweeted thoughts and photos, allowing us to follow along. And bigger thanks go to Cleve Persinger for having the vision, guts and foolishness to pull this off. The Center for Church Communication (our nonprofit parent) supports Creative Missions and we are immeasurably proud and at the same time humbled to do it. Thanks team!