Creative Missions is unlike any other missions trip. Instead of building houses or working on medical teams, we build sustainable communication solutions to help propel churches forward in taking the gospel to their communities.
This year 30 church communicators, videographers, photographers, social media leaders and web designer/developers descended on Baltimore and served 20 churches. In the period of one week, we…
- Did 7 communications audits
- Created 40 videos (not a typo… 40!)
- Refreshed 5 websites
- Built 6 completely new websites
- Provided 8 social media consultations
- Provided 5 churches with social media best practice documents
- Did 4 creative service planning/strategy sessions
- Helped with 4 stage designs and/or stage design elements
- Set up at least 10 social media accounts
- Designed 2 sermon series graphics
- Crafted 12 new logos or branding solutions
- Printed 8 sets of business cards/letterhead/envelopes
- Helped 5 churches with miscellaneous technical help (WiFi, etc.)
- Provided 3 churches with photo sessions
- Built 3 bulletin and/or newsletter templates
- Provided 17 signs and/or banners
- And created 27 items that don’t fit neatly into a category (buttons, stickers, rave cards, brochures, magnets, etc.)
If you counted up the number of hours that creatives gave to the churches of Baltimore this week and multiplied it by an average freelancer’s hourly rate, the total dollar amount would be over $100,000 donated.
More Than Numbers
While those stats are remarkable, as I reflect back on the week perhaps the most remarkable thing had nothing to do with communication specifically. Every year with Creative Missions, there is a spiritual thing that happens. It’s difficult to describe and impossible to quantify. For lack of better words, I’ll call it “soul care.”
The pastors and church leaders we serve often have a feeling of defeat. They’ve been in the trenches with limited budgets, limited staff, limited volunteer help and they are losing hope. However, year after year at the end of the week we hear stories of burdens being lifted. How something that seems trivial to the average church communications practitioner—something like recording a podcast or adding an image to a website—can literally cause the countenance on a pastor’s face to lift.
It makes it all worth it.
At our celebration service at the end of the week, one of the pastors we served said:
“You guys are arm lifters. We are like Moses standing at the river’s edge, doing the work and getting so tired. You guys are Aaron and Hur coming up along side us, just as our arms are about to give out and we are about to give up, and you lift our arms so that we can continue the work that God has called us to. You don’t even realize it, but you are arm lifters.”
Another pastor mentioned how Creative Missions answers a prayer that pastors didn’t even know how to pray… with pixels. That’s what we do, and I’m so proud to play a small part.
I started this post by mentioning that Creative Missions is a mission trip experience unlike any other. However, in one way it is exactly like every other mission trip I’ve ever been on in that I’m quite confident that I get more out of the trip than those I’m here to “serve.”
Join the Team
If you would like to get in on the blessing, it’s not too late. While the on-location work is wrapping up, there is still much printing to be done, signs to be made, and bills to be paid. Would you consider donating to Creative Missions? It would mean a lot to me and it would certainly change the game for those at the “river’s edge” in Baltimore.
- Make a donation to support the work of Creative Missions.
- Follow the social media fun of Creative Missions with our Storify recap.
- Follow this year’s creative missionaries on Twitter and give them a high five.
- Last year we bottled the Creative Missions wisdom and turned it into a book, Dangerous: A Go-to Guide for Church Communication. It’s full of practical insights for making some serious marketing progress. We share a portion of the profits with Creative Missions, so it’s another way you can support their work.
- Check out our past stories on Creative Missions. We’ve been supporting this project since the beginning in 2011 and we’re proud to share those stories.