#CreativeMissions 2014

#CreativeMissions 2014

For the past three years I’ve enjoyed the privilege of spending a week each May helping  pastors and churches all over the country with marketing and communications needs through an effort known as Creative Missions. Again this year, in partnership with The Center for Church Communication, Creative Missions will match the abilities of creatives from all disciplines  with  the needs of churches whose leaders understand the value of communicating with excellence and will ultimately run with the resources they are given at the end of this intense week of creative service.

Creative Missions is about creating sustainable solutions for churches to effectively communicate the ultimate message of God’s never-ending love for each community they’re involved in.

This year, 30 creatives will converge on 15-20 churches in the city of Baltimore, Maryland on May 17-23.  Our mission is motivated by the voices of leaders we’ve supported in the past:

  •  2013: Alaska – “As a church planter out here, sometimes I feel like an island,” said Jay Dagenhart. “Spending time with (the creative missionaries), I feel vindicated.”
  • 2012: Northwest Arkansas & Joplin, Mo. – “For four years we’ve had graphic design, video and website needs and your team knocked it out in a week,” said Andy Swart. Andy’s church experienced a 400% growth in the 8 months after Creative Missions. Here’s more from him.
  • 2011: Albany, N.Y. – “Thank God for Creative Missions!” said Sean Pierce. “We’ve had dozens of teams but none were better or had bigger impact! Their servant heart and expertise was a huge blessing to pastors.

Why is Creative Missions going to Baltimore?

Creative Missions BaltimoreBaltimore is a very influential city. There are 15 colleges/universities (200,000 students) and 19 hospitals. Johns Hopkins, in fact, is known as the nationʼs best hospital.

Baltimore is also rich in historical importance with past creative residents including Edgar Allan Poe, Billie Holiday, and Francis Scott Key.

However, recent numbers are eye-opening in terms of violence, poverty, and fatherlessness.

  • Often found on list of violent cities – more murders than calendar days in January 2014
  • 22% of the population lives below the poverty line.
  • 58% of homes are led by single mothers.

Baltimore is in desperate need of the gospel.

  • 52% of the population isnʼt affiliated with any religious body.
  • Less than 10% of the population is affiliated with an evangelical church – the number of evangelical Christians in Baltimore cannot fill the Ravenʼs football stadium.

Plan of Attack

Weʼre building five teams to accomplish a three-pronged strategy:

  • Big Focus Churches: Churches just short of knocking it out of the ballpark, but lack resources/budget to get there. These are also churches that have influence over other area churches. They’ll have a dedicated team for a majority of the week.
  • Other churches: Less time spent – tend to 1-3 top needs and move on to the next.
  • Workshops: Several churches will host workshops throughout the week and invite volunteers and other churches/businesses to attend. Teams will lead these.

Would You Help?

2013-05-23 10.13.26If the idea of Creative Missions resonates with you, there are number of ways you or your organization can still be a part of it:

  1. You could support me  through providing funds to cover my costs.  Click here to contribute and know that your gift will be tax-deductible.
  2. Follow the efforts of #CreativeMissions on Facebook and Twitter.

There will be more ways announced soon that you can provide additional support to the overall trip as we seek to meet every need we can for the churches we will be serving alongside in Baltimore.

Your Life Will Be Measured By What You Gave – Die Empty by Todd Henry

I had two guest posts today at Church Marketing Sucks based on Todd Henry‘s new book Die Empty.

Todd Henry, author of The Accidental Creative: How to be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice, recently published his latest offering, Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day. Despite the ominous title, Henry seeks to remind each of us that we have a finite amount of time and that when we’re gone, our work, defined as anywhere that we add value, will stand as the biggest testament to who we were and what we believed. It’s the sum total of our focus, assets, time and energy.

Read my review of Die Empty

Read my interview with Author Todd Henry

“Ultimately, your life will be measured by what you gave, not what you received. Don’t hold out on the rest of us—we need you to contribute. Spend your life building a body of work you will be proud of. Engage today with urgency and diligence. Plant seeds every day that will yield a harvest later. Tomorrow is only an unfulfilled wish, so live and work as if today is all you have. If you do, you will be able to lay your head down each night satisfied with your work, and in the end, you will die empty of regret, but full of satisfaction for a life well lived.”

Read my review of Die Empty

Read my interview with Author Todd Henry

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

I Am A Church Member

I Am A Church Member: Book Review

Church Membership. What is it really?

Whether you’re a lead pastor of a church working through your own membership process or a casual church goer deciding whether to go all in at your current place of worship there are some things you need know! Thom Rainer‘s book, I Am A Church Member is a perfect place to start. Read my review of this great new resource for churches as I guest post today at Church Marketing Sucks.

Read My Review Now