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?
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?
If the idea of Creative Missions resonates with you, there are number of ways you or your organization can still be a part of it:
- You could support me through providing funds to cover my costs. Click here to contribute and know that your gift will be tax-deductible.
- 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.