The church hosted a 17-station exposition highlighting the ministries they partner with as a church. The congregation was broken into three groups which rotated among three categories: local, domestic, and global missions. Music served as the cue to switch to the next station.
Gwen Higaki, one of the coordinators, had been asked by Lead Pastor Jason Haymaker to pull together a team and think creatively about how to engage people with the needs and opportunities amongst partner ministries. She said the event was intended to jumpstart the church’s missions focus. They hoped it would reveal people's interests and provide ways for them to plug-in. Though the church had previously focused on local and global missions, a small percentage of people actually participated in those ministries.
What resulted were several hundred sign-ups across the 17 emphasized mission points. Many stepped forward, took the initiative, and volunteered to place themselves in local ministries. One station, in particular, named "Golden Moments" for its focus on the elderly, drew 33 new volunteers. The station organizer was moved to tears by the overwhelming and encouraging response. Higaki said, “I knew our people got it when we saw them not just walk around looking, but signing up to be involved.”
“I’ll admit it took some convincing for me to think about doing something like this during our Sunday worship service, but the result was a big win for our church,” said Haymaker. "Gwen and her team are already talking about plans for another missions expo in the future."
Encompass World Partners is just one of the ministries that benefited from this event. We're thankful for the opportunity to partner with churches like Western Reserve Grace.