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A Fun Way to Uplift Internationals

How does a church put into practice the core value of celebrating diversity? Dustin Speaks, mobilization pastor at Grace Polaris Church (Westerville, Ohio), began asking this question.

It’s easy to say you appreciate different cultures, but another thing to show they carry weight in your life. Dustin hoped to give internationals from the church and community a local platform for the sake of honoring them. This simple idea grew into the International Fun Fest.

Imagine a festival hosting many cultures and providing opportunities for people to engage in the expressions of those cultures. Whether it be in dances, songs, or ethnic foods, Grace Polaris hoped the event would create awareness and appreciation for cultural differences. Hoping for more than just a fun gathering, Dustin also wanted the celebration to be a place for the Gospel to be spread among the nations. He believes that Christians are called to be people who can connect with others in fun, non-threatening ways. He said, “It’s in these moments that relationships begin and friendships are built. In time, we pray this will lead to Gospel opportunities and new life.”

The festival took place August 20th, as plans came to fruition and relationships were built. Looking back, Grace Polaris Church successfully created an opportunity for internationals to feel valued by their community. Although there was much to celebrate, Dustin knows the festival can grow and improve. For example, early in the planning process he realized the event was a lot for his small team to manage. Next year they plan to involve international communities and additional churches. With more people on the team, Dustin believes that more of the “why” behind the event can be communicated. He trusts they can create a lasting legacy that will generate a celebration of diversity for years to come!

Want to know more about planning an International Fun Fest? Email Dustin for insight.

We want to give a SHOUT OUT to others who are getting creative in how they bless the nations. Let us know what you and your church are doing!