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Church’s Sending Legacy Lives On

Grace Church in Wooster, Ohio has been around for over 75 years, and they are a beautiful example of a community which sends out its own to reach the Nations.

Since the beginning, Grace Church has been focused outward. In their early years, they poured all of their resources into reaching surrounding families and neighborhoods, which allowed them to grow and earn a voice in the community. After 21 years of sending their own people to serve their own community, the church decided to reach even further beyond their borders.

Though supporting global missions had always been a part of the church’s culture, the first cross-cultural workers sent from Grace Church went to Brazil and the Central African Republic in 1960. This began the first wave of Grace Church people being sent to the world. By the end of 1975, a total of seven families had gone out from the church community to places like France, Germany, Cambodia, and Thailand. Since then, many waves of workers have been deployed.

And Grace Church intends to see that legacy continue.

Daron Butler has been the Next Steps Pastor for Global Missions at Grace Church for 11 years. With his rich Navajo heritage and Grace Seminary education, he’s uniquely gifted to mobilize the church to reach the least-reached and marginalized peoples of the world. Whether preaching at a Native Christian Leadership conference in Minnesota or leading members of Grace Church on a short-term mission trip, Daron works hard to help people find their role in fulfilling the Great Commission.

Knowing the rich sending history of the church, Daron has done his best to prepare the next generation of goers and senders at Grace Church. Among Pastor Daron’s missional to-dos as a mobilizer are running Grace Church’s small group named “On-Mission,” spreading awareness about their current global partners, leading short-term mission trips, and utilizing The Path series, Encompass’ newest resource, to train his people. Though new generational challenges have emerged in his time at Grace Church, he’s excited about what the future holds.

The next generation at Grace Church is ready to be sent out.

Kylie, a recent college graduate and long-time member of Grace Church, has taken up the call to serve overseas. With the help of Grace Church’s Communications Director Rachael Snyder and mobilizers at Encompass World Partners, Kylie is learning to better understand her calling for international ministry. After completing Encompass’ cross-cultural training course, Engage 5, she began searching for a possible ministry team to join.

It appears the best fit for Kylie is serving as a member of an Encompass Hope Team to Western Asia. Currently, she is raising support and preparing to be sent out by Grace Church.

Daron prays that Kylie is the beginning of a new wave of “goers” at Grace Church.

Acting on the momentum that Kylie has brought, Daron hopes that many more young people within the church will discover a passion to be a part of the Great Commission. He wants to see each person in the church take the time to contemplate how to pray, give, send, or go for the sake of the nations.

Not every church has the rich missional history of Grace Church, but a new legacy can be started now. Any church can become a sending church. To learn how your church can become better senders, check out Encompass’ newest resource, The Path series.