Let me lead with this: You absolutely need to make it a goal to join one of the Creative Missions teams in the future. Fresh off of my experience with the “alpha team,” I can tell you that the week we spent investing in churches in Albany was one of the best weeks of my life.
Truthfully, even though I was excited about our inaugural trip, I don’t think my initial expectations were very high. What I expected was an opportunity to get to know some other church nerds while we casually helped a couple of churches in the region with just a few specific needs.
What I got was a geeky new family that was willing to throw everything they had into blessing these ministries to the fullest extent possible. Without saying a word about it, it was if there was this unanimous decision to go above and beyond on this trip. “Can’t afford a worship software license? We’ll find a way to cover it. Desperately need a new web presence? We’ll squeeze it in with our other projects and burn the midnight oil to make it happen.” I don’t think I heard of a single need on the trip that our team didn’t at least attempt to meet. These pastors and teams have an amazing vision to share the Good News in New York, and it was a tremendous blessing to help in whatever ways that we could.
Have I mentioned how much fun we had in the process? I think I can agree with Andy Burns in saying that this trip was the hardest I’ve laughed in a long time. You learn a lot about a group of folks when you spend the week driving together, eating together, and working into the wee hours of the morning. I feel like I returned home with 14 new friends/colleagues that I can call up any time I need some advice. You need to know these people (this list does not include our awesome remote team)…
- Phil Bowdle – Uses a kind tone of voice to brutally make fun of you.
- Michael Buckingham – HUGE curry fan.
- Andy Burns – aka “Maps,” can carry on a conversation with ANYONE.
- Trent Cowart – aka “Music Man.” Not really.
- Nathan Dewberry – If that’s even his real name…
- Danielle Hartland – Ask for a scary story… Read her take on Creative Missions
- Brad Huss – Will steal your domain name.
- Kyna Moore – Brought a Leatherman on the trip, getting +10 cool points.
- Cleve Persinger – Creative Missions mastermind, and foodie.
- Matt Ralph – Barely survived a greyhound ride home. Read his take on Creative Missions
- Jon Rogers – Maintains an incredible collection of plaid shirts. Read his take on Creative Missions
- Chuck Scoggins – aka “Cscogg,” and my wingman for the week. Read his take on Creative Missions
As the old mission trip adage goes, I returned home feeling blessed beyond measure through my involvement in Creative Missions. I’m inspired by the vision and courage of the pastors that I spent the week helping. After being around so many great minds, I’m pumped to bring some of their great ideas home to implement at Long Hollow. Most of all, I’m truly in awe of seeing God’s hand throughout the trip; I have a renewed zeal to seek after Him.
Again, you really need to be a part of Creative Missions in the future. The gears are already turning to put the next trip in motion, so start praying now about how you could be involved; we would love to have you.