God isn't bland. The Church shouldn't be, either.
Creative Missions, In Retrospect

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)…

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.

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  1. Brad Huss (Reply) on May 31st, 2011

    No fair .. It is not that I will steal your domain, it is just that I probably have already given your idea a thought or two and might have purchased the domain as an “investment.”

    But since Twitter profiles are much cheaper = FREE .. I probably have that as well ..

    Still reflecting from the “Alpha Team” adventures .. Cannot wait to see the infographic ..

  2. Katie Bennett Persinger (Reply) on May 31st, 2011

    Still shady, Brad. :-)

    It was a lot of fun to live vicariously through you guys since I couldn’t come myself. Watching the process of two vision trips and Cleve spend countless (literally countless) hours praying and pouring over the details has renewed a lot of zeal in me as well – which I totally wasn’t expecting since I didn’t physically go on the trip. From the perspective of someone serving remotely, I’m just glad to have the opportunity to serve one of these churches from Nashville and be a part of the “alpha team”.

  3. Brad Huss (Reply) on May 31st, 2011

    Katie .. cut me a break .. :)

    Not sure how I got that title .. honestly .. Came out of left field .. But, I can still embrace it ..

  4. Danielle Hartland (Reply) on May 31st, 2011

    MURRELL! I will end you!

    (and if i don’t, the kids in the hallway will)

  5. Eric Murrell (Reply) on May 31st, 2011

    What kids? I thought no one was there…

  6. Danielle Hartland (Reply) on May 31st, 2011


  7. Just wanted to tell the gang that even after a long weekend sitting in the fridge, the leftover BBQ went down easy by Sean & I for lunch. :)
    Sean made a salad and thought he was grabbing the italian dressing, but instead dumped some nice mustard based bbq sauce on his rabbit food. He toughed it out for a bit, but it eventually got the best of him. Think it was a bit much..

    Seriously though, Creative Missions was a huge success on our end. You are all tremendously talented individuals, and I can’t help but think it pleases our Creator to see his people helping forward the good news through their gifts and talents. Can’t wait to have you come back one day. (FYI – we WILL order a new router for the seminary when you come back).

    A huge thank you for everyone who participated, attended, and gave. You impacted many churches/church plants in New York and spurred them on to the next level, and we are grateful! Really appreciate Cleve and Andy’s leadership and the many others who have invested so many hours in making this happen. You have made a difference. You guys rock!

  8. Kyna Moore (Reply) on May 31st, 2011

    Probably the only time in my whole life I will get “cool” points for carrying around a Leatherman, I’ll take it :) Really had a great time serving with everyone, I miss you all already, can’t wait for the next trip!

  9. [...] can read more about the trip from Media Salt as well as several of the team [...]

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