My Account
Sign Up for an Account



Choose Password

Retype Password

September Activate Post: 5 Mistakes Churches Make When Hosting a Global Impact Celebration


In my work I have coached a number of churches to launch Global Impact Celebrations (GICs). A GIC is a mission celebration a church hosts for several days that serves to mobilize the congregation toward greater involvement in God’s work of mission in places near, far and hard.

The GIC is one component of a church’s mobilization plan. Time and time again, GICs prove to be a powerful ministry to energize and embed mission in church culture. Yet, I observe churches making mistakes because they divert from key GIC principles. Here I will speak to five of the mistakes I frequently see.

The first and second big mistakes involve planning. A GIC is designed to be planned and launched by a team of people from within the congregation, with the help of church staff. GICs can be exhausting. Does that mean we shouldn’t host them annually? Hopefully not! So, don’t make the mistake of not involving at least 20 percent of your congregation in this process. The mobilization of God’s people for mission deserves as much time on our church calendar as we can possibly give it.

Over the years, TMS Global has taught church staff that they are the GICs’ biggest cheerleaders. But I’ve always known cheerleaders to stand at the sidelines while the players sweat it out on the field. Staff who want the best GIC possible need to clear their calendars two weeks before and after, roll up their sleeves, and get involved.

My home church hosts an annual Vacation Bible School for the community. It’s a huge amount of work. The church staff are fully involved in this all-hands-on-deck week, rubbing shoulders and supporting the work of volunteers. It’s expected. It’s just how we do VBS in Wilmore, Kentucky. I think we should work the same way with GICs.

The third big mistake is that many churches have lost the original vision for GICs, which is to saturate the church with a global vision for mission and mobilize God’s people to mission. That is best accomplished by inviting your local, domestic, and international mission partners to the GIC to personally rub shoulders and hearts with as many people as possible. This happens best in small, intimate group settings—the secret sauce of every GIC that’s successful. GICs are strategic opportunities to set the table for the Holy Spirit to mobilize your people to find their special role in God’s kingdom work. That’s why we encourage churches to use The Faith Promise and Life Commitment components of GICs.

Mistakes four and five speak to the role of invited mission partners. GICs often run for several days, and are bracketed by an opening ceremony and a closing commitments service. The question some churches ask is, “Is it okay to use our mission partners as guest speakers for these events?” I get that this makes sense economically. So, if you do choose to use mission partners, be sure your mission partners are capable speakers. They need to understand their role as a challenger and a mobilizer for the congregation. We want them to tell stories during their talks about how the Holy Spirit is working through them to touch people with the gospel. Their role as a featured speaker is to call people to join Jesus in His mission of making disciples in places near, far, and hard.

After reading about these five mistakes, how does this compare with your current practice of hosting GICs? Please give me a call at 678.542.9043 and we can talk about ways to improve your next GIC.

Duane Brown serves as the senior director of church ministry.