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Principles for a successful Global Impact Celebration

Celebrating your church’s mission outreach

Paul and Barnabas sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed. On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. (Acts 14: 26-27)

Senior pastors and church leaders across America are following this biblical model, planning and executing a church-wide experience to celebrate all that God has done through the church’s mission outreach efforts. We call this spirit-led event a “Global Impact Celebration.” The results are incredible—increased passion among members to share their faith story and to respond to God’s call to cross-cultural ministry, remarkable growth in mission giving and personal involvement in mission outreach, and an overall renewed commitment to join Jesus in His mission.

Your congregation can experience the transformation that happens when the work of God is celebrated. Here are 10 proven guiding principles for holding a Global Impact Celebration in your church.

  1. Senior leadership believes in and is committed to preaching and teaching that mission is the mission of the church. Woven throughout Scripture is the story of God in pursuit of all peoples. Today, His heart is that that each of the world’s 7.2 billion people would come to know Him, love Him, and worship Him. And local churches are God’s mission agent in the world. We get to join Jesus in His mission.

  2. The senior pastor is 100 percent supportive of the Global Impact Celebration (GIC). The vast majority of the planning, promotion, “hands-on” work, and recruiting will be accomplished by church members. But it is up to the senior pastor to provide opportunities in services and in written materials for staff and church members to promote the GIC. Also, the senior pastor’s writing and teaching should include references to the upcoming GIC and to mission-outreach stories and events.

  3. Saturate the entire GIC process with prayer. The GIC Prayer Team will develop a strategy and plan to provide ways for church members to pray for specifics of the GIC—for the recruiting of leaders and sub-teams, for vision casting, goal setting, planning, and promotion. “Prayer is the mighty engine that is to move the missionary work,” writes A.B. Simpson. And, writes John R. Mott, “Every other consideration and plan and emphasis is secondary to that of wielding the forces of prayer.”

  4. Schedule the GIC up to a year in advance when there are no special church events within three weeks, before or after the GIC, and the fewest number of competing community events.

  5. Broad ownership and involvement by staff and church members is critical. Engage a minimum of 20-25 percent of the congregation in the praying, planning, and execution of the GIC. Create “hands-on” tasks, responsibilities, and opportunities that are easily doable and that will encourage volunteerism.

  6. Delegate in order to create “buy-in.” A great leader is a great delegator. Remember the goal: “Engage a minimum of 20-25% of the congregation.” Forget efficiency. Remember this: The more, the better.

    Here are some simple delegation questions:

    - Is there someone else who can do this?
    - Does the task provide an opportunity to involve/develop another person?
    - If someone else completes this task, is he or she more likely to support it and invite others to participate?
    - When the event is over, will people applaud a large team or just me?

  7. Provide a variety of venues, events, and communication pieces to impact members in as many ways as possible. Plan a GIC to run three-to-five days, beginning with a Wednesday evening Kick-Off Celebration, activities on Thursday and Friday, and concluding on Sunday. The list of ideas is almost endless—small groups hosting missionaries, home meetings, community service projects, worship services, women’s brunch, men’s breakfast, international banquet, missionary interviews, informative displays, live Skype calls from other countries. Plan something for the whole church community. Such as an all-encompassing event that will require creativity in communication and promotion.

  8. Involve a significant number of missionaries and mission organization representatives. This would include local, national, and international missionaries. The actual number will vary based on the church size. For a large church, we suggest a 1/30 rule—one missionary “unit” for approximately every 30 active adults in your church in order to achieve “personalization.” For a small church, an effective rule may be 1/15 or 1/20.*

  9. Provide specific opportunities for people to respond to God’s call by giving financially and with their time and talent. Ask questions such as, “What are ways you will invest in mission outreach through your time and talents?” Or, “What level of financial giving do you sense God is asking you to give to mission outreach?”

  10. Conduct the GIC on an annual, regularly-scheduled basis. Remember that mission IS the mission of the church.

The Mission Society can lead you step-by-step through planning a Global Impact Celebration. Contact our Church Ministry department at 678.542.9046 or

*The GIC should reflect a well-balanced mission outreach. Plan to have local, national, and international missions represented.

Roger Wright is the Midwest Regional Director for The Mission Society’s church ministry department.