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Surprised By Global Impact Celebrations


I was a missions pastor for several years and I had heard about these Global Impact Celebrations (GIC) from different people and how these events had made huge impact in local churches. To be honest, GICs sounded like a lot of work to me. I avoided looking into these celebrations because I was too busy trying to find enough volunteers and people to lead our current mission efforts. I didn’t need another “program” on top of the list of the many other “programs” that I was responsible for leading.

I transferred to another church that was running GICs for a few years. The thing I wanted to avoid for several years was another “program” I had to run. But what I found was different than what I expected.

As I was learning about our ministry partners (a new term for me), I discovered that our GIC mostly ran itself. In other words, volunteers ran the GIC, and my job was to gently guide and steer them to completion. I attended meetings, offered guidance, but I found that the volunteers organized the entire event. When someone stepped down from a role, the volunteers found someone to fill the opening. When a speaker was needed, the volunteers found a speaker. When we were stuck on a decision, The Mission Society was available to help us get unstuck.

We followed the GIC Playbook and before I knew it, the GIC was upon us. At the GIC, God moved in powerful ways. At the GIC debriefs, I sat back and enjoyed the comments offered by various leaders of the church. One lady stated that this particular GIC was “the best ever.” Her friend quickly replied, “You say that every year.” Comments like “life-changing,” “transformational,” and “exactly what our church needed” were used to describe the GIC. At the end of the meeting, the senior pastor talked about how GICs always bring about revival for this church and how this particular GIC reminded us to stay focused and to go after what matters to the heart of God.

I had sensed God moving in powerful ways and felt really upbeat about the GIC weekend; but was it just me or the folks on the GIC team that felt this way? After all, shouldn’t a revival bring about action in some form or fashion?

In the coming days, weeks, and months after my first GIC weekend, I noticed that the number of volunteers engaged in our local, national, and international outreach increased greatly. I noticed that there was intentional prayer for our mission outreach efforts throughout all the Sunday school classes. Several Sunday school classes even partnered with missionaries and ministries around the world. I experienced firsthand how GICs help to move people to action. My only regret I had in this whole GIC process is that I had not done a GIC earlier in my ministerial career. God used the GIC and The Mission Society to bring our mission efforts to a whole new level of impact.

Things that I learned from my first GIC:

  • The Mission Society was there to help coach us to our first GIC.
  • The volunteers carried the brunt of the work.
  • Bringing missionaries and mission agencies together for a three-day weekend event created an outwardly-focused environment in our church like never before.
  • The GIC weekend produced the same excitement level for our congregation as Christmas or Easter services do.
  • People have a desire to support and give to missions of a church through faith-promise giving.
  • The GIC is a catalyst to get folks participating, supporting, and praying for the missions of the church.

Things that I learned GIC is NOT:

  • It is not another program of the church, but helps mission outreach become part of the DNA of the church on a deeper level.
  • It is not a gimmick of a church, but an event that celebrates our missional God.
  • It is not the responsibility of a select few, but the entire church.

I believe that most churches want to impact their communities and the world for the cause of Christ. However, most churches don’t know where to begin or how to do that. The Mission Society is here to help you and your church align with God’s mission to “go and make disciples.”

Dr. Dean Osuch is the director of partner development for The Mission Society. He previously served as a missions pastor in churches, and as a missionary in Africa for one year.