First MinistryFest Draws a Crowd
The concept of a MinistryFest generated a lot of questions, the most frequent one being: “What’s that?” And it’s a fair question, since we had never done anything like this before in the Oregon Conference. So we described it this way: “Discovering ministry has never been so much fun!”
The Sabbath afternoon event on Sept. 25, sponsored by the conference member ministry department, featured 28 interactive ministry displays and booths, drawings, ice cream, popcorn, corndogs and “Info-Blitzes.”
The booths highlighted local church ministries, such as women’s, singles', men’s, marriage and member ministries. “Big Events” evangelism from the Kelso-Longview (Wash.) Church; Discover Bible Truth from the Beaverton (Ore.) Church; GLOW — Giving Light to Our World; Oregon Youth for Christ from several Portland, Ore.,-area churches; Communicating In Your Community; CHIP; Kingdom Assignments from the Meadow Glade (Wash.) Church; elder care; an Idea-Exchange booth; using the Internet to reach your community from the Ohana (Ore.) Church; and P.E.T.A.L. (Preparing, Educating, Teaching and Learning) from the Sharon (Ore.) Church. Our goal was to give members ideas to take back to their congregations.
So what’s an Info-Blitz? It’s a 25-minute mini-seminar, packed with just enough information to leave the attendees asking, “Where can I get more information or training on this?” The event featured 18 Info-Blitzes in four hours. Several of the booth operators presented Info-Blitzes based on their ministries, and others included Love and Respect from the Pleasant Valley (Ore.) Church, Recreational Evangelism from the Spokane Linwood (Wash.) Church, Divorce Care and Family Night from the Rockwood (Ore.) Church, Community Gardens from the Newberg (Ore.) Church, and the “Uncomfy Church: Ten Hot Spots.”
The sundown wrap-up and devotional featured a time to share ideas from the Idea-Exchange booth. At this booth, people wrote out their creative, out-of-the-box dreams of what they would love to do for ministry in their communities.
After sundown, attendees ate good old camp meeting corndogs at the snack bar and conducted an old-fashioned family movie social outdoors on the plaza, complete with free popcorn. The movie Fireproof was also featured in another location as an example of a community-ministry event.
As the first event of its kind, MinistryFest 2010 was a trial to see if anyone would be interested enough to attend something like this. We got our answer — one of the staff estimated the crowd was nearly 500 people. It looks like there will indeed be a MinistryFest 2011.