Mission Creek Seeks Community Input on Outreach
Mission Creek Christian School is the only Christian private school in Washington's Pacific County. This school year, the school is trying a unique approach to community outreach in the coastal towns of South Bend and Raymond, Wash. The students are going door to door with community needs surveys, asking individuals what kind of services Mission Creek could provide to meet the needs of the community.
This innovative method of outreach was adopted after a less-than-optimal turnout for an evangelistic series held in September at the Willapa Harbor Church in Raymond. Church members who work closely with Mission Creek suggested the school ascertain the needs of the community before planning a new event — actions they believe to be in line with the methods of Jesus, as explained by Ellen White: “Christ's method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, 'Follow Me'” (Ministry of Healing, p. 143).
“It helps us understand what people are needing before we try to help them," explains Mary Nell Ellingsen, Mission Creek Christian School administrator and principal. "I am excited that we are using Christ’s method in reaching the people.”
After about 10 hours of knocking on doors offering services like depression recovery, healthy cooking classes and community music lessons they have compiled a list of more than 60 people requesting specific services. Student Abbie McAdams, a freshman at Mission Creek, comments, “I really like getting to know people face to face. It helps me feel that we are connected to the people around us.”
The most requested service is community music lessons, followed by a tie between healthy cooking classes and a young mothers' support group. The third most-requested service is a depression recovery seminar.
These results will inform church members how they can best help their community. Planning for seminars and events is underway.
Whatever happens, Mission Creek Christian School students and staff believe that God is leading them to make long-lasting relationships with those in their community.