1824 Memorial Road Church of Christ Members Participate in GoMission
by: Stafford North | October 8, 2018
In 2016, the elders of the Memorial Road Church of Christ in Oklahoma City approved a “GoMission” Campaign to encourage its members to do some type of mission work between May 1, 2017 and July 15, 2018. This congregation, which typically has about 2300 in attendance at its two Sunday morning services, has been mission-minded since its founding in 1963 and now supports mission work on six continents, spending more than a million dollars each year in these efforts.
In addition to this financial support, however, the elders and ministers of the church worked together to encourage members to be involved by engaging in mission work themselves. The GoMission Project urged members to go on mission trips abroad, to go states outside of Oklahoma, to help smaller congregations in Oklahoma, or to do things near home.
Members of the congregation submitted 117 separate GoMission projects and to carry out the projects 1,824 different members participated in 2,824 mission efforts, with 617 members participating in more than one project. The picture shows notes members posted following their trips. The congregation set aside $100,000 to help people financially if they needed it to complete their mission effort, but only $23,075 was requested. The vast majority paid their own way.
A total of 324 members went abroad to serve in eighteen different nations: Honduras, Haiti, Guatemala, Austria, Ghana, Zambia, Germany, Brazil, Australia, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Albania, Thailand, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Uganda, and Croatia. Most of these trips took members on summer mission projects to help where missionaries were already at work. Other trips were connected with medical missions or Let’s Start Talking. Some were also involved in World Bible School correspondence work.
Another 492 projects were considered “domestic” as people went to serve in eleven other states. These efforts were to help smaller churches in places where the church is not strong, to assist at Bible camps, and to have youth ministry trips for work camps and vacation Bible schools. A total 464 others went to eighteen places in Oklahoma beyond the Oklahoma City area. Most of these involved assisting smaller churches either by a group’s going to visit another church on Sunday morning to encourage them or helping smaller churches with their vacation Bible school or in an evangelistic effort.
The largest number, 1544, were involved in local projects. In these people went to serve at the Capitol Hill Church of Christ, a local inner-city work which has a medical clinic, to visit local jails or prisons, to assist smaller churches in the area with their vacation Bible school, to help at a center for troubled youth, to aid at a local elementary school, to assist with local World Bible School correspondence courses, or to assist with the work of two church plants the congregation is doing.
The age participation among the 2,824 efforts was very interesting. Participants up to age eighteen made 33 percent of the efforts, those who were eighteen to forty-nine made 36 percent of them, while those fifty and above did 31 percent of the efforts. Interesting to see that those both younger and older were well involved.
Some of those counting in the projects were doing what they regularly do in visiting in local jails or grading correspondence courses, but most did something new and the elders hope that their involvement during GoMission will help them continue to be more involved in the work of the Lord.
So, good news that more than 1,800 of the members of a church with about 2,300 attending on a Sunday morning would participate in one or more missions projects during a designated fourteen month period. Other churches might want to consider a similar plan to increase involvement of members in projects to serve and to reach out with the gospel. For more information contact GoMission@MRCC.org.