Unleashed Conference Leads to Increased Engagement
Southeast’s vision is to Unleash the full force of the church to love people one at a time, and the church is doing just that. This past Spring, 3,327 people registered for the Unleashed Conference, where they learned firsthand about Mission Partners and serving opportunities.
At the same time, Southeast released the Unleashed App, providing an easy way for those interested in serving to match their gifts and availability with ministries, partners, and others in the community and around the world.
“The Unleashed App allows people to search for engagement opportunities with organizations we trust and have a deep relationship with,” said Jay Schroder, Southeast’s Local Missions Team Leader. “You can search by geography, passion, and skill set, which are often the determining factors in what is the best place for you to serve and what God has wired you for.”
Jay said there has been a substantial increase in engagement with Mission Partners since the conference and release of the app. As of mid-June, 542 people have used the app to connect with supported ministries.
“Many of our ministries have reported receiving deeply gifted, passionate, and engaged new volunteers that have dramatically increased their Kingdom impact,” he said.
That includes everything from a dozen or so retired men joining a weekly crew that renovates homes for missional families to a videographer who helps a dance ministry make discipleship worldwide.
“It’s been amazing to see people use skills and passions—like D.I.Y. construction, videography, photography—that we don’t ordinarily associate with ministry as clearly as music or children’s programming jump in,” Jay said.
Bryson Koch, the Community Engagement Pastor at Southeast’s Indiana Campus, said being a disciple of Jesus doesn’t begin and end on Sunday mornings and that believers instead are called to be Kingdom workers and to live out the Gospel in tangible ways in all areas of their lives.
“So, as a Community Engagement Minister, it’s my heart to help open people’s eyes to those opportunities in their everyday lives and help them step into that,” he said.
Bryson said the Unleashed App has helped the Community Engagement Pastors at each campus do that as it has become a “one-stop shop for us to list everything happening in the community that we’re a part of. It really serves as a powerful doorway for someone to faithfully step into Kingdom opportunities they’re interested in or passionate about. I constantly refer anyone to it who is asking the question, ‘What’s next?’”
Chris Garrett, the Community Engagement Pastor at the Elizabethtown Campus, agreed.
“It is a tool we can provide to people we encounter—whether in a class we are teaching or one-on-one meeting—that they can use to find opportunities to serve,” he said.
Bryson said the Indiana Campus has felt momentum since the Unleashed App was released.
“I think for many people, the idea of being unleashed is a new concept and new language, but we’re starting to slowly see that it’s the next step in what it looks like to practice discipleship to Jesus,” he said. “The Unleashed Conference and App both serve as a means to provide practical examples of what that look likes and create easy steps for our people to begin moving into Kingdom work.
“The other side of things has been just a general unawareness of what opportunities are out there. The app has served beautifully to bridge that gap and help people know what’s happening and how they can be a part of it.”
Chris added that community engagement is crucial to the church living out its mission to make disciples.
“A healthy disciple-making local church is both inwardly supportive and outwardly focused as it stays connected to Jesus,” he said.
To download the Unleashed App and learn how you can match your gifts and availability with the many great serving opportunities that are available, click HERE.