What Makes Up a Mission Trip Part 2
Last two weeks I took a break from my “What Makes Up a Mission Trip” to share my News Letter and to talk about how Passion Week is the heart beat of mission. This week I want to revisit the purpose of short term mission trips.
- Mission is about serving the local church and missionary.
Too many groups that go on a short term mission trip think that they are going to make the difference. If we realize that mission is about the Glory of God then we realize that we are simply tools for God to use. We are not game changers nor is God blessed to have us on His team. The trip is not about us exercising the gifts that God has given us. It is about building up the local body of Christ. It is about going and saying to the local representative of the body or Christ use me as you see fit. If that means that I will sit and wait and build relationship with my bus driver then I will do that. If it means that I will preach a message then I will do that. If it means that I serve and build something or watch your kids and give your wife and you a needed night off please let me do that. We are hear to bless you and serve you to help enable you to expand the ministry.
- Mission is about making disciples
Jesus Great Commission to us as believers is to go and make DISCIPLES. We are not called to go and make converts. Look at this passage in Matthew 28:19-20
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
It is not about getting as many souls into heaven as we can. Nor is it about fire insurance. It is about making committed disciples of Jesus Christ. This means that we must connect those we work with to the local church and missionary because we cannot disciple them on facebook. It must be done there. They can tell you what ever they want over facebook, but when you are living life together it is harder to lie. That is why Mission must exist in the context of support to a local ministry. There is no lone ranger short term mission trips.
- Mission is not about numbers but about Faithfulness
I will never forget one mission trip I went on to Ukraine. The church we were working with was so careful to keep track of numbers for us. They kept asking us if we wanted to know the numbers and we kept telling them we didn’t care. I didn’t understand why until I met Brother Billy Bob (Yes that was his name) of some church in Arkansas. He was the pastor of this little baptist church and soon as we met him he informed us that they had been coming to to work with the same church for 5 years now. They had started a Bible Camp and and had 200 salvations and 45 baptisms and 70 rededications ..etc. I was sick to my stomach. I realized that the reason that the Ukrainians were so concerned that we knew the numbers was that the STM from Arkansas was only concerned with numbers. I am sure that the church from Arkansas did a lot of good and that God used them, but they were completely focused on the wrong thing. What do you think they came back and reported to the church? The very thing they reported to me. It is not about numbers, it is about faithfulness. Suddenly we judge God’s movement by how many results we see. Since when is that how God’s movement is judged? I thought we were to be faith and God was the one to cause the growth. Suddenly, people feel more justified to give to one ministry over another because they get more bang for their buck. In fact, I would suggest that the obsession we have with numbers is to make ourselves feel good. Now numbers aren’t bad. In fact there is a time and a place to do it but also a way we should do it. It should glorify God not point to how successful we are.
- Mission is about living the gospel out everyday
A short term mission trip is not a Christian week of service, but rather it is a lifestyle you learn to live. We should be missional all the time and sharing the gospel everyday in our actions and by our speech. If we aren’t doing that, then why are we going halfway around the world to do it?
Here at YMI we take these principals seriously. This is what we strive and train people to do. If your mission does not look like this, I challenge you to rethink your mission and contact us so that we can help you!
Posted on April 2, 2013, in Adventure, Church, Devotional, Gospel, International, Life, Missions, Para-church, Training, Travel, YMI, Youth Ministry, Youth Missions International and tagged gospel, International Missions, Mission, Missional, Missionology, missions, Numbers, Sharing the Gospel, Short Term Missions, STM, Ukraine, YMI, Youth Ministry, Youth Missions International. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.