Mission trips can be a touchy subject in the Christian community. Some people think that mission trips should only be done in the back yard. Some think it's a waste of money to go overseas for a week. Some think mission trips are just a vacation. And the list of what people think go on and on. So, let's dig in to the top 3 reasons why I personally think that everyone should go on a mission trip.
1.) Because God has the whole world on His mind - not just your world. Is your home a mission field? Yes, absolutely. Is your community a mission field? Yes, absolutely. Is the mission field overseas? Yes, absolutely. We need to be involved in all three of these ministries, because God is involved in all three. While one area may have your focus more than the others it is still possible to be involved in all three. Yet, many who have never been on a mission trip do not understand the importance of God's love for the world. Why? Because, it's difficult to grasp the vision of something you've never experienced. We hear it all the time that, "We have enough needs in our backyard." Yes, we do. But, God's heart for the lost is so much bigger than just our backyard. When you go on a mission trip you have a better understanding of why the great commission says, "Go and make disciples of all nations..." (Matthew 28:19-20)
2.) Your missionaries need you. Missionaries give up their lives to live in uncomfortable places to share the love of Jesus with the world. They need you. They need your prayers, your encouragement, and your support. Many times the missionaries that lead your trips need you more than the people you're going to serve. They face overwhelming needs everyday and sometimes they just need people like you to hop on a plane and come make them laugh for a week. That sounds silly, but your missionaries need like minded people to come alongside them in friendship, prayer, and financial support as they pour all they have into serving the Lord. Your short term mission trip probably won't end with you selling all you have and moving overseas, but it will give you a deeper understanding on why missionaries do what they do and give you practical ways for you to sow into what the Lord is doing through them.
3.) God's calling you to partner with Him. In life we get comfortable. We pray for God to meet us where we are instead of aligning our hearts with His. God is at work all around the world and yet many times we get caught in our daily routine and lose sight of what God is calling us to do. Mission trips open your eyes, give you new perspectives, and remind you that God wants to use you every day as His hands and feet. After a mission trip you may not feel called to move to a third world country, but it's quite possible that God will use that short week to show you how He's calling you to partner with Him.
Mission trips can be hard. They can drain you physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. You will meet amazing people. You will see things you've never thought you'd see. You will sow into the church. You will pray more than you've ever prayed. You will serve the poor. You will meet physically needs. You will share the love of Jesus. You will see people surrender their lives to the Lord. You will see people healed, set free, and delivered. You will be forever changed. As you go throughout your week pray for your missionaries and pray about going on a mission trip. Ask God how you can align your heart with His. Then step out of your comfort zone as you walk by faith to go where He's calling you. May you experience all God has for you this week as you partner with Him in your home, in your backyard, and throughout the nations.