As Christians, our lives ought to be one continuous mission journey, ready to go wherever God sends us to share the love of Jesus Christ with people who don’t yet know Him. Wherever we live, there is plenty of “local missions” work that needs to be done.
In addition to reaching out in our own communities (as churches should be doing on a daily basis), there are close-by opportunities. For example, this summer Trinity Dayton helped Smith Point Community with their Vacation Bible School and Old River helped Wild Country with theirs.
Why then do some Christians go on short-term mission trips to other places across the country and around the world?
This year more than 1.6 million church members are spending hundreds of dollars each to go on mission trips far from home. Here in our own association, several churches sponsor trips to other states and other countries.
Is it worth it? As one who has been on several mission trips through the years, I would say, “Yes, definitely, it is worth the time, money, and energy to leave home and go on mission somewhere else.” Why mission trips?
• They get us out of our comfort zone. Some of the greatest lessons in life are learned when we try something we have never done before.
• They help us focus. When our regular schedules are suspended for a period, we can give undistracted attention to Jesus and sharing His love with others.
• They challenge us to explore our gifts and calling. I have known many youth and adults who have returned home from a mission trip with a clear call to ministry.
• We connect to other members of the global community of Christians. Our faith is strengthened when we see the diversity of people around the world who share our faith in Jesus Christ.
• They increase our fervor back home. Short-term missionaries return to their own churches ready to serve, ready to pray, and ready to give toward missions, ministry and evangelism.
Eight TR Baptists went on an associational mission trip to Rochester, Minn., in July to help our new partners conduct a Sports Challenge VBS. Emmanuel Baptist Church, which averages about 60 in worship, reached 211 children and had more than 340 people present for Family Night.
Our team also surveyed more than 100 homes for a new church start.
We stayed in homes and built relationships with members of Emmanuel. We met and prayed for leaders of three other churches in the area and toured Rochester to explore our new mission field. It was a great trip. Come go with us next time!
Always on mission, here and there,