The team is back from Vancouver…we had an amazing experience and already everything within me is saying, “was it really worth it”?
• What difference did your team really make in Vancouver?
• Is spending a large amount of money over a week period really a form of good stewardship?
• Will the life change in these students take root or will they look back on this experience as nothing more as a “FUN WEEK”.
• Should we be focussing on Vancouver and other mission destinations…or do we start in our own backyard first?
Before you start thinking I’m not a fan of the short term mission experience let me explain my thoughts; With this being my 25th experience if I was not a fan I would have stopped leading them a long time ago. Every time I have had the privilege of leading a trip I have seen something ignite in the hearts of the participants.
The frustration arises when we return and the same students, who were prepared to charge hell with a water gun, fall back into the old patterns of mediocrity.
Why do I feel these opportunities are still so necessary?
• They give kids a glimpse of what God is doing elsewhere and potentially what he wants to do back in their sphere of influence.
• Forces them to step out of their comfort zones and to fully rely on the power and strength of God.
• Reinforces their need to prioritize things in their lives…what’s truly important?
• Forces them to confront the brokenness of our world.
• Provides an opportunity for students to tap into their gifts and natural talents to make a difference in the lives of others.
• Ignite a passion for God’s redemptive purposes in this world.
I want to make it very clear that I believe missions for all of us are important. Our God is a God of mission, and as His people we are called be involved in missions as well. But I think we may be confused regarding what that term, missions, actually means. For many years it appears that within the church (and primarily in youth ministry) “missions” has been viewed as nothing more than an external activity; a duty to be fulfilled, a chore to be accomplished.
My personal frustration lies in a mission opportunity being perceived as a” noun” instead of being embraced as an “adjective”. “Missions” is not a task to be completed – to be done, so much as it is to be a way of being. In other words, we are to be “missional.” What is it going to take to view missions as something more than a week in Vancouver? We are to be missional 24-7. In other words, there must be a shift in perspective from “doing missions” to “being missional.”
I am convinced that missions needs to become something much bigger and more formative than simply a work project somewhere “out there” that we do once in awhile, when it is convenient for us. Are you up for the challenge?