Monday, January 18, 2010

Re-Thinking Mission Trips

A major component of most youth ministries is service. Typically, these are lived out in 7-10 day trips in the summer where the most faithful, most active, church-going youth go into an impoverished community and do a bunch of work projects. These are good things. The church where I work does this each year. It's an essential piece of our ministry puzzle.

But here's a thought...

What if, instead of taking groups on a mission trip we equipped young people to do service with groups they are already a part of -- sports teams, music groups, academic clubs, groups of friends, etc. What if our "evangelism" was not about giving testimonies or distributing tracts, but was instead about giving young people the tools to engage their friends in acts of lovingkindness? What if churches not only sent young "missionaries" out to their peer groups, but helped generate resources for these projects; including, but not limited to fund-raising, training, and post-trip decompressing?

How would changing the way your church does short-term missions trips actually change the way your church does church?

What do you think?

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