Jan 16, 2014

8 Reasons Why I Think You Should Go on a Mission Trip at Least Once in Your Life

Not everybody can, not everybody will, but here's why I think you should.

Because God commands it
Matthew 28:19 “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”

Because the world needs Jesus and you have Him
If people who know the gospel do not obey God’s command to take the gospel to people who do not know the gospel then the people who do not know the Gospel never will.
Romans 10:14-15  But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!"

Because it gets you out of your box and out of your comfort zone
You go to a place you’ve never been before that you know very little about leaving your routine, home, family, car, cell phone,  job, your country.  You do things you’ve likely never done before and pray prayers you’ve never prayed before.  Kind of like Peter, you are stepping out of the boat…and do you remember what happened next?  He walked on water.  In a sense, you will too, unless of course you stay in the boat.

Because it helps you put what you have in perspective
You live in a first world country, in fact the greatest of the first world countries.  You live with first world possessions, problems, stress, and worries.  When you step into a third world country you begin to see first world things in a different light.  When you see third world possessions, problems, stresses, and worries all of the sudden you realize how easy, blessed, and good we have it.  We need this eye opening and heart humbling perspective. 

Because it gets you off of the bench
Many Christians rarely use their spiritual gifts and rarely contribute their talents, time, resources, and energies to something eternal.  You’ve only watched God work in people’s lives from the sidelines.  When you are on a mission trip you are now a part of something that matters and your participation it vital.  You realize the game is a lot more fun and God is a lot more real when you aren’t sitting on the bench.

Because it benefits your church
Most people who return from a mission trip returned revived, fearless, and ready.  They see the urgency and importance of the ministry of the Gospel.  They return and they get to work.  I’ve seen this in the church that I pastor.  The energy, drive, and passion that our mission teams have brought back to Rock Hill Baptist Church have been contagious.  Our mission team people have kept us on our toes, kept us focused, and kept us fighting on the front lines.  Your church needs people like that.

Because it is a crash course in discipleship
You never come back from a mission trip the same way you left.  Growing in Christ is a lifelong journey.  There are no real short cuts and no ways to skip ahead.  But mission trips have a unique way of moving you along in the journey and breaking through obstacles and sin that are hindering growth.  Maybe it’s that you are completely out of your comfort zone or that your everyday distractions are gone and Jesus has your full attention.  Maybe it’s because you're being used by the Holy Spirit in ways you’ve maybe never allowed him to use you before.  God has used mission trips to grow me and to show me more about himself, his mission, and his purpose for my life.  It's not the only way, but it is a refreshing way.

Because there may never be a better time than now
There is no guarantee that your will have a better opportunity than now.  There is no promise that you’ll have more money, more time, better health, less things to do.  We are not guaranteed another day, neither are the people on the other side of the world.  The need is urgent, critical, and eternal, so there is little room for delay.

 Common Excuses for Not Going

1.       I’m not called
Who said you ever would be?  I don’t think the issue is necessarily about calling so much as it is about the commandment.  Hasn’t Jesus’s commanded all of us to go already?  Now, certainly for some there is a place for calling.   But I am not sure that everyone has a “call” moment to go on a mission trip.  Honestly, I’ve never felt “called” to go.  I think that surrendering to go on a mission trip is more of an issue of obedience to his command rather than to a special call.  The command is already there and now you must surrender your time, agenda, money, and by faith obey.  The world that God touches through you will never be the same and you will never be the same.
Psalm 96:3 “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!”

2.       I’m afraid
Going to a foreign country.  Getting sick.  Leaving your family.  Leaving your comfort zone.  All of these things can strike fear in our hearts, but when we heed to our fears we disobey.  There is always a risk.  Going on a mission trip does require faith, but isn’t that a good thing and don’t you need to grow in your faith? 
2 Timothy 1:7 “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control”

3.       I don’t have time
Yes, you more than likely do have time.  It’s about reprioritizing your time and sacrificing your time.  It will cost you vacation days, possibly a day or two without pay, missing a special event.  But eternity hangs in the balance for the people who are waiting for you to share the gospel with them.  It does cost time, but it’s worth the cost.  Eternity is also a long time. 
Philippians 2:4 “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

4.       I don’t have the money
In my experience of leading over 100 people on mission trips I have never seen anyone not be able to pay for their trip.  Part of the joy of going on a mission trip is watching God provide the resources needed when we by faith obey his command.
Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus”

5.       Can’t we just do missions here, why do we have to go across the world?
Yes you can and yes you should.  We are commanded to do that as well, but we must not be guilty of obeying half of Jesus’s command.  I’ve seen that going on an overseas mission trip actually increases our involvement in local missions before and after we get back.
Proverbs 25:25 “Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country”

6.       My health won’t allow me
For many, this is certainly true.  Your health may be at a point where it will not allow you to go or it's just not a good idea, but you can still spiritually go.  Your support, encouragement, prayer, and giving makes you just a part of the mission as the people who are physically able to go.!
Philippians 4:17 “not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit”
You are not a poor Christian if you never go on an overseas mission trip.  For me to say you were would be untrue and unbiblical.  The truth is that as followers of Christ we are all missionaries.  Hey, it's a mission trip to simply walk across the room and invite some to church!  The mission field is as near as next door.  But if you have the opportunity and you are able, you should make the sacrifice, have the faith, and help take the gospel to places it's never been before.  This world is a big world and Jesus died for all of it. Maybe he wants to use you to help him to show his love and truth to some far away people who've never heard it before.