The End of the Youth Mission Trip as We Know It
by Jeff Edmondson
When did youth mission trips become such a fad? Walk into the exhibit hall at any major youth ministry convention and you'll find at least a half dozen mission organizations soliciting your business. Open the pages of the leading youth ministry or Christian youth magazine and you'll see their advertisements. Mission trips are certainly popular these days, but is that necessarily a great thing?
Check out the rest of Jeff's article here!
I think this article bugs me so much because I've taken missions trips for the wrong reasons before. Sorry God.
Just in case you don't have time to read the whole article, here's how Jeff wraps it up:
What's the Real Purpose?
What are some right reasons? We go so our youth group can experience life outside of their comfortable bubble. Youth need those experiences to develop a proper world-view and to expand their ministry potential. We want our teens to gain a perspective on cross-cultural and multicultural ministry. In this polarized world, our teens must understand the problems and issues that segregate us. That's the only way that the Church is ever going to unite across social, economic, and racial boundaries. We take the missions plunge as a teaching event, further cultivating compassion in young lives.
All of these are fine, noble reasons, but the reason at the heart of each mission trip should be because Christ commanded his disciples to be servants, both to each other and to the world. He commanded the church to make disciples of all nations, in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. When we participate in short-term mission trips, we're doing our part to fulfill those commands.
If that isn't at the heart of our mission encounters and if those commands don't shape our planning, then we've missed the point. And if we miss the point, it's a safe bet that our kids will, too. We don't do short-term missions for the fun and excitement, or because everyone else is doing it, or because we're told we have to go. We go to serve and share.
Some great points. What do you think?