Reflection on the Essential Guide to Short Term Mission Trip

INTRODUCTION

This paper selectively discusses issues that relate to global mission works. The student has selected few things he thinks are meaningful to him when he read the textbook. In the first group of paragraphs, he has ideologically and selectively synthesized issues that he discovered in the textbook are beneficial or helpful to mission trip. He has summarized each idea in the paragraph under the heading, “Ideological and Impart” followed by the noun under discussion.

            The next following paragraphs are group of sentences that discuss these ideologies that influence personal ministry life and experience. Ideology discussed in the text such as “World Christian” influences one’s personal life and redirects how one looks at global mission from individual’s perspectives and how one relates to God in personal holiness for effective ministry.

            The last group of paragraphs discusses how these ideologies can be adopted by the local church assembly through integration that influences personal life, ministry, and global mission.

IDEOLOGICAL SYNTHESIS

The Essential Guide to the Short Term Mission Trip gives a dichotomy of mission to that of humanitarian organizations with relative to purpose; however, they both have commonalities with respect to functions. The dichotomy defined differentiates them. Missions involved addressing physical and spiritual needs of mankind while humanitarian organizations only cater to the physical needs of humanity. On the mission field, the missionary develops objectives to meet both physical and spiritual needs in order to accomplish the specific goal earmarked.

Why run short-term mission trips? It is the obligation of the church to run a short-term mission endeavor as commanded in Matthew 28:16–20. The writer registered the regret that churches have refused to do so; however, people who do not belong to the church are ministering to humanity in their areas of interests or passions. Ministering to humanity who are in great needs brings great joy, reward of service, and learning how to serve others in time of crisis.[1]

Are we ready for a mission trip? Being ready for a mission trip is being ready to become a world Christian. We must see the world as God sees it; therefore, the defense mechanisms the church puts on the table as to give excuse to doing mission works should be avoided. Defense mechanisms concerning professionalism, cost-effective to send out with respect to monetary value, and proximity should be guide against in order to take the appropriate action to fulfill mission works as commanded in scripture. During mission trip meetings, these are issues that mission minded individual should be ready to address. They are barriers to mission endeavors.

Preliminary issues that should be addressed to get mission trip grounded include deciding the location where the team should go, researching the chosen destination, and finding out the right cost. In doing so, a core group should be organized to decide on these matters with respect to traveling arrangements and deciding what activities to be involved when the team arrives at the earmarked destination. Activities decided to be carried out when the team arrives based on the onsite missionary feel backs should serve as catalyst to help the team leader to recruit people who will carry out the various tasks while the team is on the ground for the mission works.

Mission trip oversea entails making traveling arrangements with respect to choosing the right Travel Agent and Independent Mission Specialist who will work along to help the mission trip successful. Before the mission trip, there should be team meetings to discuss issues concerning the biblical understanding of mission, the development of team members’ language skills, logistical arrangements, and the preparation of physical skills while the team is on the ground to carry out various activities such as construction, farming, cleaning, teaching, and among others.

Mission trip calls for preparing for a new culture. In doing so, team members are informed to experience cultural shock, to manage their biases, to respect cultural diversities, to recognize differences in cultures, and to know the cultural rules in the nation the team is visiting. Before departure, the mission team should have final meeting one week before the departing date. In this meeting, tips for travel, packing bags, packing equipment, luggage allowance, spending money, in-flight comfort, and dealing with jet delay will be highlighted. After the arrival, team members should prepare for their health, watch diet, are ready for medical emergency, deal with lost or misrouted bags, lost passports, and legal trouble abroad. While abroad, it is advisable to keep a journal of ministry’s happenings. When team members return home, it is good to take a survey by giving each member form to ask each in opened-end questions to enable each member evaluates the mission trip endeavor with respect to his or her experiences.

IDEOLOGICAL INFLUENCE

Personal Ministry

Forward states,

A world Christian breaks the mold of a self-centered way of thinking. A world Christian understands that Jesus calls us to deny ourselves (Luke 9:23) so that we might respond to a world of great need beyond ourselves. How can you persuade more members of your church to become world Christians? How can you reach those already in that category to increase their support of missions?[2]

The idea expressed in the textbook with respect to being world Christian influences my vision how I should respond to mission works. It entails having the eye or the mind of God concerning mission in the world. Some years ago when I was a young believer in the eighties, I stood at Harbel Multilateral High School and preached the gospel to over 2000 students during morning devotions. During this time in Liberia, Christianity or living the Christian life did not have meaning to the Liberian population because pastors who stood and preached did not live according to scriptures. In my opinion, these pastors did not have the eye or the mind of God; therefore, it was impossible to become world Christian to minister the gospel through lifestyles. Being a world Christian entails primarily surrendering oneself to God to bear the cross of Christ. It requires sacrificial lifestyle before man and God. To make impart of being a world Christian requires one dying to the sinful nature; then, will one be able to go on mission for God. Being a world Christian serves as a catalyst to accelerate and to give desire to the missionary for the mission endeavors. I believe being a world Christian requires personal surrender to God with respect to total obedience. In order to be empowered for mission works, God requires me to live in holiness. Living in holiness or being obedient to God in all things places me in the position to become a world Christian. I cannot see what God sees if disobedience becomes part of my Christian living. Being a world Christian strongly influences my vision to see what God sees. If I can see what God sees; then, God will give me the divine providence and the spiritual resources to do mission works. True motivation for mission endeavors starts with being a world Christian.

IDEOLOGICAL EFFICACY

Local Church and Global Mission

The church of Christ is asked to go and to preach the gospel to all people, languages, tribes, and nations regardless of diversities. The church comprises of people who have been called out of sin and placed in the kingdom of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. After salvation, the church is asked to go and to make disciples of Christ; therefore, local church evangelism is encouraged because it is the bedrock for global mission. The early disciples or apostles were asked to wait for the promise of the Father (the Holy Spirit) to enable or empower them to do mission works; therefore, they could be witnesses of the gospel in Jerusalem, in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:6–8). In order for the church to be involved in global mission, local church evangelism should be encouraged in our churches today. It will be impossible to take the gospel to the end of the earth (global mission) if the individual Christian refuses to be involved in local church soul winning endeavor. The church cannot take the gospel to the end of the earth if she refuses to reach Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria.

IMPARTS ON INTERGRATION

Personal Life and Ministry

Since mission is the heart beat of God, it is necessary to be personally involved with mission works; therefore, the ministry God has called me to, will eventually become alive by virtue of my obedience. The impart of mission integration is that God anoints or empowers the missionary to do mission works. No one is able to do mission works without the Holy Spirit; evidently, Jesus told his disciples to wait for the promise of the Father before going out for mission works (Acts 1:6–8). When God empowers an individual through the power of the Holy Spirit, the graces, the gifts, and the abilities are present to do what the individual could not do when these spiritual resources were deficient or absent. Every time an individual desires to do mission works, he or she is given special grace to endure trials, temptations, or hardship when on the mission field. When God sends an individual, he empowers the person to do the works of mission in dangerous places.

IMPARTS OF THE BOOK

Global Mission

The book has been written and designed purposely for global mission. It gives the functions of mission and its necessity in the 21st Century Church mission events. The guidelines for creating or organizing short-term mission endeavors, its strategic approaches, and key areas that serve as obstacles to discourage the mission endeavor. It informs and gives guidelines to follow when a mission team is oversea. The book calls for the local church total involvement in global mission because God is the initiator, the perfect example, and the doer of mission on planet earth. It gives systematized happenings in detail the things to anticipate prior to the mission team departure and the things to anticipate after the mission team arrives on the mission field. Based on the above explanations, the imparts of the book holds the church responsible for not carrying out the mandate of globalization when it comes to mission works, the information contained in it which serves as eye opening to organizing a short-term mission trip, the barriers that confront missionaries both externally and internally when on the mission field, and how to deal with those conflicts culturally that are anti-cultural and pro-cultural.

            The issues of global mission as dictated in scriptures cannot be under looked or under estimated quantitatively or qualitatively in the local church with respect to how many people or what category of people should go. We all must go in various ways. If one cannot go physically as others are called or empowered to go, one can go by investing his or her material or financial resources in mission works. Be a missionary sender by investing your resources to mission.


[1] David C. Forward, The Essential Guide to a Short Term Mission Trip (Chicago: Moody Press), 1998, 43.

[2] Ibid., 43.