10 Resons Why Short-term Missions Trips are Effective.

In recent years there have been a surge in short-term Christian Missions trips that often seem more like an adventure vacation than an actual missions trip. Raising thousands of dollars to go and do Christian missions to the Bahamas or Fiji certainly sounds like a donor sponsored vacation. What a scam! Or is it? Years ago missionaries went to beautiful places only to be buried a few months after they arrived. Knowing that suffering and death were a real possibility, the had to weigh their desire for adventure, beautiful scenery, their commitment to Christ and sharing the Gospel, and the cost in terms of their lives.

Short-term missions is hard work!

In today’s short-term missions activities, laying down one’s life for the Gospel is highly unlikely, and yes the surroundings can be beautiful, but the missions work can be exhausting and hard. Have you ever been to Africa? Have you seen the plains and valleys of Kenya? Phenomenal scenery, gorgeous landscape, and old cemeteries filled with missionaries. Some went to Africa for a few weeks, others for a lifetime.

Mixed motives can always get in the way of Christian service. Whether in your home country or overseas, missionaries can sometimes feel guilty that their desire to share the Gospel is also mixed with their craving for adventure. Every missionary is guilty of it. If they weren’t filled with some sense of adventure, they wouldn’t be a foreign missionary! God can use the mixed motives of man to accomplish His purposes. It is not for us to judge for God knows the heart. And through short-term missions trips, God will work not only through a person but also in their own life. Many missionaries today can testify that they may have had some desire to escape from their current job, had a desire for adventure, sought to be stretched spiritually, or went into missions due to outside pressures.

If it takes a “missionary vacation” or an “adventure missions trip” to get Christians away from their televisions, computers, cell phones and other distractions of the modern age, then great! They will see and experience things that they never would have otherwise and their lives will be altered in some way. Will they make a big impact? Probably not. But that is why it is short-term. It has a minimal impact for yes, a lot of money, but do you know that most modern day missionaries did some kind of short-term missions trip before they committed to career missions? It is a new thing that God is doing and let’s work with Him and not against Him. Encourage short-term missions regardless of the motives. Leave that up to the Lord to sort through.

10 reasons why short-term missions trips are effective:

1. The person who is going will have an impact upon the place where they are going. Some kind of positive impact.
2. Donors will learn something new about the destination location as well as the person going.
3. Some prayer support will follow the person to the foreign country. Prayer always has an impact.
4. If a person is acting in obedience to God, He will be pleased.
5. Blessings abound for those who not only go, but also send.
6. The money given to send someone probably would have been spent on frivolous other things.
7. Short-term missions experiences can lead to long-term service in missions.
8. Going to a foreign country makes you more appreciative as a whole.
9. It gets people out of their comfort zones. Are you in yours?
10. Short-term missionaries can reinvigorate long-term missionaries by bringing in new enthusiasm for the work resulting in new inspiration and vision.

Short-term missions information

Adventures in Missions

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7 responses to “10 Resons Why Short-term Missions Trips are Effective.

  1. I would like to see numbers rather than abstract opinions. It may be that these “missions” are worthwhile and the statistics will bear this out. There must be someone who can carry out an unbiased study.

  2. Odd how only one of the reasons has to do with the positive impact. It’s selfish considering short term missionaries don’t do it again. The money that is wasted could be used to send books or research rather than play soccer with a bunch of poor ethnic kids only to have their families feed you extravagantly at the end of the day. This article is shortsighted at best and seems like a defense on the writer’s own guilt for being a short term missionary.

  3. This posting is perfect. I recently got my passport for a family vacation. Of course, when you realize you have access to visit different countries you start looking into planning another vacation for the following years. I have always been interested in different culture and learning and understanding their ways of life. (I almost majored in anthropology.) As I was looking into different destinations I thought maybe missionary work may be theright pathfor me.

    • This posting is perfect. I recently got my passport for a family vacation. Of course, when you realize you have access to visit different countries you start looking into planning another vacation for the following years. I have always been interested in different cultures and learning and understanding their ways of life. (I almost majored in anthropology.) As I was looking into different destinations I thought maybe missionary work may be the right path for me. I have done some Habitat for Humanity and other such things while I was in college and this would be a perfect oppurtunity for me to help and share God’s Word. Thanks for the post. It has really motivated me to use my skills and interest for a greater purpose then just self leisure.

  4. Thanks for sharing this! I have been on 11 short term mission trips in the last 12 years. Some of the common responses I have received are 1) You are just going so you can go see a new country or city and have a vacation. 2) What can a team really do in a week or even a month. 3) Missionaries will have to clean up the messes “untrained” missionaries make after you leave. This is quite disheartening to me, especially when I am hearing it from my own brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. First of all, we are all trained to share the gospel because we all have access to the might Sword of the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12) Second of all, even if some people do go on mission trips for the purpose of a vacation, they will find it may be a life-altering vacation as they witness the power of God like never before. I have even had several youth and college students who were forced to go on mission trips or who came for “a vacation” come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. In addition, I have found that many of the host missionaries have told me they depend on the workers from short term missions to get work done that they would not be able to do other wise due to 1) too little time, 2) not enough manpower (example they have a very small church and do not have enough workers for a backyard Bible club in the neighborhood) 3) they lack the funds to help (example painting a fence or doing overdue gardening work on a huge property. This one also includes manpower and could be expensive if they hired someone), or 4) they lack the facilities (example, there are not a lot of medical facilities in some countries so they depend on medical missionaries who visit). I myself, probably would have not realized I was called to full-time missions if not for the short term mission trip. So, thanks for sharing. I really appreciate this site. God Bless!

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