On my blog I have posted blog posts of friends and others whom I find to be valuable but never have I reposted one of my own…until now. At theMILL we are in the process of receiving applications for MILL missions 2010, so in an effort to communicate why it is so important to go I revised and reposted a blog I wrote in June 2008 called "Four Reason to Go on Missions." Enjoy.
I firmly believe that every Christian should go on a short term overseas mission trip at least once in their lifetime. I say this not because we need more missionaries (we do) or because I love missions (and I do) but rather because missions is God’s purpose in the world. God is on a mission and He is inviting us to join Him. Going to the bush in Africa, the jungles of the Amazon or the mountains of Nepal to share the love of God is not just a spiritual travel excursion but about us being united with God’s heart and purpose.
You might just have checked out because you say, “I am not called to be a missionary.” The problem with that reasoning is that if you are following Jesus, then you are called! We are all part of the mission. Whether that means that you spend the rest of your life in a foreign land or supporting someone who does, understanding the mission is helpful to us all. So here are four reasons to get on a plane and exit the borders of America.
1. You get God’s perspective on the world. This mission we are on is not an American mission but a global God mission. It is not about taking Western culture to a “less fortunate people” but about bringing Jesus to people without hope. When we see people not as poor, different or less than, but as people whom God loves, just as He loves us, we begin to understand the heartbeat of God.
2. You get a small taste of heaven. I have sat in small and large churches all over the world…from the slums of Kenya, to the mountain villages of Mexico, to a cave in China and I have felt the presence of God as we worshipped together. It wasn’t about skin color, nationality, language or socio-economic status…it was about our amazing and gracious God. In all of these settings I have thought, “This might just be what heaven is like…and the white faces were outnumbered by the colored ones!” There won’t be any chants of U-S-A! or KENYA! or MEXICO! or CHINA! but instead…JESUS!
3. The personal growth is exponential. Going on missions changes you. You are taken out of your comfort zone. Being in a foreign culture will force you to do things you would never normally choose to do. Less than ideal sleeping conditions, weird food, riding a strange form of transportation, and unimaginable poverty will cause you to think twice about your personal finances, the way you pray and what you do with your life. As much as we want to make an impact on the people we go to, the impact on us is undeniable.
4. It is a great adventure! I have been to 39 countries and I have a life goal of going to as many countries as I am old (so far I am ahead of the game and sitting in an airport on a layover doesn’t count!). I have seen the Pyramids, Big Ben, the Great Wall of China, the Rock of Gibraltar, ridden a rickshaw, eaten crocodile and a myriad of other things that you will never find on a menu in America, played soccer with orphans, gone on safari and met some amazing people. The ministry that happens everyday on a mission trip is incredible…seeing the world is a sweet bonus! Going overseas provides an opportunity to see and experience so many great things that are just plain amazing!
Now don’t get me wrong. This is not about guilt. I have heard people say…if you don’t go then the blood of the nations will be on your hands. The motivation for missions is so much greater than guilt. It is about the passion that burns in each of us because of how our lives have been transformed by the love of God…it is that love that compels us. We can’t help but want to tell others about our great God and spread His fame to the nations.
In the summer of 2010 theMILL is sending college students and 20-somethings to Peru, Germany, Egypt and India. Don’t miss out on this incredible experience. Details on dates, cost and ministry opportunities as well as applications are available at www.theMILLonline.org.