A Mission Trip to Your Neighborhood

<%image(20050318-go sign.jpg|100|108|go)%>During a lunch with Nate and Josh today we had a discussion about what it would look like for a church to have a sense of mission that flows out of a growing relationship with God in a community of believers. I think we get the community part down OK, but we have been struggling to put into words what the next step would be. Our conversation turned to the ministry paradigm (if you will) of “mission trips.” What if church life was like a mission trip???

Bear with me for a moment. Of course there are certain dynamics of a mission trip that you can’t recreate in your own neighborhood. The long car rides, the tight quarters with a team, and the corny stuff you say to each other when you get back. But what if we lived day to day as if we were on a mission trip? Here are some of our ideas. Please add your own if you think of more.

– There is an investment of time, money, resources.

– You are giving all of yourself to accomplish something for God.

– There is a need to work as a team, settling differences for the sake of accomplishing your goal.

– Who you are with is often more important than what you are doing. People first, task second.

– Time is often carved out for individual and group reflection.

– You are intentionally placed out of your comfort zone.

– Everyone is expected to step up their involvement.

– There is a high dependence on God.

– Circumstances are viewed through a more spiritual lense, causing us to pray and see God at work all around us (We can tell stories about Bible clubs that were assaulted by the “demonic” ice cream truck!).

– Glorifying God in all that we do becomes a very high priority.

So I am once again pounding the mission drum: church is not a place that we go to and get cooped up in. I think we are often too busy within the church to truly engage in effective ministry outside its walls. There are circumstances where we will need to bring people into some kind of facility or safe haven, but I think that the life change that so many talk about on mission trips could be ours if we stepped out in faith, trusting God to use us if we will go. I think that the possibilities are very exciting if we pursue every day life as if it was a mission trip.