Why go on a short-term mission project?

We go to grow. The purpose of the church is to grow the Kingdom. We are part of this community to whom God entrusted His mission. We are to be witnesses of His gospel message to all people at all times. A bit unbelievable that He would entrust such a critical responsibility to us, a fallen people. After the prophets and the nation-kingdom, we are the next part of God’s plan. By His grace, let’s do this thing!

The Kingdom of God grows deep and wide.

Consider first the width. We go to serve the church at our mission host’s location. As we come alongside them in their ministry, we hope to bring more people to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes the ministry is the vocal word through an open-air revival, or street evangelism, or gospel presentation at a children’s ministry program. Other times we hope to guide people closer to this knowledge through deeds of grace and compassion. Street cleaning, weed pulling, roof repair, meal serving, child care and car washing all become the visible hand of God when a mission team serves.

And, the depth. Superficial believers struggle when life’s difficulties roll in. We need to have deep roots in the soil of faith. Seeing God solve very real problems fertilizes growth! We learn best by doing and seeing for ourselves.

No one can question my own testimony and experience. When the Lord provided extra nails to complete a project, healed a young girl in Africa, and started up the broken truck (with the severed fuel line), I knew He was real. I will always know He is real. Even when the difficulties roll in and I do not understand why it’s all happening, I will remember the lessons He taught me on the mission field.

Short-term missions redefine faith. They blast the sides off the little boxes of our carefully constructed realities. Our understanding of God, relationships, and even ourselves develop as we experience a life of complete focus on the Lord, His will, and His people. Phenomenal things happen on the mission field…not the least of which is our own spiritual growth.

Are you joining a short-term mission team in the coming months?? If so, you are stepping onto the path of a lifetime. As with most journeys, though, the trek of the short-term mission is not an easy one. Some steps do come smoothly, others are a struggle beyond my wildest imagination. Amidst it all, however, permeates our God as Provider, Healer, Sustainer, and Creator.

We go to grow… students and adults and those we serve on the mission field.

Won’t you grow with us??


About Sharon R Hoover

Serving the church for over twenty years in discipleship and mission ministries, I've walked alongside many people travelling and exploring the journey of faith. Add in my own crazy path and I hope my writing will offer glimpses of life worth sharing.
This entry was posted in Missions, Student Ministry. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Why go on a short-term mission project?

  1. Matt says:

    Sharon, what do you think of http://www.missions.me ?

    • Hi Matt! I not familiar with the ministry of missions.me. I checked out the website. Awesome mission opps reaching out to the neediest among us! Are you connected with the ministry?

  2. Natalie says:

    Reading this article was refreshing and a great perspective on mission. For a small congregation, how to do you go about finding mission trips? I went on a mission trip when I was 15 and I believed it changed my whole perspective on life. I want the same experience for our youth. It may or may not be a life altering experience but it will be an eye opener. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Natalie! I’m delighted this article encourages you in your ministry. I would encourage you to talk with your church’s mission ministry first. Is there a missionary that you all partner with who would be blessed by a team coming to serve alongside them? A short-term team can host a children’s VBS or do light construction on a home of a family the missionary is reaching out to. It is very important, though, that your train and prepare the team. It’s the goal to share in ministry with the onsite missionary and not to be a burden.

      If none of your church’s mission partners host short-term teams, there are numerous mission organizers who could work with you to find the best place for your team to serve…some more expensive than others. It would be good to meet with students, parents, and adult leaders and begin praying about the mission project. Ask: where is the Lord calling us?? Urban or rural? Construction ministry, children’s ministry, drama/street evangelism?? Local, national or international? Once you prayerfully make these decisions, then look through the ministry options offered by the short-term mission organizers.

  3. Pingback: 12 Months to Becoming a World Christian | Journal of Missional Living

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