The Long-Term Danger of Short-Term Missions

First of all, let me just apologize for my lack of posting during the last couple of weeks. I have so much schoolwork to do that it isn’t even funny, and a lot of stuff has been going on these last couple of weeks, and I have been totally swamped. Hopefully it won’t be that long before I post again. 

There have been a couple of short-term mission teams up here during the past month, and both times something has struck me. While short-trem mission trips are great, they definitely have the potential of having both a positive and a negative effect.

Yesterday before the mission team left, one of the young teenagers said that he was sad that it was over. And therein lies the great danger of mission trips. It allows us to reduce missions to a week in the summertime, something that you do far away, while the Bible calls us to lead missional lives. 

The more I think about it, the more I am beginning to despise the term “short-term mission trip”, because often that is exactly what it ends up being. A short-term trip, with people being obedient to the commands of Christ in the short-term, and often seeing short-term results.

While I fully understand what the guy meant, it reminded me again of the long term danger involved in short term trips. I couldn’t help but jump up and practically shout, “It’s not over!” If you do something, then what you are doing can be done. When we do mission work, we can be done with it at the end of the week. But when you be something, when you are something, it is never done. It is never complete. Everything you do in life stems from who you are.  

You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will BE my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere!


~ by lukewil86 on July 12, 2007.

2 Responses to “The Long-Term Danger of Short-Term Missions”

  1. Ha. You know, I never really payed much attention to it when I was the one “doing” the mission trips. But now that I’ve seen it from the other side of the work, I see that short term mission trips are sometimes worse for a Christian attitude than better for it. I mean, yes, they’re all about missions, but I know (and I hesitate to use myself as an example, because I wouldn’t seem so righteous) but I know that I one some trips, would but aside reading my Bible in favor of playing a card game with the rest of the team. Card games aren’t bad, but really, is that where my focus should be? Part of it was just my own laziness, because I really would rather just win a card game (I happened to be good at that one 🙂 ) than think about what I’m supposed to be about. And I seriously didn’t want to actually have to CHANGE my life. Egad! Actually, maybe it has nothing to do with the fact that I’m on the receiving end of things now, maybe it’s just that I’m starting to grow up (finally). But there’s a certain degree of self-centerness (sp? )and pride that is involved as well.

    And I testify to the fact that he “practically shouted.” I was actually counting the seconds after what the guy said until Luke stood up. I got stopped at 4.

  2. So true. 🙂 I’ve been thinking a lot recently about really BEing His witnesses.

    But though I’ve already taken over a week to post, I’ve got to go, so I can’t really say more..sorry. 😦

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