A few weeks ago I wrote a piece about whether missions trips were worth the cost. In that piece I shared a little of my heart about how I think we often try to make those decisions based solely on economics rather than hearing the voice of the Lord.
I stand by that.
I also believe that sometimes we still make the decisions to go on a short-term trip for personal (selfish) reasons. I think this piece by Dan King, the @bibledude on Twitter, really brings to light some of the heroes and shares some strategies.
Here's a short excerpt. You should really go read the whole thing.
Far too often churches and other organizations send teams of people to go visit these kinds of places all around the world. We go to hopefully spread some joy and hope, maybe even build something (in turn reducing the local labor force), and then we go home.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely value in some of the trips. These trips challenge us to change things, and that’s needed. I wouldn’t be able to tell the stories I tell without trips like these, and those stories turn other people into advocates. But we cannot let Christian missions become a way to get other people to sponsor our next vacation.
What an amazing statement (and painful) he made!
If God tells you to go on a trip, go. But if not, continue searching your soul about why you want to go. Ask God to purify your heart and hands before you go.
Ask God if there's something else He'd like you to do. Ask Him if you should stay. Ask Him if there's another way He'd like you to be involved.
As you listen, I believe God will make all things clear for you. Don't let the decision be about whether God can (or will) provide but don't exclude economics. And, if you decide to go, take the time to prepare.
Be blessed in your going out and your coming in. And be equally blessed if you go out or stay behind. In all things be submitted to Christ, who is the head.