Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
Mission trips are great! We take kids somewhere with the purpose of giving them the opportunity of sharing Jesus by serving those in need or sharing the Word with those who have not heard BUT what we often overlook is the need for that same mission in our own backyard, in the neighborhood around our church, in our town or county.
And I wonder sometimes if we may be conditioning our kids (and some adults) to think we do service EVENTS and mission TRIPS. Of course, they're fun and can be great mountain top experiences but what we really want to instill in our people, adults and youth, is that service is an attitude, that we serve people every day, that the mission (purpose) of sharing Jesus is not something we do on a special trip but in our lives every day. Jesus is just as powerful in our lives every day as He is on a trip or during an event. Sometimes we can fall into the trap of how going on a trip or participating in an event makes us feel and not that we are to do these things for Jesus and not for ourselves and how it makes us feel.
In order to do that we need some ideas of how/where we can help. Take a group and try one of these in your own backyard. Find out if there are any projects that may take more than a few days and plan a local "trip," develop an ongoing relationship with them, or just help out once in a while. Make yourselves known in the community.
- Habitat for Humanity
- Homeless Shelters
- Drug Rehabilitation Shelters
- Veteran's Homes
- Halfway Houses
- Food Shelves and organizations like Loaves and Fishes
- Senior Citizen Homes
- Special Olympics
It's great to serve but even those who don't know Christ serve. The point of a mission trip is not only to serve but to share. Make sure you teach your volunteers to talk about their faith and their relationship with Jesus!