If you were to see a long list of possible mission trip locations would you be tempted to select the most remote and least developed option from that list? Many aspiring short-termers do lean in that direction. However, there may be a better option for you and for that host congregation. It is quite intoxicating to think of being the first individual on location to share the gospel in an unreached area. And the church of Jesus Christ needs individuals whom He has called with a particular vision and desire to reach unreached peoples in long-term capacity. Short-term missions, however, are not well suited to that role. Instead, short-termers are best thought of as the “reserves” or as possible reinforcements to the labor already begun by missionaries or an established church and its leadership.
Why is this so? Well, if we were to put all our energies into short-term missions in order to reach every nation, we would be forced to make many assumptions as to the needs of an area, the most effective means of communicating the gospel, and we would even be assuming a level of understanding that may or may not be present. The result would be much frustration, a high potential for unnecessary offense, and a tendency to strive to reproduce ourselves rather than see a biblical model of the church established.
All of the mission trips put forth by RP Missions are committed to serving the local leadership of a host congregation or mission. This partnership provides our participants with an opportunity to learn from seasoned ministry/missionary leaders and to glean from them a greater appreciation of the needs and opportunities that face Christ’s church in that area. With the guiding hand of local church leadership we can most effectively tailor our outreach efforts to the needs and capabilities of the community in which we serve. And at the same time we can grow in our appreciation for the wonderful institution of the church which Christ has designed with our well-being and growth in mind.
Many churches have identified needs and opportunities, a real spiritual battle is being waged in the world, a cry for reinforcements has been made, now, will you go?
Contact RP Missions today to learn more about our 2015 mission opportunities and how you might lend a hand.