Should You Go On A Short-term Mission Trip?

Day 1 of 4 • This day’s reading


At some point in your Christian walk, you’ve likely been invited by someone in your church or other organization to join them on a short-term mission trip.

Most times, these trips are to a less fortunate destination, where you and your team will serve others by helping in a construction project, a cleanup job, a community service, or perhaps just helping with local church activities.

In hearing about the trip, you might be reminded of the Great Commission to “Go and make disciples of all nations” given by Jesus in Matthew 28:19, and that now is a good time for you to step up and help with that as well.

There might even be a whole group going from your church and so, in addition to doing good works, it looks like a great way to have fun, build friendships, and see something outside your comfort zone.

Maybe you already went on such a trip, or maybe you’ve asked yourself whether you should one day go on a trip like that?

Short-term mission trips are a great way to see what God is doing in other places and serve others, while also reinforcing the perspective of how blessed you really are.

In this study plan, we look at how God wants to use you, and if a short-term mission trip is part of God's plan for you.

For now, let’s understand that fulfilling the Great Commission – Go make disciples – is not usually the central focus of a short-term mission trip. Doing that requires a longer period of relationship building, and so, more often than not, these trips are about fixing things, building things, serving people and seeing what supported missionaries are already busy with. 

So while a short-term mission trip may be a great way to serve others, support missionaries already on location, and enjoy fun, fellowship and travel – they are generally not a replacement for fulfilling the calling of the Great Commission as commanded by Jesus to all of us, his followers.

Sometimes, we like to think that pastors and missionaries are the only ones called to fulfill the Great Commission, but in fact, we are all expected to bear witness to the saving power of Jesus Christ in our lives – regardless of whether or not we went to seminary or Bible College. 

Check today’s reading from Matthew 5 about salt and light to be reminded of that.

Then come back tomorrow to see if God wants you on that short-term mission trip, or if He has something else in mind.