I laugh when people talk about short-term mission trips as a new phenomenon. After all, the Apostle Paul himself was a short-term missionary! Have you ever thought of that? You are participating in the Great Commission in the tradition of the Apostle Paul!
Paul, however, had a different perspective on his mission trips than many people today. Many of us sign up for a short-term mission trip, prepare for 6-8 months, and then go on the trip. We take photos and tell people about it, and then seamlessly transition back into the life to which we are accustomed. To the average Christian, a short-term mission is just a trip. It has a start and an end.
To Paul, though, his trip may have been short, but his mission never ended. Read what Paul has to say about his mission in Colossians 1:28-29.
Paul’s mission is to proclaim Jesus by presenting EVERYONE fully mature in Christ. Note there is no qualifier here. Paul’s mission doesn’t just apply to those he meets on his trip; it’s not restricted to a certain nationality or ethnicity, and not even confined simply to those who don’t know Christ.
As you approach your trip, consider everyone in your life as part of your mission; this includes the supporters you talk to before you leave, the person sitting next to you on the plane, the taxi driver, hotel employee, and those with whom you minister directly. Not only that, but also your mission doesn’t end when you return. Your mission field includes your co-workers, neighbors, friends, and family members.
It’s worth it to note, too, how Paul approaches his mission. Paul strives with all of Christ’s strength that everyone may become fully mature in Christ. The same should be true of you. Your mission is worth striving for—not with your own strength—but with that of Christ.
If you are going to maintain a positive testimony at all times, through all situations, and for the long-haul of your life, you’ll need to access Christ’s strength day by day, and sometimes even moment by moment.
As you live out your mission, don’t forget to anchor yourself to the living God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Spend time with the Lord in prayer and the Word, training your heart to hear His voice and follow Him more closely.
Pray and Journal - Take a moment to pray and make a plan for how you will stay anchored to the Almighty God accessing Christ’s strength so you can live on mission at all times and in all things.