In mobilizing a congregation to serve globally it is helpful for people to understand the importance of doing short term mission trips at Faith. The following is a list of "whys" for doing short-term missions.
The opportunity to see and experience people from other cultures and countries.
Other communities and cultures have unique challenges for serving there. It is one thing to talk about those challenges but it is completely different to go and get an up-close perspective of those cultures.
Getting an experience at this level gives trip participants a clearer picture and allows them to be more informed advocates when they return home.
The opportunity to take on the role of learner.
Most people become "experts" in their field as it relates to their job or career. Short-term trips give people the opportunity to be in the role of learner or servant.
Jesus said that we are called to be "servant of all," and short-term trips give people the chance to actually do that. The hope is that this kind of experience will take hold in their lives when they return home.
It allows people to be more generous.
When people return from a short term mission experience they want to do more. The best way for people to help is to restructure their world so they can be more generous and become an advocate. Seeing needs firsthand creates a depth of knowledge and empathy that potentially can have a greater impact than any photos or videos could ever create. That knowledge and empathy translates into action.
The experience creates clarity on our own economic status.
This point is related to the previous point. A short-term mission trip can give clarity to the fact that we are among the richest in the world. Some people's natural response is guilt - which is okay. But ultimately we hope that people move beyond feeling bad to being thankful that they have an opportunity to be a good steward of the resources God has given them.
It provides a deeper understanding of people, wherever they are from.
We understand ourselves ... or at least think we do. People are people, whether they are from our community or from a distant place in the world, and we all have the same needs. We want to know and be known by Jesus. Short-term trips remind us to care for the people in our own community.
It provides an opportunity for dependence on God.
Our culture loves structure, dependability, safety, and comfort. When we live in these confines, it can remove the chance for people to depend on God - that is not necessarily a good thing.
Short-term trips take people out of their comfort zone and forces them to face the fact that they are not in control. This can give greater clarity to people on their place in the world and their relationship with Jesus.
It mobilizes people to do something and get involved.
Our vision is to see people mobilized to serve. We want to see people activated to serve in the community and the world. Experiences like short-term mission trips give people a chance to serve and give back to what God is doing in the world. It also draws them closer to the mission and vision of the church.
Seeing how God uses people different from ourselves to accomplish great things in their area of the world.
When traveling to other countries and cultures, it's a good thing to be led by those who God has ordained to minister in their own culture. It broadens our perspective of how God uses his people in different contexts from our own.