If readers remember back a few posts ago, I commented on the distinction between ministry and mission. Ministry being taking care of the needs of fellow believers and preparing them for mission which is taking care of the needs of the greater community. Well, today I want to talk about mission trips or ministry trips.
I have yet to be on a mission trip. I have been told that I have been on mission trips in the past, the trip has been a recurring one to Shoshone Base Camp in Prichard, ID. However, when I look back at that trip and those experiences, it felt more like ministry to me.
Yes, we were sent on the mission trip to take care of the needs of the camp as well as the needs of the community via chopping down trees to make lumber, painting houses to sustain winter, etc. etc. However, the key thing that I saw missing from the missional aspect of these trips was that it was only temporary. Missional living should be a way of life that never ends.
The "mission trips" that we went on were more like "ministry trips" because they tailored significantly more to the spiritual growth of current believers than they did live in mission. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of mission that goes on with those trips; however, the mission shouldn't stop there.
We have gotten into this funk that makes us think that we can go to church once a week to fulfill God's needs. Where we can go on a mission trip once a year and then God will be happy with us. This way of thinking is so closely related to the Israelites in the Old Testament. Let's not go on mission trips that are one-time things, but let's do ministry trips that teach us to LIVE the mission.