Posted on : Tuesday May 14, 2019

By John Gauger

Why should I consider a short-term, international mission trip now?

The BCM/D has a new partnership in east Africa. The easiest time to consider a short-term missions trip is when others will be going to the same country in a season of partnership.

The first reason is the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). God commanded all believers to go to unbelievers so they might hear the Gospel and find new life in Christ. AnEast who has the health to travel and the ability to take off 10 to 15 days from their regular schedule, should consider it.

A second reason is the BCM/D has a new partnership in east Africa (read about that opportunity here). The easiest time to consider a short-term missions trip is when others will be going to the same country in a season of partnership. There are opportunities already arranged and systems are set in place where volun­teers can find transportation, translators, food and housing. There are also more ways to find information, and someone else has already negotiated the partner­ship for you. I’ve been on more than 40 short-term mission trips. But my first was during a convention partnership.

Short-term mission trips provide many benefits to the volunteer, to the church and to the cause of Christ such as:

  • The volunteer gains a deeper understanding of the world with first-hand experience.
  • Others will see the volunteer as a better witness at home since they have global experience.
  • The volunteer is better able to relate to similar folks in the U.S. (e.g. If you go to Africa, you are better able to understand and relate to African nationals in the U.S. You’ll may notice more than you realized were here).
  • Volunteers learn things overseas that grow their own church at home. Volunteers discover gifts or abilities they did not know. They find their faith stretched, and their comfort zone expanded. What is learned overseas often results in new energy and ideas for ministry at home.
  • International missions builds the church as it challenges youth, college students and other adults to do more for Christ. Young people are not interested in ‘keep­ing the doors of the church open.’ But many, sparked by short-term internation­al ministry, will gladly invest their life in others with enthusiasm.
  • Synergy – Our presence working with partners overseas is so often used by God to accomplish more than we or our partners could do by ourselves. The total impact may be greater than the sum of our efforts. Our partnership with Puebla state in Mexico was a huge example of that.
  • The unchurched are unimpressed with churches whose main purpose is merely to keep their own doors open. The work of even a single volunteer can begin to change a church’s reputation in a very positive way
  • Through the volunteer, the church becomes more aware of how many people are unreached and of what God is doing in the world.
  • Prayer times can grow. At our church, we request participation in prayer meetings for the spiritual part of preparation for a church-supported mission trip, as the Lord allows. People, who learn that prayer is critical for an international mission team, tend to grow in their prayer life. Attendance at our church’s prayer meeting largely consists of current and former volun­teers for short-term mission teams.
  • Through the volunteer, the church gains a better understanding of the centrality of God’s heart for others and becomes more aware of the importance of the work of our missionaries and of churches in short-term mission trips.
  • A church without commitment to ministering to others is a church open for squabbles. I’ve seen a church invest heavily in a short-term mission trip lose interest in petty problems so they could focus together on supporting a short-term missions team.
  • A church supporting short-term mission trips can grow in generosity.
  • Our missionaries tell us they cannot do the job on their own and are greatly encouraged when volunteers join them, not to watch, but to serve.
  • People overseas may come to Christ and/or be encouraged in their spiritual walk because you cared enough to learn and serve.

Why now? Now is always the right time to step out for the Lord and grow. And, time surely is short. Every year, countries that were open to the Gospel are closed by political or religious changes. The area where our church has ministered most re­cently just closed to all westerners. Three others where we have ministered are now less responsive to the Gospel.

We want to plan wisely. But we should never put off till tomor­row what God wants us to do today.

For more information email Rosalie Chesley,

rchesley@bcmd.org, or call 800.466.5290 x235