Before Jesus ascended to the Father, he left his disciples with the words of the Great Commission, charging them to continue in the work he had begun. They, as his ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20), lived to carry out the vision Jesus had cast for the church: “You [are] my witnesses to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8 ESV) and “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19 ESV). The command for the church was and is simple: continue the work Jesus started by telling the world the good news of the kingdom.
Today, sharing the gospel continues to be a cornerstone of the church, and short-term mission trips are a key piece of that foundation. Micah Fries, pastor of Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee, sat down with Dr. Hershael York, pastor of Buck Run Baptist Church and dean of the School of Theology at Southern Seminary, Ryan, pastor of mobilization at The Summit Church, and Dean Inserra, pastor of City Church in Tallahassee to discuss short-term mission trips. Together, they explored the nature of short-term trips and the impact they have on individual believers, the church, those serving long-term on the field, and those being reached.
Short-term trips are essential to the life of the church, the spread of the gospel, and the discipleship of individuals. For many, participation in short-term trips is their first exposure to cross-cultural evangelism, providing a firsthand picture of what mission work looks like while also exposing individuals to the global need of the gospel. Often, God uses these trips to lead believers to commit to long-term missions. Trips cast a bold and personal vision of global missions, stirring in many a passion for evangelism that might not have been there before.
Engaging in these trips can alter perspectives and change lives, exposing believers to the unreached and personalizing the desperate need of the lost. To hear more about this topic, watch this discussion about why short-term trips are vital in casting a missional vision for the church.
Gardner Davis is a student in the US and currently works as a content editor and social media associate with the IMB.