David Livingstone, the well-known 19th-century missionary to Africa said, “God, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. And sever any tie in my heart except the tie that binds my heart to Yours.” If your youth group is planning a mission trip, whether on another continent or just down the street, we pray the same for you and your team.
Preparing your youth group for a mission trip is not easy. Somebody has to get the flights and ground transportation booked. Somebody has to communicate with the in-country partners to arrange accommodations and projects. Somebody has to design the matching mission trip t-shirts.
If your heart is racing and your palms are sweating while reading the paragraph above, that somebody is probably you!
Your original plans for this trip were marked by excitement and a deep sense of purpose. But the hard work of this tremendous effort can begin to drag on you and your key leaders. Before long you may experience a significant loss of joy in the work, and though you keep wearing your brave face, you’re wondering why you started the process in the first place. Before that happens to you, step back from the urgent tasks and consider again the eternal implications of this incredible and God-honoring adventure you’re about to undertake.
Sociologist Robert Woodberry conducted a 10-year study on the effect of mission trips on the people they intend to serve. Remarkably, he found that the total effect of Christian missions in undeveloped nations… “turns out to be the single largest factor in ensuring the health of nations.”
Guess what? The report shows that in villages, countries, and regions where Christian missionaries have built relationships with the local people and served the needs of communities, the economy, culture, and health of the people are significantly positive and flourishing. These missions-targeted areas are… “on average more economically developed today, with comparatively better health, lower infant mortality, lower corruption, greater literacy, higher educational attainment (especially for women), and more robust membership in nongovernmental associations.”
So when you start to feel the busyness building to burnout, take a minute to think again of the results you are driving toward. Be encouraged. All the hard work and headaches you’re enduring to organize a mission trip is far more significant than you know. It’s a vital part of God’s century-spanning plan to change lives for today, and redeem souls for eternity!
It’s about Christ. Not t-shirts.
At Ministry Gear, mission trip t-shirts are our business. But our true motivation is to serve Christ by using the gifts God gave us to come alongside your mission team. For over 25 years, we’ve helped churches and ministries like yours prepare for their mission trips with cool shirts that unite your team. We’re a ragtag team of artists and designers who believe in serving ministries with our talents. If we can help you with any of your mission trip gear, let us know. We’re ready to serve.
Browse our Mission Trip Designs or call 888-812-4044 to get started. Mention promo code “TC” and you’ll save $25 on your order!
Want more info about that mission trip study? Read Christianity Today’s article for a broader look at the study. And if you want to go deep, John Piper’s article on the study spends time on the jaw-dropping evidence that the life-changing work of the Gospel is the primary reason for these amazing results.
Go here to explore custom designs at MinistryGear.com. Use promo code “TC” at checkout and save $25 on your order!
Article contributed by Freddy Martin at MinistryGear.com.