Mathew Backholer,  Missions

What is a Mission Trip?

The reason people go on short-term missions (STMs) is primarily to obey the command of Jesus – the Great Commission, to go and preach the Gospel, the Good News to all mankind (Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 16:15-18).

The Great Commission is not an option to be considered but a command to be obeyed.

– J. Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission

God can use anybody who is willing to go on a STM as it is not your ability, but your availability. Jesus did not say to the disciples, “Friends, I’m leaving you all, have a great pleasure-filled life and remember to be good.” Instead, He told them to go forth and proclaim the Good News of His Kingdom, preaching repentance and the forgiveness of sins in His name. Go and make disciples of all the nations and teach the new converts how to live, cast out demons, lay your hands on the sick and raise the dead. You will speak with new tongues, serpents will be unable to harm you and if you accidentally drink anything deadly, you will be safe (Mark 1:15, Mark 16:15-18 and Luke 12:47). 

He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?

– Luke 16:10-12

You shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth

– Acts 1:8

There is an open call from God to all believers in Christ to be a part of His Great Commission and that includes being fully surrendered to the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:1-2), so as to be able to respond to the call of God, “Who will go?” (Isaiah 6:8) or, “Who will stand in the gap?” in prayer (Ezekiel 22:30). The apostle Paul wrote: ‘Woe is me if I do not preach the Gospel’ (1 Corinthians 9:16). He intended to visit Asia (Minor) on a STM but had a vision, a calling to Macedonia, where he saw a man pleading, “Come and help us” (Acts 16:6-10) and so he went. 

The Devil would love to convince you that all this mission stuff isn’t for you. The Devil is a liar and you know it!

– George Verwer, founder of Operation Mobilisation

There are many reasons why some people think that they cannot go on a STM. For some, it is: I’m too young, I’m not ordained, I have never preached or publicly shared my testimony, I have no qualifications, I have no spare money, or I’m useless. 

Jeremiah was called by God as a young man and said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” But the Lord said, “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ for you shall go to all whom I send you…do not be afraid of their faces for I am with you…” – Jeremiah 1:6-7.  

There are three kinds of people in the world: the wills, the won’t and the can’ts. The first accomplish everything, the second oppose everything; the third fail in everything

– C. H. Spurgeon, famed London preacher in Victorian England,

Moses had a stutter and was afraid to go on his mission to speak to Pharaoh, but God undertook for him and gave him the confidence he needed and Aaron was there to assist him. Moses went on to become the leader of the nation of Israel. Some of the twelve disciples were fishermen but they had no certificate from the Guild of Fishermen, whilst Peter and John were noted as ‘uneducated and untrained,’ yet those who heard them preach ‘marvelled…[and] realised that they had been with Jesus’ (Acts 4:13). The disciples had not been ordained by a denomination, but had been commissioned by Jesus to “Go,” and they did, and saw great things for the glory of God. 

It is important that none of us look down upon ourselves (or on others) and you should not let anyone look down upon you because of your age or gender. If you have a testimony, Jesus has saved me, and a willing heart to go on STM then you are qualified and ready.

Few people know what may be done till they try and persevere in what they undertake

– William Carey, missionary to India and the Father of Modern Missions

At the beginning of the twentieth century, an Indian convert approached a missionary and asked to be employed by him to preach the Gospel. The missionary had no money, but the man pleaded for a job. Finally, the missionary stated that if he could live off one U.S. dollar a month, then he would employ him out of his own pocket. The worker it appeared was too ignorant to earn the one dollar (was not good at preaching) and was dismissed from service. Then the Hindus came in from the village and said, “Where is the man who loved us; will you not send him back?” The local missionary retelling the story to a fellow labourer, with tears in his eyes said that the Indian worker had seen five hundred conversions to Jesus Christ! His salary doubled to two dollars a month.

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity

– 1 Timothy 4:12

Used with permission from How to Plan, Prepare and Successfully Complete Your Short-Term Mission by Mathew Backholer. Find out more about Mathew’s books here.