The most important reason to go on a mission trip is to bring glory to God, which includes surrendering to Him, taking refuge in Christ for forgiveness of sins, knowing Him personally, gratefully serving Him for all He is and has done, and denying ourselves to the point of loving our enemies. In our so doing, lives are changed for eternity.
How does going on a mission trip change people’s lives for all eternity?
We share the Good News of Jesus Christ with other when we go, and some receive forgiveness and everlasting life. “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14
How do we share the Good News?
We share by forming relationships with native Spanish speakers. This might happen on our first meeting someone, such as when sharing “The Handful of Hope” with people on the street, over the course of the week(s) we are on site on a mission trip, or over the course of many years of relationship, such as happens when we return to the same location for several years.
Why should we serve overseas when we have many needs here at home?
Some say we should just give money and not go and serve, but money cannot hug a fatherless child or enjoy time together with fellow believers. Money cannot play soccer with impoverished migrant workers or wipe the tears from a hungry child. We are called to serve the poor, sick, widows, and orphans. Jesus’ Kingdom is about more than money; it is about love and relationships, which can only happen by being there.
God Commands Us to Go.
The Good News is not just for us and our home nation; it is for all people, everywhere. Jesus commanded His followers to go, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:18-20
Foreign Missionaries are Effective
Perhaps Jesus commanded us to go, in part, because missionaries are different from the locals they serve and, as such, they can reach people differently than other locals could do. They become like natural magnets for the Gospel to the locals. “Every barrier that exists between humans is overcome in Christ; thus the gospel of Jesus destroys barriers of class, ethnicity, gender, religion, geopolitics, language, shame, and fear so that humans can be fully reconciled to God and to one another…Let’s follow Jesus in our homes, across our streets and to the poorest and most overlooked in our cities, to the most unreached and most difficult places in the uttermost parts of the earth.” (From: https://www.9marks.org/article/is-every-christian-a-missionary/)
Going Helps the Receiving Ministry
Our going and serving supports the long-term missionaries who are on site. It is arduous work being a long-term missionary, and they really benefit from our coming to help them, provided we go with the desire to be servants and not a burden.
Going Changes Us and Them
“Christianity is a global fellowship. Christ calls us regardless of age, race, gender, ethnicity. or socio-economic status. Yet we frequently tarnish Christianity by viewing it through our cultural biases. Short-term missions allows those serving and those being served to see they have brothers and sisters throughout the globe.”
Going Benefits Our Home Church
“Missions can be expanded in our home churches. Missions is at the heart of Christianity. Unfortunately, it is under-taught and under-valued in our Western churches. Short-term missions can increase the importance of missions in the sending church. If your church sends a short-term team it is reasonable to think your congregants are thinking and praying more about their role in the Great Commission.
For example, if your church sends 10 people on a short-term mission trip, it's likely each of those missionaries asked 10 others to pray for them and 10 more to write checks supporting the trip. Realistically, your short-term mission trip results in 100 additional people praying in the name of Christ and for the advancement of God's kingdom and 100 people writing checks to the glory of God. (From: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/send-me-your-short-term-missionaries/)
Another benefit of short-term missions is that some short-termers become long-term missionaries. Many Living Waters missionaries have since gone on to serve the Lord in full time missions work.
For all these reasons and more, going to serve as short-term missionaries is good and important to do.