Why I don’t believe in short term mission.

Cambodia_SoJ_Aug2013_2-36I wrote this post a couple of years ago, but thought it was appropriate to post again. We, as followers of Jesus, are missionaries. Loren Cunningham, founder of YWAM Says “You are either a missionary, or mission field.” The world needs Jesus, both locally in your places of work, home, school and internationally. Here are my thoughts.

I have been leading short term trips for the past 20 years. I have brought teams to Haiti, Mexico, Brazil, Cambodia, Thailand, Costa Rica, Seattle, San Francisco, China, Korea and the Philippines. Even though all of these trips were short term trips and even though I work with a short term mission organization called YWAM, I don’t believe in short term missions.

Let me explain. I believe in short term mission trips. They are effective, they are life changing and they are worth every penny (if done right). This is very different than short term missions. The concept of short term missions is that I only do missions short term. It says that sometimes we preach the gospel, sometimes we go on trips and sometimes we don’t do anything. There is no where in the scriptures that commands us to into all the world on a short term basis and preach the good news at certain times and in certain seasons. In fact, the scripture says in Timothy that we are to be prepared in season and out of season.

This summer we are bringing people to Cambodia on our Matthew 25 trips. These trips are one step that we can take as we live our lives on mission, it is an introduction to mission for some, and a refresher for others. This trip is set out to show us how we can live life as missionaries in all circumstances and situations. The call on all followers of Jesus is to live life on Mission. This call has no end, it is a call on all of our lives  weather or not we are stay at home parents, students, career workers or full time/long term paid/supported pastors or missionaries.

The reason Steps of Justice exists is to provide practical ways that you and I can live on mission, the mission to Love God and Love others. We are called to to this regardless of what we do as our full time work. It all starts with one step, and maybe for you that step is coming over to Cambodia with us this summer.

Written by Philip Cunningham, co-founder of Steps of Justice.

Picture by Lindsey Brunsman

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