Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Mission Trip Advice - #1

This is the first in a series of posts entitled "Mission Trip Advice." So you have signed up to go on a mission trip, and maybe you don't know exactly what to expect. And you are maybe looking for some advice. What is one piece of advice that experts could give you?

My friend PrayingMantis is a youth pastor from Gilbert, AZ. He has taken teams to Northern Ireland [where he has established a long term partnership,] traveled to India, and implemented some very cool community outreach ideas. Every summer, he sends out multiple student teams all over the world. This summer, he has teams going to Northern Ireland again, a camp for disabled kids and adults, Mexico and some leaders going to Africa. In the summer of 2005, I got a chance to hang out with him for a few days in the midst of a skatepark outreach/VBS ministry week.

PM's bit of advice:
Be Flexible:

Understand this trip is not about you - yet you will be blessed
Understand God's plan may not be yours or even the person who planned the trip - but it will be better than your own expectations
Understand the person you may not want to be paired with will probably be your best friend by the end of this trip.
Understand that if your situation is difficult than God will have more opportunities to be praised when he carries you through

Be ready for change - the beauty is in the emerging opportunity and faith for the moment
Be ready to give a word whenever - the spirit does not lead based on scheduled ministry opportunities
Be ready to mingle with whoever comes your way - your opportunities might not be your target audience

Take Risks:

Do what Jesus did:
1. Talk to people who others think are weird or rejects
2. Invite people to conversation
3. Learn about people's needs and ask to pray for them
4. Pray with authority for healing: even when some aren't healed
5. Preach with authority: even when some don't receive it
6. Just go and do it, wherever, whenever
Photo: PM hanging at a local skatepark [he is in the hat with the orange shirt,] summer 2005.

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