Thursday, March 23, 2006

Mission Trip Advice - #3

This is the third in a series of posts entitled "Mission Trip Advice." [Post #1 and #2 in the series.] 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?

Steve Addison is a life-long student of movements that renew and expand the Christian faith. Steve distills the characteristics of dynamic movements and makes them available to leaders committed to the multiplication of healthy churches. Steve began his research into Christian movements in the late 1980s while serving as a church planter in Melbourne, Australia. He carried that interest into his Doctor of Ministry with Fuller Seminary. Steve currently serves as Director of Church Resource Ministries (CRM) Australia, a member of the CRM global community. CRM empowers leaders for the church.

Steve's blog is a daily read for me. He writes about leadership, mission, culture and movements around the world and I have specifically appreciated his notes on movement characteristics.

Steve's advice is as follows:
Practice naive listening. Go with the posture of a learner and expect God to speak.
As you listen, keep a journal of your experiences. What do you hope God will achieve in you through this trip? What is going on around you and within you? What is God up to in the midst of the people you are visiting? What's he doing through the Christian workers and ministries there? Intentionally choose portions of Scripture to reflect on during the trip. Expect to gain fresh insights into how God works by stepping out of your own culture. Allow him to "unfreeze you". Stay open to how he is going to reshape your life through this experience. When you return home expect to see your familiar world through different eyes. Don't let yourself settle back into the same way of life. How has the trip enriched your understanding of God's mission in the world and the part you are to play in it? What will you do?
Much thanks to Steve for contributing to this series.

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