For anyone who isn’t sure about this whole “Jesus thing” you should understand that the ultimate millennial-aged Christian’s goal is to travel to a poor, third-world country and visit orphaned children who need a white person to play soccer with (please note there is some sarcasm in my words). I say this because I myself have lived this journey. Matthew 28:18-20 tells us Jesus has all authority on earth and in heaven. He tells us to “Go”, make disciples, dunk someone under water, and teach them the everything Jesus has taught us.
“What’s your point?” Here it is. Missions are vital to the gospel, but mission trips can be equally if not more dangerous to the gospel. Hear me out. Pure religion is caring for those who need it (James 1:27). We are to love one another as Christ loved us (John 15:12). I have gone. Specifically to Haiti. The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere (I think that’s right, I didn’t pay attention in geography in college). I partook in the full experience. Awful heat. Long journeys by foot. Numerous bumpy, life-threatening truck rides. Took pictures with parentless children. I was even the minority for the first time in my life. It was awesome and life-changing. But what did it mean for them. As I reflect on this I spent time with orphans, took the needy necessities, and “served God” it looks good on video and in pictures. But where was my heart? What did I really want? To be honest, I wanted a sick profile picture for Twitter and some good posts for Insta. I wasn’t fully worried about their poverty or lostness. Granted, God forced me into situations when I had to be, but otherwise I took a vacation with others’ money on false pretenses (OUCH!).
We must focus on getting the truth of Jesus, healing and restoration, to those who need it. People need necessities. And often times fulfilling needs is a priority, giving us lead-way into sharing hope and truth. We can take pictures, play soccer, and hand out candy, BUT we cannot do this without a heart intention of first leading those people to Jesus.
Do yourself a favor. If you want a picture with a group of kids, take one at church. Save your money on a plane ticket overseas and go to Six Flags. Focus on sharing the love and hope of Christ. That is the church’s mission. There’s much to be done elsewhere. There’s still much to be done at home. Orevwa.