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      5 Reasons The Church Should Engage In Short-Term Missions

      The local church is God’s designed instrument for impacting the local community and for living out the Great Commission.  And I believe short-term missions is a key tool for pursuing this command.  If you’ve been reading for very long, you know that short-term missions has had a huge impact on me – an individual.  But I believe there is something greater to consider.  Short Term Missions can also have an amazing impact on churches.

      In today’s post, I’d like to share some thoughts on short-term missions and the local church.  I’ll present five reasons the local church should engage in short-term missions.  I’d love to get your thoughts and feedback.  Do you agree with these reasons?  What other reasons would you add to this list?  And how have you seen short-term missions work (or not work) in your local church?

      5 Reasons the local church should engage in short-term missions:

      1. Short Term Missions provides a way to partner with full-time missionaries.  There are many full-time missionaries out there who depend on relationships built through the local church to provide financial and prayer support for their ministry.  Short Term Missions connects churches with missionaries to enable greater work.
      2. Short Term Missions challenges individuals to take a leap of faith.  This is part of my story.  My church has made a practice of challenging church attenders to go on a short-term missions trip.  I’m assuming that most people are like me.  Most people have to take a leap of faith in order to go on this kind of trip.  These kinds of trips change lives.  My life was changed when I took a leap of faith to Guatemala in 2012, and I know many people who were dramatically changed when they decided to go on a short-term missions trip.
      3. Short Term Missions encourages members of the church body to leave a legacy.  This is becoming my story.  My initial trip to Guatemala had a huge impact on me.  I knew when I came back the first time I wanted to go back again.  And I also knew I wanted to keep finding ways to make an eternal dent in the village of Xenacoj.  Even now, I am planning and praying about a return to Guatemala in 2014.  Maybe you’ll join me!
      4. Short Term Missions is a way for the local church to make disciples of ALL people.  The Great Commission instructs Christ followers to go into ALL the world baptizing and teaching others to follow Christ.  I believe this starts in the local community, but I also believe the local church has a responsibility to go into ALL the world.  A great way for the local church to take an initial step toward this command is to pursue short-term missions.
      5. Short Term Missions inspires the church body to pursue greater goals for the Kingdom.  Everybody likes a great story.  I know my stories from Guatemala have been an encouragement for others.  And I’ve seen the stories of others who have returned from a week away in Guatemala, Mexico, Haiti, India, and Kenya.  These stories have an amazing power to move people.  Call it the ripple effect.  Stories from short-term missions experiences multiply and even grow exponentially as other people jump on board to go on a trip of their own and as churches take bigger leaps and make intentional decisions to devote more of their focus and resources to helping people in far away lands.

      Do you agree with these reasons?  What other reasons would you add to this list?  And how have you seen short-term missions work (or not work) in your local church?

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