One of the things that comes up when I speak with youth ministry leaders about summer is the mission trip. It's getting near. Schools close for the year in May in this part of the world so summer activities are just about here.
What has always concerned me about mission trips is the danger of mission becoming something to do and get over with; just a tiny slice out of our normal lives. In "Mission: Avoiding Fragmentation, Living in Love" in Loving God, Loving Neighbor, I wrote, "But mission is more than this. It is our Christian identity, individually and collectively. Mission is not fragments of good deeds and ideas. It is living as Christ lived, in and out of God's love" (131). Here, I was saying that mission is more than bits and pieces of activities and projects that we execute. Rather, it is orienting our lives to God's love following the example of Jesus Christ.
As we continue planning and as we go on our mission trips this summer could we see the travel and work as part of our ongoing witness? Could we help our students to see this? And how will we connect it to our Christian living at home, at school, at work, and at recreation?
Loving God, Loving Neighbor