Why Pastors Should Go On Mission Trips
There are PLENTY of things vying for our attention of church leaders – so, why should mission and vision trips be a on our priority list?
1. Mission trips expose us to new networks. It is really easy in church life to get caught up in the here-and-now challenges we face – the way our facility looks, the volunteer needs we face, the next sermon to prepare, the next staff hire we’re tasked with making. The vast majority of our time is spent “within network” – inside our church structure, inside our denominational assumptions, inside our cultural group. But God is working in amazing ways in ways we’d never expect, in places we’ve never seen! There are lessons to learn, perspectives to draw from, and partnerships to forge. Stepping beyond our network is not only healthy for our church (as we bring back fresh ideas and vision), but it is healthy for us too, to break out of boxes we may not realize we have been in.
2. Mission trips connect us to other leaders. Some of my best kingdom connections on earth have been developed through the various trips I’ve taken to India and Sri Lanka – sharing unforgettable moments with amazing servants of the Lord. These are men and women I would never have met without boarding a plane. These people having become such an important part of my life; they fill my prayers, they know my story, and at times, I even seek their counsel for my own important decisions.
3. Mission trips allow us to develop partnerships. All of us joined the pastorate because we believed that the Great Commission mattered, because we wanted to be a part of serving and loving others for the sake of the gospel. One of the most effective ways we can achieve these objectives, outside of our own direct effort locally, is to partner with others globally. There are remote villages still needing to be reached, language groups still needing a surge of church planting, indigenous pastors still needing a Bible-centered education. As you go out on mission, you connect yourself (and your church) to these opportunities, and you can build trust-partnerships that can advance the kingdom. It is unlikely that your church will experience the true meaning of this unless its key leadership steps out and blazes the trail.
4. Mission trips refresh our calling. Every one of us deals with bouts of discouragement and defeat – and we know the importance of taking time off, time for retreat, time away with family. And yet, sometimes we need more than a physical break, we need a refresh of our calling itself. I can speak personally to this – I am convinced that visiting India and interfacing with scores of church leaders in that context has empowered and strengthened my own pastoral ministry more than any other factor over the past decade.
So, let me encourage you, Pastor. The world is a big place. There are mountains to climb, trails to follow, and people to meet – not for our own glory, not for our own gratification, but for the sake of the gospel we have been called to serve. A mission trip can grow our perspective, connect us to new lifelong friends and can infuse us with fresh passion for the Lord. And, a trip can allow you to bring home some of that fresh flavor, enthusiasm, and partnership to our own people, in our own local churches.
India Gospel League would love for you to come and see the work in South Asia, and we’d be glad to facilitate your journey.
To take a step toward your next mission trip, fill out this form: