Ministry Trips: Local or Global?

Last week I stumbled upon an interesting article written last year by The Washington Post in regards to where churches should spend their summer ministry trip time, energy, and moneyeither on global excursions with apparently little to no impact or on local initiatives with a more tangible outcome meeting the needs of the local community.

You can read the article HERE with any feedback appreciated.

  • Do you agree with the article’s presumptions about global ministry trips?
  • Which is more important:  to create a ministry trip experience that best trains and equips the participants or best impacts the target?
  • Which is better, to be a locally-active Christian or a globally-minded Christian?
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~ by Dave Smith on June 10, 2009.

One Response to “Ministry Trips: Local or Global?”

  1. * Do you agree with the article’s presumptions about global ministry trips?

    Well, there’s some pretty compelling evidence that short-term, long-distance mission trips don’t have long-lasting effects on the participants or “recipients” (for lack of a better term).

    * Which is more important: to create a ministry trip experience that best trains and equips the participants or best impacts the target?

    Sheesh. Talk about the ultimate either/or! I do think there’s something to be said for the impact of the mission trip upon the participants, at least in theory — this article seems to suggest that the evidence says otherwise. I wonder how a long-term trip might affect the participant.

    Ultimately, however, I think that mission has to be about the recipient. We are called to love God and to love our neighbors; arguing that mission is about us seems to work contrary to that fundamental component of the gospel, I think.

    * Which is better, to be a locally-active Christian or a globally-minded Christian?

    Neither, because it’s a false dichotomy. Jesus calls us to love our neighbor and tells us that everyone is our neighbor.

    Consequently, Christianity is globally-minded de facto, and our actions as Christians should correspond to that. Pragmatically, that most often works itself out locally, because we can concretely love our neighbors with whom we interact most naturally.

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