Preparation. Many people do it whenever they go on adventures, before sporting events, before they go into a business proposal. When we prep to go on a short-term mission trip, we have a little different way to prepare. We have to prepare ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and most importantly, spiritually. In the first of a two part series we will look at spiritual and mental preparation.
Spiritual Preparation – The most important aspect of a short-term mission trip preparation. I will be heading out with a team from Lake Pointe Church to Egypt where we will be doing dental and vision clinics while also installing water filter systems and visiting homes to further build relationships. One of the tools we have as a team to prepare is the devotional book “Before You Go,” which has a devotional for anything we could possibly experience while on the trip as well as the way we should react in each situation according to the Scripture. With spiritual preparation being the biggest key to short-term relationships, we have to be ready to be used by God in every situation.
Mental Preparation – Next is to prepare mentally. Mental preparation is key because in every waking moment you are on a mission trip, you have to be focused on the task at hand and make sure your actions will not cause offense to the people you are working with. Another aspect of mental preparation is to change your way of thinking about mission work. As a mission team, our job is to serve and not to beat people over the head with a Bible. One of the best ways to do this is by what I call relational ministry. The concept is simple, build friendships and make clear that you are a Christian and unashamed of it, and be welcoming to questions without forcing someone into an unpleasant conversation about religion and why they should believe in Christianity. You will be able to convert more people by your actions and their curiosity than you will be able to if you try and force-feed Christianity.
In our next post we will talk about Physical and Emotional Preparation.