Love Jesus. Love Others. Like the directions on a shampoo bottle; lather, rinse, repeat.
“Repeating” asks us to do it again and again. Maybe you heard something like this in grade two: Pete and Repeat were in a boat. Pete fell out and who was left? That could go on and on, my friends. Slightly more fun was changing it up to: Pinch Me and Punch Me were in a boat… but I digress.
In the past, student mission trips have seemed that elementary at first glance. It seemed the directions were go, return home and repeat.
That’s changed and we are realigned with the command of Christ. The emphasis in student missions is no longer on the mission trip. The principle worth repeating is living with the mission mentality. Love Jesus. Love others. Repeat daily (not annually after raising the proper funds). The mission of life is loving and serving with a clear gospel focus, especially at home where caring for others is most effective.
The goal of mission trips is not to accomplish missions. “Missions” are not something you accomplish – they are lived. Part of the goal is learning alongside of those we’re sent to serve. We learn how God is working in their community so we can better understand how he is working in our own.
In 2007, the Fuller Youth Institute developed the resource Deep Justice In a Broken World: Helping Your Kids Serve Others and Right the Wrongs Around Them by Chap Clark and Kara E. Powell and in 2009, followed that up with the student companion journal, Deep Justice Journeys: Moving From Mission Trips to Missional Living by Kara E. Powell and Brad M. Griffin. Thank God, after seven years we are living this idea more fully.
Youth Unlimited has woven this key thought into our mission trips: You are being invited to serve alongside a local church and community for a week, learning from them how to compassionately care for a community. Then, you are asked to return home to engage more fully with your church to compassionately care for your own community and the world.
The summer has drawn to an end, so what now? The school year has started, what now?
How will your students repeat missional living each day and all through the year?