Today, when so many things of the world distract us from our God-given mission, a well-planned short-term mission experience can be a catalyst to igniting revival.
There is perhaps no better way for members of a church to become Jesus’ “hands and feet” than to participate in a short-term mission experience, which can be done literally in your own community or across the globe in a foreign country. The possibilities are endless!
It has been my privilege to participate in dozens of these trips in North America and around the world the past 25 years, and each time God has taught me something new about His mission and how I can personally be involved in carrying it out.
The beauty of a short-term mission experience is that it can be specifically tailored to the abilities and interests of the people who attend your church.
It may be you have a church that is chock full of handymen and carpenters. There are many churches in need of renovation or construction assistance, as well as community renewal projects where the lives of individuals can be impacted directly.
Perhaps your church has members with multigenerational talent that could be used to help a church start canvass its community, do block parties and other outreach activities to gain important visibility.
Whatever it may be, your church is filled with talented people who can contribute on a multitude of levels locally, regionally, nationally or internationally in carrying out Christ’s mission.
In Arkansas, pre-packaged mission opportunities abound for churches through our local Baptist associations and the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC).
If your church has been hesitant to take the plunge, you may want to consider signing up for the Acts 1:8 One Day Mission Trip set for Oct. 1 in Fort Smith.
Since 2010, thousands of Arkansas Baptist churches have made a difference in the lives of thousands of people through Acts 1:8 One Day events organized by the convention. Already, many churches across the state make it a priority to participate every year.
“This event has become the highlight of the year for many people across our state,” said Breck Freeman, community missions leader for the ABSC. “It has also made the local associations aware that this One Day event is only a beginning to something that can be an ongoing mission project at a local level. This event has spawned local ‘Jerusalem’ mission days across the state.”
Perhaps what’s best of all is that it is so easy to participate! All you need to do is cast a vision for your church, enlist and sign up to go.
Registration is now open for the Fort Smith experience, which will include a variety of opportunities such as prayer walking, evangelism, children’s activities, block parties, home repairs, health/dental clinics, sports camps, yard work, cowboy ministries, children’s fishing derbies and multi-housing ministries.
The Acts 1:8 Mission Trip is intergenerational and for all ages of your church, so everyone can participate. Some of my fondest memories are when my entire family served together on a mission trip.
I encourage you to prayerfully consider how to get involved in 2016. You and your church may never again be the same.
Tim Yarbrough is editor/executive director of the Arkansas Baptist News.