Mission Trip Mode

July 28, 2011

We recently returned home from this year’s family mission trip to Mexico. We had a great week with over a hundred different kids show up for the VBS and basketball activities, and lots of families at the evening services too. As far as we know right now, at least 20 people accepted Jesus throughout the week.

The week leading up to the trip, I found myself entering what I call “mission trip mode.” I became more alert and watchful for possible attacks of the enemy. I remained conscious of my attitude and tried my best to maintain a positive one despite any circumstances. I even found myself constantly looking out for opportunities to obey God or step out in faith and minister to someone in some way, whether that was talking to a stranger, praying for someone, or just trying more frequently to hear from Him throughout the day. It is as if, just a few days before leaving the country, I became super-spiritual.

This “mission trip mode” state of being lasted well into the trip itself, but even by the end of the week I could feel myself losing a bit of that alertness, that “always ready” mindset.

This is the fundamental problem with calling these activities “mission trips.” It places missions on a pedestal and implies that if I spend one week of the year on such a trip, the other 51 weeks are “normal life” and somehow I am exempt from, and perhaps unable to sustain, this “super-spiritual” way of living.

As followers of Jesus, the mission of our lives never goes away. It is there 365 days a year. And if during those 365 days you spend seven on a trip in a foreign place, nothing has changed except your location. The mission is always there. We must remember that our daily ventures into our workplaces and coffee shops and supermarkets are our recurring mission trips. We must constantly be aware of what God is trying to do with us, who He wants us to speak to, and that the enemy is always there trying to hinder us.

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