Editor’s Note: If you are new to my blog, consider reading the previous post tagged “interruptible.” Those with that word in the title or the tag connected to them are meant to be read together, from beginning to end. The motivation for this series comes from that first post entitled “Interruptible: Jesus doesn’t [only] live in Tijuana. Thanks for reading!
Upon planning and processing the mission trips described in my previous blog, I couldn’t help but wonder and rethink what I had learned and known about mission trips. What was “wrong” with our ministry that lead to such a dramatic drop in participation when the activity presented was not only cheaper but also much safer? Why was it so hard to conjure up excitement and numbers for this adventure over the previous ones? And why were we even bothering to do mission trips?
Christians, those of us who give up trying to make it on our own and instead trust our lives to Jesus, theoretically seeking to be more and more like him every day, like missions. We throw around words like serving and volunteering all the time, sometimes acting as if the new “holier than thou” is “busier than thou.” But why do we bother doing these things?
It makes us feel good. It does. Even people who don’t believe that Jesus is Lord like helping others. We have it in our DNA to do things to help people when we see a need that we can meet. Not all the time…but at least some of the times. We like helping people because it makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, as if we deserve a gold star by our name on the cosmic chart of life. And who doesn’t want more gold starts?
It’s the idea that we can do something motivates us. When we see those who have huge needs we can meet out of our abundance, human nature is to do something about it. We may not make serious sacrifices easily, but we don’t want to see others struggling or suffering when when it’s a quick fix. Anyone who has at least half a heart knows this.
For Christians, it’s something the Bible tells us to do. Even if you don’t get those warm and fuzzy feelings from helping others, if you call your self a Christian and are seeking to follow and be more like Jesus, then you are commanded to Love God, Love Others in a way that calls for meeting the needs that those others have. Because Jesus did it first. Jesus isn’t merely making a suggestion or offering an idea to consider; it’s a command. And we’re suppose to do it like Jesus did.
Jesus healed and taught. He spent a lot of time teaching and a lot of time healing. He saw the needs that others had and met them. It’s that simple.
That’s why Christians go on mission trips. That’s obvious. But how did he do this? How did Jesus go about living out this habit of healing and teaching?
After watching trip attendance plummet, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was something “off” about what we as American Christians living in the 21st Century when it came to missions and serving? Where were we in line with what Jesus was doing and what could use some tweaking?
The answer: be interruptible.