Mission Trip opportunities are a great way to obey Jesus’ command found in Matthew 28:19: spread the gospel and make disciples of all nations.
Most people who go on a short term mission trip return home with an attitude of gratitude, and feel connected to the people they serve. Additionally, they appreciate a different culture, grow closer to God, and develop a better sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.
Of course, all that is great, but what about obeying Jesus’ Great Commission command from home? You don’t travel to a foreign land; thus there is no cool slideshow, but is it just as worthwhile?
I’m not suggesting to give up on far away mission trips. For various reasons, travel is difficult for some people; however, they can still make disciples by spreading the gospel through various ministries at home. Moreover, it’s possible to do both!
Local mission trip ideas abound. Here are a few to get you started
MISSION TRIP: ELDER CARE
Leviticus 19:2 exhorts us to honor the aged. Look at the “youth culture” which surrounds us. Do you think we are obeying this command?
One way to reach out to the elderly is to visit nursing home residents, who have no family to visit or look out for them. However, before barging into people’s rooms, talk to an activity director or home administrator. Your pastor most likely has ideas or contacts to help you get started.
Moreover, “Meals on Wheels” or other similar services primarily serve the elderly. These organizations depend upon volunteers to prepare food and deliver meals. Our local service asks churches to provide desserts. Perhaps you can organize a local mission trip ministry to contribute food or other needed items.
MISSION TRIP: GIVE CARETAKERS A BREAK
Romans 15:1 says to help the weak.
Those who are ill, dying, and disabled are the defenseless and weak in our society; however, their caretakers are also in need of a break.
Caring for elderly parents or disabled children is exhausting both physically and emotionally. It is difficult to get away or find time to take care of self, thus their health suffers physically and emotionally.
Therefore, if you know a caretaker offer to help, be as specific as possible about ways you can assist. Help the caretaker take their charge to the doctor, give them a spa day while you do the caretaking, or take a meal to them, so they don’t have to cook.
Hospice is always looking for volunteers to provide care taking services.
Serving two populations in one mission trip. Now that’s cool.
MISSION TRIP: GIVE MOMS A BREAK
Psalm 4:8 tells us to spend time with the Lord. Daunting to say the least for mothers of young children. Nevertheless, mothers need quiet time with the Lord.
Therefore, offer to babysit for moms allowing them time for spiritual refreshment. Check out a Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) ministry at a local church to get started.
MISSION TRIP: FOSTER PARENTING
James 1:2 requires Christians to visit orphans and widows in their affliction. What better way to obey God than to care for children in need? Unfortunately, the demand for foster parents is exploding partly due to the crisis of opioid addictions.
The opportunity of this mission trip is to impact the lives of children who possibly never heard the name of Jesus.
Form a lifelong connection with these children.
Adoption is possible, changing a child’s life forever.
Children come with serious emotional wounds due to neglect or abuse.
Often foster parents are seen as interlopers who disrupt their lives rather than a knight in shining armor.
Before becoming a foster parent:
Pray intensely and learn about this mission trip before making a commitment.
Research options and choose an agency carefully – one that aligns with your philosophy on religion and raising children.
Understand this is not a second income, the per diem is to cover the cost of the child’s care.
Consider your biological children’s safety and emotional well-being as you decide how fostering best fits your family dynamic.
MISSION TRIP: SUPPORT A CHILD IN NEED
For years our family supported children through Compassion International. For a reasonable monthly contribution, along with birthday and Christmas donations supports a child’s basic needs and education along with gifts at holidays.
The child sends letters, and you can respond. Ask questions and learn about the child. You can even pick a child that shares a birthday with a family member. Supporting a child is an enjoyable and fulfilling ministry to do with your children. Perhaps older children can provide part of the monthly giving.
MISSION TRIP: HOSPITALITY
Invite new attendees to your home for dinner after church. Perhaps the discussion can lead to your church’s doctrine and salvation.
Pass out tracks to the homeless population in a unique way. Give the message of the gospel with a meal. Blessed are those who are generous because they feed the poor (Proverbs 22: 9 NIV).
Invite nonbelievers to your home for an evening. Don’t beat them up with religion, but say grace before eating and if the opportunity arises mention how your faith affects your life. One visit is not enough for this mission trip. Building relationships with nonbelievers is an ongoing effort.
Check out other ideas in my article Hospitality by the Book.
So there you have it, six mission trip ideas and no passport is needed. This article is just a starter list. Pray about how to serve Jesus, considering what suits your passion and skills – then take action.
As always comments and ideas are always welcome.
Blessing until next time.