As I reflected on the area of mission a number of key thoughts and questions came to mind.
The overarching theme is that we are all called to be missionaries – in our home, community, school, work place and beyond. Within tbcYouth, our church youth ministry, we need to translate this into an understanding of mission not being a trip to Asia, Africa, or South America when aged 17-18, in year 12-13, but something we are learning to do right from the start of year 7 (aged 11), and continuing to do when we leave tbcYouth.
Some key questions which I think need to be asked against any mission trip include:
- Am I spending the time in preparation to understand the area where we’re serving, their culture, and the issues they’re struggling with? Do the young people understand these things?
- Am I communicating with the ministry/church we’re partnering with to make sure the things we’re doing are going to benefit that community over the long-term?
- Are there opportunities to develop this relationship in to a long-term relationship?
- Is the trip both meeting a physical need of the people and sharing the hope of Jesus with them?
- Are we teaching young people to impose our British values on the culture we’re serving? If our trip is within the UK, are we imposing our community’s values on the one we’re serving?
- Are the young people spending time building relationships with people in the community?
Tomorrow I’ll give an overview on how we’re going to structure our mission work within our youth ministry.