SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
(Num 9:18) At the command of the LORD the children of Israel would journey…
In life we have learned that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Sometimes a middle approach is the best course of action. It’s like on laundry day. You don’t have time to do it all so you don’t do any laundry at all. But why not do a little one day and a little the next? That also reminds me of how we look at the mission enterprise. Do I go on the mission field or do I stay at home? Well…why not take a short-term mission trip?
Short-term mission trips is the middle of the all or nothing. You feel called to stay at home and have your regular life and job and involvement in your home church. But you also feel like you would like to visit a missionary or do a short-term mission trip somewhere. It can be for a weekend or for a whole season, it doesn’t matter. Many churches go on a week or two mission to do a work project of some kind. Others just go over and spend time with and encourage the missionary that they know. This center of the spectrum can be good for all. Work gets done, a missionary is blessed, and the short-termer goes home fired up in the Lord.
Here’s a suggestion. You have some vacation time coming from your job. Go visit a missionary! Your church is going on a mission. Sign your family up (your kids will love it!) and go with them. Your missionary friend hasn’t had a visitor in a long time. Surprise them by telling them you are coming to visit them! Or why not combine your desire to see the world with doing a mission? Or maybe go see your missionary and then go on a personal vacation after?
But what about a vacation to rest and relax? Well, let’s look at it a couple of ways. First, there is nothing like serving the Lord! Giving to others is the most enriching experience there is: (Luke 6:38) "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you." Yeah, you put out but your joy remains full. And the Bible says the joy of the Lord is our strength! (Neh 8:10) Secondly, why not take a restful vacation and later on in the year do a short term mission? Or do a mission trip one year and a personal vacation the next? Do you get my point? It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
The Lord could also use you not only on the trip but also when you get back. You’ll be telling everybody what happened. (In fact you’ll probably be posting pictures and sharing info online while you’re on the trip!) People will learn about the needs and will join you in prayer. They might even want to go with you next time! Then there might be no stopping the flow that the Lord created through you!
It doesn’t have to be all nothing. But a short term mission is SOMETHING you can do!