Thoughts on missionsI just returned from a mission trip to Sonora Mexico and thought I’d share some quick thoughts on missions.

The Great Commission is a command not an option.    I heard a long time ago that when it comes to the Great Commission we go, support, or are disobedient. When a person leaves for other nations to share the good and saving news of Jesus, or when a person supports a missionary with finances and prayer, it is fulfilling the great commission. These roles can be for the short or long term. The important thing is that we don’t just have what some have called a “heart for missions” but a “heart of obedience”.

I do understand the importance of going across the street to share the Good News, but while that is important, we cannot use it as an excuse for not crossing borders and oceans.

Matt. 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…”

Those who stay behind are a part of the going. What I mean is that those who stay behind in a supportive role, whether that be a parent with other siblings, a spouse with responsibilities, or team members keeping the church going, all play an important role that God sees as valuable. Even the prayer teams who are diligent on their knees will receive a reward.

On this last trip, a couple from two states away came to furnish support so the mom and her two teenage daughters could participate. That is truly remarkable!

1 Sam. 30:24 “For who will heed you in this matter? But as his part is who goes down to the battle, so shall his part be who stays by the supplies; they shall share alike.”

Those who support missionaries are important. Receiving a prophet or missionary is equivalent to supporting them. When those serving on the mission field have a need, and that need is voiced or noticed, we should purpose in our hearts to say “yes” and figure out how to help. When those on the front lines of mission work make a request, it most often will have a direct impact on those they serve or their longevity and effectiveness in the field. Whether that is a tool, a book, counsel or funds, we should desire to help and support them any way we can.

My mom has always opened her home to our teams traveling back from mission trips, and a home cooked meal, non-gas station bathrooms, and the rest received from a full night’s sleep have been very welcomed by road the weary travelers.

Matthew 10:41 “He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward.”

I believe that all Christians should endeavor to go on at least one short term mission trip to a land and country where the language, food and culture is different from their own. Such a trip opens the mind and heart to the love that God has for people. Such a trip allows us to see the beauty that God has implanted into the various cultures He Himself created. And such a trip can even produce a long-term missionary who would dedicate his or her life to the high calling of missionary work.

Yet if such a trip, for one reason or another, is not possible…please be encouraged that there are other ways to partake in the command to share the Good News of Jesus with the nations. You can pray, encourage, support financially or even stay behind with the stuff to allow others to go.