Katie, Adileen, and I just got back to Arequipa after a whirlwind two and a half months in the US. We had an incredible time with family as well as with Cedar Lane and Central churches, and some friends here, there, and everywhere. Adileen got used to a car seat for the first time, learned what a church nursery was like, and got to meet all of her aunts, uncles, and cousins. Sorry everyone (especially grandparents), but I think her favorite part of the US was the dogs. Adileen. Loves. Dogs.
What picture pops into your head when you hear the word “evangelism”? Someone shouting through a bullhorn downtown? Door knocking and handing out religious tracts? Arguments about evolution and radiocarbon dating with non-believers? For those of you who also may cringe at the aforementioned methods, you’ll be happy, like I was, to hear that this is not the only way to evangelize.
Let’s do something different. It’s not that STMs are wrong, but it’s our priority placed on them (more than a billion dollars annual) and what we do while on them that obscures our vision of the Kingdom of God. With great emphasis I have stated that the Kingdom of God has no “short-term” and is always moving, always loving, and always serving. Let’s be a part of the mission of God for the long-term. Yes that sounds cliché, but it’s the very thing we, as Christ’s followers, are called to do.
So it’s that time of year again. Summer is upon you, residents of the Northern Hemisphere. The sun, sand, and Sonic all bid you, come. In addition to your normal summer routines of work, camps, vacations, and a little R & R, many will embark on summer mission trips. A question I have is: are short-term mission trips a culturally appropriate model for evangelism or community development?