Have you ever been on a mission trip? If so, did you ever take such a trip to another country? Imagine for a moment your church gathered this coming Lord's Day as usual, but this day would be anything but normal. Today the entire congregation is loading buses following the final morning service. Passports in hand, you head to the airport and board as a group. Why? Your entire congregation is heading to a city in Asia where the gospel has never been proclaimed. You have decided as a congregation to do something adventurous, something quite revolutionary for your church.
Upon arrival your church begins to team up with nationals and missionaries to begin loving and serving the city, sharing Christ at every opportunity. Children are loved, lives are helped, communities are changed, and the good news is heard. After three wearying but gratifying weeks, your entire fellowship boards a jumbo jet and heads home, exhausted, jet lagged, but amazingly fulfilled.
Fast forward to Christmas season. Through video uplink, your morning services telecast live the leaders of the church you helped to birth in that Asian city. For the first time in the history of the world, a group of Christ followers wishes your church a merry Christmas from that city. Never in the history of man has this happened from this city, and you were a part of making this happen. Don't you think that would energize your church? No doubt many lives would be changed.
Here is the amazing news. Tomorrow morning your church can do the same thing. You do not need to board a plane to Asia to go on a mission trip. Every day believers across the United States awaken and step into the fourth largest unchurched nation on earth. We are a mission field.
Mission trips are a wonderful thing. I have been on many across the U.S. and around the globe. But what if you thought of life as a mission trip? What if you and I and every believer in the West took the posture of a missionary, and began to raise our children, approach our jobs, and look at our neighbors from the view of a missionary? It could be revolutionary.
Life is a mission trip. Take it! Cultivate that vision in your people and watch them begin to function like missionaries. And relive the book of Acts in your very lifetime. It will take a movement like that not only to reach the world, but also to reach the West.*
*Taken from Alvin L. Reid, Evangelism Handbook: Biblical, Spiritual, Intentional, Missional. Nashville: B & H, 2009.