How to tell if you're ready to go on a mission trip
Are you ready to go on a mission trip? The answer may be simpler than you think. In fact, there are only a couple of questions you need to answer to determine if you're ready. But first, there are a few questions that you shouldn't ask to tell if you're ready.
1) Don't ask, "Do I have enough time?"
If a mission trip opportunity comes up, our first reaction is usually to ask ourselves, "Do I have enough time to go?" We think ahead to the summer (or whenever the trip is) and try to predict whether or not we'll have "enough time" in our schedule to go.
We don't know if we'll have enough time to do our hair in the morning. But for some reason we feel like we can determine whether or not we'll have enough time for something 6 months from now.
We're all busy. Asking, "Do I have enough time?" is a terrible question because the answer is almost always, "No." This question can squash a mission trip opportunity faster than anything else.
Instead, ask: "Am I willing to make this a priority?"
You have enough time. The question is, what are you going to do with it? Going on a mission trip usually means giving up something else, like summer camp, a vacation, or simply relaxing at home. Ask yourself, "Am I willing to make a mission trip a priority over these other things?" If you answered, "Yes," you're ready.
2) Don’t ask, "Do I have enough money?"
It doesn't matter if you're in high school, college, or a working adult, money is often our greatest personal barrier to going on a mission trip. We ask ourselves, "Do I have enough money?" If we're honest though, usually what we're really asking is, "Do I have enough money to go on this mission trip and still have enough money left over to feel like I didn't actually have to sacrifice too much to go?"
Did that hurt a little bit? I'm preaching to myself here, too. Whether or not we literally have enough money is usually not the question. We can get a summer job, work some overtime, or save a little bit each month. Our real hesitation is the sacrifice involved. We can get attached to our money, and dedicating such a large chunk to a mission trip seems like, well, a sacrifice.
Instead, ask: "Am I willing to sacrifice financially to go?"
Do you need to be responsible financially? Of course. God is not calling you to be fiscally irresponsible to go on a mission trip. Are you going to fundraise along the way? Of course. You don't have to sacrifice financially alone. But you do have to be willing to sacrifice. If you're willing, you're ready.
3) Don’t ask, "Do I want to go on a mission trip?"
No matter how you look at it, this is a selfish question that hardly ever produces good results. There are a lot of possible reactions to this question, like "No, because I'm scared to leave the United States. No, because I don't like long plane flights. No, because I don't want to sleep there or eat that food."
Even an answer of "yes" to this question can reveal selfish motives. "Yes, because I want to travel. Yes, because I want to get to know that certain guy or girl. Yes, because I want to look like a better Christian when I get back."
Instead, ask: "Does God want me to go on a mission trip?"
That may seem like an obvious question, but it's usually only a question we ask after we've asked ourselves the other questions. "Do I have enough time? Enough money? Is it something I want to do? ...Oh yea, does God want me to go?"
We need to ask this question first.
Asking this question takes the focus off of our plan for us and puts it on God's plan for us. Asking, "Do I want to go," is following your plan for you. Asking, "Does God want me to go," is following God's plan for you. And when you ask this question, long plane flights, bugs, and money are no longer relevant factors in our decision.
Think about it
The wrong questions lead to a dead end every time. "I'm too busy, don't have enough money, and hate bugs. Maybe next year," we tell ourselves. The right questions can open the door for God to do incredible things in you and through you. So, are you ready?
Written by CJ