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 that you need to answer to find out 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.
But the truth is, we don't know if we'll have enough time to do our hair tomorrow morning. Yet for some reason we feel like we can determine whether or not we'll have enough time for something six months from now.
We're all busy. Asking, “Do I have enough time?” is a bad question because the answer is almost always, “No.” This question can halt a mission trip opportunity faster than pretty much anything else.
So instead, ask: “Am I willing to make this mission trip a priority?”
If we're being honest, you probably 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 a summer camp, a vacation, or simply relaxing at home. That's why the better question to ask yourself is, “Am I willing to make a mission trip a priority over these other things?” If your answer to that is “yes,” then 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 tend to ask ourselves, “Do I have enough money?” If we're being completely 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?”
Whether or not we literally have enough money to go on a mission trip 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 . . . a sacrifice.
The better question to ask is, “Am I willing to sacrifice financially to go?”
Do you need to be responsible financially? Of course. God is not calling you to be irresponsible with your money in order 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,” or, “No, because I don't like long plane flights,” or, “No, because I don't want to sleep there or eat that food.”
Even answering “yes” to this question can reveal selfish motives . . . “Yes, because I want to travel,” or, “Yes, because I want to get to know that certain guy or girl,” or, “Yes, because I want to look like a better Christian when I get back.”
Instead, ask this question: “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?”
The truth is, we should be asking this question first.
Why? Because 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 important details in our decision-making. Because if God wants you to go, you should go.
Think about it
The wrong questions lead to dead ends every time . . . “I'm too busy, don't have enough money, and hate bugs. Maybe next year,” we tell ourselves. But 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