Something that is more and more common are global missions trips. Every one of us can probably name at least one person that we know who went on a missions trip out of the country. It is very common for Christians to go on these trips with their church and other believers to spread God and Christianity. If you're one of these people who went on a global missions trip, great! It takes a lot of courage to go somewhere unknown for an extended period of time and dedicate your time to God and people you don't even know. I for one, am not one of these people.
And yes, I am a Christian.
"Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and of the Holy Spirit"
- Matthew 28:19
Most Christians recognize this verse in the Bible. Many people get tattoos of it and take it quite literally, dedicating to their lives to global missions trips. In my opinion, churches and Christian groups focus too much on international counties and missions trips.
Before you freak out and think I'm heartless for thinking there's too much emphasis on global missions trips, hear me out.
People spend thousands of dollars to attend a missions trip across the country. Though it's important to spread God's word to other countries, why aren't we instead, spreading it in our own backyards first? Many towns and cities and your state do not know Jesus, so why not start with them? Why not do a missions trip there to intercity Chicago or Detroit? Or look for the non-believers in your own town, look to take care of your town's homeless, look to take care of the poor. Then, after you spread God's word to your own surrounding towns, you expand and go to the neighboring states and eventually, neighboring countries. There are so many communities in the U.S that need to hear God's word. It's great to go out of the country and spread the word there, but why go there if you can't even go to your own neighborhood first? If you are running in line to go on a global missions trip but not a local missions trip, are you going for the right reasons? Are you really trying to make a difference? Is your heart in the right place?
It is silly to think that the only way to spread God's word or to make a difference to by going out of the country. That's not true! You can make a difference within your own community and your own friends. There are homeless in your own cities, there are poor in your own towns, yet very few of us have ever donated or volunteered your time to your local food pantry or boys and girls club. If you've never even tried to make a difference for God in your everyday life, how can you make a difference across the country?
In addition to making a difference in our own communities, we also should be making a difference in our own lives. If you are not living a Christian lifestyle in your everyday life and spreading God's love regularly, how can you do it countries away?
In no way am I condemning the people who do choose to go out of the country on these trips, that's great! And it takes a lot of courage. If Jesus was calling me to take such a huge trip, I wouldn't hesitate to go!
However, there are other places and ways to spread ministry without going global. It is important that we continue to spread God's message to our local communities too, sometimes those are where it is needed most.