Oh the infamous “Africa Selfies”. The ones that everyone takes when they’re on a mission trip and they see a sick or dirty child. The kind people take for the likes on Facebook or for the countless comments of approval. “you’re changing the world”, “wow thank you for all you do.” They’ve got to stop. The “Africa Selfies “need to stop.
I am in no way saying to not take pictures while on a mission trip. After all, bringing awareness to the problem is a huge part of missions. However, it is important to remember why you are taking the picture. Who is it benefitting? The person in the picture or your Instagram fan base. I am just as guilty as the next person of this social trend.
Ever since I can remember I have always loved and had a heart for missions. When I was twelve I went on a trip to Ethiopia and the second I boarded the plane to come back home I decided I would move to Ethiopia someday. With the many mission trips I went on along came the “Africa Selfies”. I found myself countless times picking up a sick child only to snap a selfie and run back to my hotel with Wi-Fi to post it. I didn’t realize until years later just how wrong and backwards my thinking was.
After doing this way too many times I finally realized just how wrong I really was. How dare I use this child for attention. How dare I use Gods call on my life to missions as an ego booster. It was wrong and always will be.
So to everyone, myself included, who is guilty of the “Africa Selfie”, it needs to stop. We need to stop this social trend. When did “Go and make disciples of all nations” become “Go and make disciples of all nations…and look good doing it… oh and make sure everyone knows that you’re doing it”? We as Christians need to put an end to it. We need to remember why we’re doing what we’re doing it. Are we feeding the hungry and spreading the gospel because God has called us to or is it for the likes on Instagram?
As you’re doing all of the amazing things that God has called you to, remember why you’re doing it. Remember who has called you to it and why you boarded that plane in the first place. Was it to be the hands and feet of Jesus or was it to gain a couple Instagram followers?
So here is to today’s mission field. Go and do great things. Go tell others about Christ. Go and feed a village. Go and treat the ill. Go and teach English to a class. Go and pray with a widow. Go and show Christ’s love to everyone you come in contact with. Go and love on orphans. Go and be the hands and feet of Jesus… but put down the selfie stick before doing so.