What is a mission trip? If you’ve ever asked that question…we define a mission trip as a decision to commit a focused length of time to the cause of Christ. In a 2006 church study 1.6 million people had participated in a short-term mission trip.*
Today’s short-term mission trips are now any lengths that don’t include a lifetime commitment. So today short-term mission trips could be as short as a weekend in the inner city, to 3 years in Guatemala. A mission fails the “short-term” test when one decides that the journey is a lifetime commitment. At Mission Discovery our staff of have made a lifetime commitment to short-term missions.
Most often we are asked to compare our trips with that of another agency. We are a Christ-focused agency. Everything we do is about exposing the incredible love of God to a world of people in need. We believe primarily that our mission trips are about “missions education.”
Every Mission Discovery trip connects groups and individuals with the work of long-term missionaries during a 7 to 10 day short-term mission experience. During that time frame, our groups are at the full disposal of that missionary and his or her purposes. That could include feeding the poor, building a classroom for a school, leading children’s activities, or simply holding babies at an orphanage.
What is a short-term mission trip? The only way to truly know that is to participate in one. One book that helps frame the best practices of short-term mission trips is Dr. Bob Lupton’s book “Toxic Charity.”
*ROBERT J. PRIEST, TERRY DISCHINGER, STEVE RASMUSSEN, C. M. BROWN (2006). Missiology: 431–450.