Take the Miss out of Missions


Throughout the year, airports throughout the U.S. see scores of church groups, all dressed in the same brightly colored T-shirts, heading out for their week to change the world. I’m not sure when this practice became so popular, but most churches have at least one trip a year to somewhere outside the United States. During that week, participants will build stuff, paint, play with and love on orphans, provide some basic medical care, and the list goes on. 

Is there a value to having a cross-cultural experience? Absolutely! 

Does it provide lasting change? Not usually. 

Most missions tactics resemble what we might see in the U.S. after a flood or hurricane, providing basic relief. A genuine game changer the days and weeks
following disasters when lives being turned upside down, disaster relief renders hope in essential, tangible ways. However, at some point, the short-term quick responses must give way to a long-term strategy. 

Ironic, too, is the fact that most international missions trip participants will pay 2 to 3 times more for their trip than many families they visit will earn in an entire year. 

-An unfortunate inequity?   Yes, in many cases, but not always!

I truly believe that…

  • Every church desires to truly make a difference at home and around the world;
  • Every church desires to motivate its members to participate, knowing the great benefits of engagement;
  • No church wants to waste time or financial resources. 
  • Many churches, however, have not found how to engage beyond a trip and a check.

What is the solution? 

  • Before planning one more trip or sending one more check to a Missions partner, your church needs a comprehensive Missions philosophy and strategy with long-term goals and specific outcomes.
  • Begin “small” in one country with specific objectives based upon the findings of a “needs assessment" phase that in itself may take a year, but will render findings based upon “real needs and possibilities.” This is a great way to utilize business, medical, educational and agricultural professionals. This phase is definitely not scratching the insatiable itch to “build something”— yet. 
  • Vet international partners, qualifying them in this way: If a potential partner spends more than 50% of its efforts in hosting and planning “things for teams to do”—pass—in favor of partners who host fewer teams, but are highly selective and specific as to the function and role of each team.
  • Missions teams, then, are part of a relay of sorts. Their efforts continue where other teams leave off, all working toward common outcomes that empower local churches and communities.
  • Lastly—if in evaluating your strategy you find that those in the international focus area will need you forever to sustain the project, then wipe the board and start over. 
  • Don’t begin outside the U.S., overlooking the opportunities in the neighborhoods where you live! -No airfare or vacation time required to participate!

Having been a senior pastor, executive pastor and international strategist, I want to help your church dream big about your role from your neighborhoods to the nations!

Let me help you “Take the MISS out of MISSIONS” (tm)

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Contact me and let me help YOUR CHURCH impact culture "here" and around the world!