Rockport Sermon

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Vision for Short-Term Missions

I was reading through the Desiring God Website this morning and like usual, found something that started me thinking. I have been asked the question, who should go on short-term missions and also, what is the vision for short-term missions. Well, here are some posts from John Piper and others at his church. The original post can be found at

February 4, 2009

The following is an edited transcript of the audio.

What is the vision for short-term missions at your church?

I said in a previous question that everybody should want to do short-term missions. One of the reasons for that is that we're a global church, and seeing the way the church functions outside of your own culture is enriching, broadening, strengthening, and deepening, and it gives you a bigger picture of God.

So one of the functions of short-term missions is all of those things: more of God, learning to trust him more, learning how he works in another culture, learning what missionary life is like, taking some risks yourself. All those things are good for us.

Secondly we want it to be good for missions. So part of the strategy is to make sure that missionaries want you to come before you go. That would be a part of it.

And, thirdly, many long-term missionaries were birthed through their experience in short-term missions. So for recruiting or inspiring more long-term missionaries, I think a program of short-term missions is important.

The world has become very small. It's a global village, and globalization is an increasingly obvious reality. And for us to be ethnocentric or culture-centric would show that we don't have an appreciation for the breadth of God's kingdom and the complexity of his church.

January 30, 2009

The following is an edited transcript of the audio.

Who should consider going on short-term missions trips?

I said last Sunday in the sermon, "Everybody!"

In other words, in America—let's just stick with America—we're wealthy, we're mobile, and we're connected. And it's easy to leave and go somewhere or do something, whether it's going to Pearlington, MS in order to help rebuild a church after Katrina, or whether it's going to the Dominican Republic, or Ireland, or Uganda, or Tanzania. We can go. We have the money, planes, and visas to go, and we can go.

We're so mobile that I think that sometime in every Christian's life in America they should go and do something. From the time you're nine to ninety years old, plan a couple of weeks of short-term missions.

I can't think of any reason why a Christian wouldn't want to build that into a life plan, and then to say, "Maybe God will do something with it that will shape my whole life."

So I don't want to pick out a category of Christians and say that they should do short term missions. I think all of us should.

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