Missions trips can be exciting, life-changing, and an enormous blessing to both you and those you are helping and serving. However, your attitude will determine much of what you both give and receive on any missions venture. The following are a few attitudes to consider as you prepare for your next trip.
You may know what your general responsibilities are going to be on this trip, but be open to the fact that more or different things may be asked of you. Going into this time of service with a spirit that is willing to jump in and help wherever there is need will be a great blessing to your teammates and to those you are seeking to minister to.
Be intentional and deliberate. Ask the Lord beforehand what he wants to do with your time and talents on this trip, and be looking for ways to serve and glorify him. Take initiative to engage and plug in to what is going on around you in order to get the most out of this time that is set aside to aid the missionaries, organization, or people group that you have chosen to serve.
Believe God for what He wants to do with this time. He alone knows what He wants to accomplish in your life and in the lives of those around you. One thing you can be sure of-the Spirit is working, whether you can see it or not. Walk by faith and be confident in who He is, and in the fact that He is growing and teaching you through this missions trip.
An attitude of humility will take you far when working on any team, and is crucial to missions trips. You will most likely end up working with and for people with different opinions and philosophies of ministry, from all different walks of life, varied upbringings, and diverse ways of seeing the world. If you go into this thinking your way is the only way, it will be extremely hard to work as a team.
You will also need to remember that those you are serving do not need you to rescue them or be their savior-they need Jesus. Ask the Lord to reveal any arrogance or pride you have in yourself or your opinions, and to produce the Spirit’s fruit of meekness in your heart and life.
I clearly remember my medical missions trip to Africa; long waits in a hot and humid van with no air-conditioning, sweltering days in the sun trying to understand what people were saying or wanted, trying to communicate to and organize people at clinics, sitting through long sermons in the evenings when I just wanted to go fall asleep on my small cot. The days spent doing ministry can be long and exhausting. They will be a big change from your daily routine at home, and may require you to step out of your comfort zone. Endure with patience the moments of discomfort, remembering that the Lord is seeking to use you to bless people that He loves and desires to know Him.
Your choice to go on a missions trip will bring joy to the Lord as you love and obey him by displaying such attitudes. Around the world are people who need to hear the gospel, missionaries that need encouragement, and churches that need to be cared for. Be excited as you join God’s work!
Anna Wishart is a graduate of Ethnos360 Bible Institute and continues to seek ways to be involved with missions through writing. She currently lives in Winchester, Virginia, and enjoys biking, art, friends, the mountain views, and attending Fellowship Bible Church.