14 Reasons why churches should send teams on short-term international mission trips and why you should join them

My church is a very missions-minded church. We send out several teams every year on short-term (1-2 weeks) international mission trips. The Lord has richly blessed us in our efforts to do the Great Commission. I believe every church should be involved in international mission work through short-term journeys. Here are 14 reasons why:

1. Jesus, who is the head of the church, called the church to go to the very ends of the earth and preach the gospel, and He promised to go with them and protect them until the end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20)

2. There are people who need to hear the gospel. Faith comes by hearing. If they do not hear, then they cannot believe in Him. They cannot hear without someone preaching, and there is no preaching unless someone is sent. (Romans 10:14-17)
3. Short term teams are an encouragement to the full-time missionaries who receive them in the host country. Sending money helps, but a dollar bill cannot share the gospel to the people who need to hear. This requires “boots on the ground.” (Philippians 4:10; 2 Timothy 1:15-18, 4:9-11)
4. Short term teams are an encouragement to the churches in the host country. It helps them to know that they have brothers and sisters who care for them. Nothing encourages them more than to know that the churches overseas are praying for them. (Galatians 6:9-10)
5. Short term teams really can make a kingdom impact. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and wherever it is preached people are born again and rescued for all eternity. (Romans 1:16)
6. When international churches receive short-term teams, the local community becomes more connected with the local church. Whether you are doing medical ministry or handing out soccer balls through a host church, people in the community receive a blessing from that church’s ministry. The people you help may forget your name or face, but they will not forget the believers within that local church. (Acts 2:45-47)
7. It is easier to share the gospel on short-term international trips. Normally, you will have an opportunity to share just by being there. You will be interesting just because you are a foreigner. People will listen to what you have to say because they know you care about them enough to come and tell them. (Acts 17:18-21)
8. It will be easier to share the gospel with people in the United States upon your return. Having the easy opportunities to share overseas will give you the confidence you need to share the gospel with fellow Americans… sort of like hitting off a tee in practice prepares a little leaguer to hit harder pitches in the game.
9. The churches who send short-term mission teams grow. God loves it when His people obey His command to go. He adds special blessings to the churches who send laborers into the harvest. (Romans 10:15)
10. Going on short-term international trips gives you a broader understanding of the world. People in third world countries are different than us. You cannot really understand how different unless you go and see for yourself and live with them for a period of time.
11. You will have a chance to network with full-time missionaries and develop wonderful partnerships with them. It is one thing to read about missionaries in books, but nothing compares to being able to have them as close personal friends. (Philippians 2:25-30)
12. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, has sheep that are scattered about in dark and difficult places. He must bring them into His fold. The good news is that they will hear his voice and respond. Churches who send teams to these places are guaranteed results. They will hear His voice. (John 10:16)
13. The Lord has prepared you for such good works. The church is the equipping place for ministry. Your Jerusalem, your Judea, your Samaria, and all the nations are your mission field. (Ephesians 2:10, 4:11-12; Acts 1:8)
14. Jesus said that He would not return before the gospel is proclaimed “throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations.” There are 6,000 people groups who are unreached with the gospel. If we say we are ready for Jesus’ return, we have to get going to the unreached at the ends of the earth. (Matthew 24:14)