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Is Short Term Missions Fulfilling the Great Commission?

Matthew 28:19 – “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the  Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you to the end of the age.”

So many people read that verse and become fixated on the first word… Go.  And in obedience, they search out short term mission trips thinking that they are going to fulfill the Great Commission. But do short term mission trips really fulfill the Great Commission? There is almost always a ‘go’ related to the trip, some near and some far. However, if we stop fixating on the ‘go’ and look at the rest of the verse, we need to ask ourselves ‘Can we really make disciples during a short term trip? Is there enough time to bring those we serve to a point of baptism, and then teach them all that Jesus commanded?’ I think that takes a little longer than a week. Or month. In some cases even longer than a year. So, do short term trips really fulfill the Great Commission? No, I don’t think they do. However, they are integral to what the resurrected Jesus told His disciples in Acts 1. Jesus says, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth.” Perhaps that is what short term mission trips need to focus on… our witness of a resurrected Christ. How has Jesus been active in your life? What miraculous things have you seen? How has He impacted your life? How has He impacted your eternity? Let’s get out of the mindset that we are going to fulfill the Great Commission in a week that we dedicate to the Lord, and focus on what Jesus has done for each of us. Let us be witnesses of these great things and tell the world… in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth. It is that ‘witness’ that will allow the disciplers in those lands to fulfill the Great Commission.

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