Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Missions Trips: Good or Bad?

I was reading a great article on short term missions and it got me thinking about my own experiences being a part of trips and leading them. Here's the article I read; check it out:

Over the years I have compiled a list of 11 missions trips in which some I was a part of and some I led. Over the years I have discovered a few key truths about short term missions trips. These truths are the same for every trip and for most students going because it doesn’t matter where you go, it's just a matter of going. The reason I put most students is because I have discovered that not all students are going for the right reasons. Sometimes they allow God to get a hold of them, shake them loose of the bond the devil has on them and they come back different! I know this because I was that kid the summer before my senior year. I went with my youth group to the Cayman Islands on a mission trip to help run a camp for kids. One night we were helping run a service and God got a hold of my heart and I have never been the same.

When we go on trips we are always focused on what we are going to do and how we are going to accomplish the task. You need goals and tasks in order to help a community, share the Gospel and use your talents for His Glory. If you didn’t have those then why are you going would be an appropriate question that needs to be asked. But the question that often gets missed is: What is God going to do in my life because of this trip? That's where we find our mission trip truths. Here are 3 key truths I see in every trip.

1. It's eye opening.
Almost always your going to a place that is not like your place, your surroundings, your comfort level. Hopefully you are being stretched and your view of the world is being changed. When your eyes are opened it seems like it makes room for the Holy Spirit to make some changes. This leads into the next key truth.

2. Lasting Impact
This one seem like it should be combined in the last one but let me explain.. Missions trips should create a lasting impact because when you are there, you are serving and allowing God to use you. You are portraying what God asks of us in the Bible; how He wants us to live. The Bible says if you want to be free, give your life away. If you want to be first, be last (servant hood). If you want to be close to God's heart, see the World through my eyes. When you are on these trips you are being stretched and used. You are so close to God's heart and God is doing a work in your life. I have seen students come back from trips and want to make impact in their own communities like they did there. I have seen students come back and make career choices based on how they felt there. I have seen students go on mission trips and want to become missionaries. There is no doubt that when students go on trips God could make a lasting impact in their life.

3. Jesus' becomes clearer
In their own life on these trips Jesus because more clearer. Students make decisions to go harder after God, to quit doing certain things that are hindering their relationship with God, to change their life and become real about their relationship with Jesus.
I have seen these truths be evident in my own life and in the lifes of many students over the years. Don’t underestimate the power that a short term mission trip could have on the life of a student.
If you go to HCC, there will be a 2013 missions meeting on Aug 19 at 10:30 in the VERB Lounge to go over all of the missions trips for VERB next year along with the adult trips as well. Yes, these core truths are the same truth for adults.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

What's up Next for me

As my dad takes the family and me to the airport for us to fly back to Baltimore after a two week vacation where we spent a week at the beach, celebrated 8th anniversary with my bride, and got to see a lot of friends and be challenged at the General Assembly. I am saddened and happy about my return to Maryland.

I'm saddened only for the fact that vacation is over and had to say goodbye to family.

I'm happy because I'm super happy and excited about what's going on at VERB and HCC over the next few months.

Here's a few things to list and pay attention to and pray for. On Thursday a group of middle and high school guys leave for WV for 3 days for Man Up where we will be whitewater rafting and rock climbing. Then I fly to ATL for a few days to tour the ATL Dreamcenter for some possible ministry opportunities next summer. Aug 8-10 is church wide summer bond. Then VERB will hit up Hershey Park on Aug 14. Aug 17-18 multi youth church event called Upside Down. Aug. 19 2013 summer missions meeting. Aug 22 VERBs own 7:14 service. Sept 2 VERBs Labor Day Party to kick off the fall semester. Sept 28-30 HS Fall Retreat. Oct 26 Halloweenfest with a Zombie Invasion. Nov. 17-19 middle school trip to OC for Alive.

I'm stoked about the fall and all I believe God is going to do in the lives of our students. Hopefully your just as excited and be in prayer for VERBs leadership team and be in prayer for the students to allow God to speak into their life and for them to speak into the lives of their friends.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Were taking 2 weeks to talk about money and try to make sense of what God is asking of us when it comes to it. Because in this day in age we have it completely backwards when it comes to money, possessions and want. Through this series, my hope is that students get a clear sense of what God wants from them when it comes to there life and their money.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 and some goals

Every year we all try and set goals that we all want to achieve by end of the year. So, I thought I would include you in on some of my goals so you could see what I aiming for. Possibly, you can hold me accountable to them as well.

- Read through the Bible on one of those year plans
- Read 15 books. Here's the list I have so far:
- Finish Doctrine by Mark Driscoll
- Hunger Games books
- Bringing Up Girls by Dr. James Dobson
- 99 things every girl should know by Neely Mcqueen
- Soul School by Jeanne Stevens
- Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark DeVries
- Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey
- Vintage Church by Mark Driscoll
- Parenting a new generation by Chap Clark
- Erasing Hell by Francis Chan
- Love Wins by Rob Bell
- Desiring God by John Piper
- Re- Read Chasing Daylight by Erwin McManus
I know I have more then 15 books here but I would imagine that some of these will be replaced

- Become more healthy
- By eating better and becoming a better cook
- Continue to Work out and get down to 200 pounds (I am at 235 now)

- Become a more disciplined Leader and Teacher
- Do something adventurous that I have never done
- Play some golf
- Look into getting my master's
- Date my wife more
- Love on my kids more
- Hike Maryland's portion of the Appalachian Trail
- Travel a little
- Spend more one on one with some students