What if we renamed MISSON trips to DISCIPLESHIP trips? I think it would help on so many levels.
1. It would communicate that we were going to LEARN and receive: even if what we were doing was some type of work, the purpose of it would be to grow in our own faith and knowledge as we experience what life is like for many in that part of the city/country/world and learn how to take those experiences back to our mission fields at home.
2. It would give us the understanding that often these trips are more like mountaintop experiences that bolster our walk and so it’s natural to expect that a few days/weeks later life (that hopefully we are living on mission) will get weary and exhausting and we can draw on the past experiences because we were learners on those trips who learned that others around the world are weary too…but they are persevering.
3. It would begin to help correct the “white saviorism” and colonization of the gospel that too often our western mission trip mindsets cultivates.
4. It would encourage teams to consume more culture, invest in other economies, take time for more experiences, learn from locals and local M’s and include more resting and debriefing time as they travel because the understanding would be to learn, listen, grow, and even refresh.
5. It would remind us that the main places of mission usually are around our dinner tables, in our workplaces, in our neighborhoods, in our own cities.
Just something to think about.