Yesterday morning our youth mission team left for a mission trip to Lake Traverse Reservation in South Dakota. They will be serving among the people of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux tribe in both children’s programs and work projects. I ask for your prayers as they live out our congregation’s mission statement: trust, live and serve. They bear witness to the vibrant life of faith in Christ by their trusting in Jesus, their living in daily community with the Word of God and prayer, and by serving others.
We had a prayer of blessing as they prepared to leave. As I reflect on their departure, I realize that this is a graphic illustration of what a congregation should be every week: a launching pad for ministry in the world. This week our youth team is doing that in a very intentional way.
I believe mission trips are vital to a congregation’s vitality. Such trips provide opportunity for intentional reflection upon our place in God’s kingdom. Participants interact with people of different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. They discover how their unique gifts and dependable strengths can be used to help others. And each day the team has devotions and conversation so that they can integrate their often physical experiences into their spiritual, emotional and mental lives. Such trips can truly be life-changing.
Yet Christian service is not restricted to mission trips. We can serve God by loving our neighbor wherever we are: in our homes, workplaces or community. As we love our children or spouse, as we work with our staff and customers, as we visit with our neighbors, we can be God’s hands, feet, voice and heart in the world. We all can be servants of God in our daily lives. A mission trip trains the heart and mind for such daily service.
At the end of worship each Sunday I announce. “Go in peace. Serve the Lord.” The congregation responds, “Thanks be to God.” I love this sending. I just wish that some Sunday we would take time to report on how we serve the Lord this past week. I am confident that our youth team will have some stories to share.
What helps you to serve?
Lord Jesus, we ask you to bless and encourage the youth of Resurrection as they serve in your kingdom.