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Short-term or long-term missions trips: How to choose which is right for you

Long-Term Missions, Picking a Trip, Planning to Go, Short-Term Missions Add comments

Pile of SuitcasesThere are many people who dream of helping others and traveling the world. Both long- and short-term missions are great for this very reason. You can go just about anywhere for any length of time when you sign up for a missions trip, from an exotic location across the globe or right in your own state. So how do you decide whether to take a long or a short mission? Here are some points to consider.

Time to travel
When considering what type of missions trip you’re interested in, one of the first things you will want to consider is how long you can travel. If you have a job at home that you love and you do not want to leave it for good, then you need to look at a short-term mission. However, if you are not tied down to job, you are between jobs, or you are willing to quit, then a long-term mission is a possibility for you.

In addition, you may not be the type of person who likes to leave home for long periods of time. If that describes you, perhaps a short-term mission is best. If you are adventurous and don’t mind the idea of leaving the comfort of home for months or longer, then you should look at long-term missions.

Leaving it behind
When you sign up for a short-term missions trip, you will come back home fairly quickly. You do not have to worry about your home, pets or leaving family members behind for a long time. If you go on a long-term mission, these are all things to consider. You may not have the personality where you can leave it all behind for months or years, but you’ll need to factor what you’re leaving behind very carefully before choosing a mission.

Type of missions work
The next thing to consider is the actual type of mission work. Think this through carefully. Mission work is not an easy vacation, it is work and you will be expected to put in hours each day. Mission work is emotionally taxing and can cause high stress. You can certainly take a one- or two-week mission to build a church or help repair a school or homes. And that type of work, although difficult, will likely be easier than ministering to the very poor in a remote country for months on end.

You may not have the skills or inclination to work construction, but the idea of teaching or ministering may more closely match your interests and skills. These are all things to consider when choosing a mission.

Your calling
Of course, you may have a very specific mission in mind. You may feel it is your calling. In that case, think about your decision very carefully and talk to members of your church family who can help guide you through your decision-making. The decision to go on any length of mission should not be taken lightly.

Photo by malias

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