April 27, 2016
Since we began operations in 1987, e3 Partners has always been about church planting. We believe that the only way to secure lasting change in a community is through the expanding presence of the local church.
But we don’t do it through a team of “professional missionaries.” (By the way, I hate that term…) Instead, we bring thousands of North American Christians on short-term mission trips to each of the 50 countries where we operate. We train bankers, lawyers, doctors, college students, teenagers, stay-at-home moms, and so many others to be a part of the mission.
And the same question often comes up – “why?” Why choose short-term missions as the vehicle for a vision like this?
1. BECAUSE THIS ISN’T A GAME FOR PROFESSIONALS.
Spreading the Gospel and seeking justice around the globe isn’t a job for professionals. It’s an all-hands-on-deck mission. It requires all of us who bear Jesus’ name to step up. You don’t need years of seminary education to obey his commands. In fact, learning to do it is much simpler than you would think.
2. BECAUSE IT’S NOT JUST FOR A SELECT FEW.
When I was in 10th grade, I felt God calling me to surrender my future career to serve his church. Some people refer to it as a call to ministry. I don’t. I was called to lead the church in a very specific way.
The truth is, we’re all called to ministry – in our jobs, our homes, our communities, and yes – around the world. While I was specifically called to follow this call vocationally, we’re all called to follow it one way or another. Everyone should have the opportunity to be a part of what God is doing around the world.
3. BECAUSE, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, YOU CAN CROSS THE GLOBE IN HOURS OR DAYS.
What used to take weeks of treacherous travel by sea can now be accomplished in 8 hours by air. Air travel allows us to travel the globe in a matter of days, making it possible to have an impact somewhere else in the world while still investing in your own community at home.
In other words, I can pour into new churches in Romania while mentoring teenagers in my own at home. How can we not take advantage of something like that?
4. BECAUSE WE SERVE A GLOBAL GOD.
John Stott famously wrote, “we must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God.” We serve a loving God who carefully created individuals and people groups coming from various races, languages, and cultures. He loves every one of them and they each display his character in unique ways. Engaging in short-term missions allows us to experience God’s character through other cultures while spreading the message of his love for them.
5. BECAUSE ANYTHING YOU LEARN OVER THERE, YOU CAN APPLY HERE.
When you’re trained for an expedition with e3 Partners, you learn skills that can be applied right here at home. You can take the work you did in Africa or Asia and do that same ministry in your own community among your friends, coworkers, and neighbors.
We do short-term missions because we’re about equipping all Christians to be a part of God’s work around the world. We do it because it doesn’t just strengthen the Church overseas. It empowers the Church right here at home too.