There are things that I have learned by going on mission trips — things that I don’t know if I could have learned any other way. And, I don’t just mean trips to Africa — I mean trips across the street and here in the U.S. The word “mission” is an incredible word. It sparks thoughts of a highly trained SEAL team going to save the world. It brings up memories of selfless heroes like Mother Theresa. James Bond, Jason Bourne and other characters come to mind with their special skills and training.
I know that not every mission goes well but every mission has a target, a goal, and a team.
You may not think of church “missions” this way. You may instead think of these efforts as “ways to serve” or “ways to love our brothers.” You probably have seen a lot of selfish missions, wasteful missions, and efforts that leave you wondering whether people were just doing it for themselves. It doesn’t have to be that way and it is not that way here at Three Taverns. Here are a few things that I have learned about incredible missions that you can only learn on the job:
- A great mission is not about what you want to do. This is where even military missions fail. A heroic mission isn’t about what we want but it is about saving, rescuing, changing, and helping. It is about doing something that is needed – something that simply must be done.
- A great mission requires a great team. Great teams are units, faithful to the end, diverse, specialized, and, hopefully, the very best at what each of them get to do.
- A great mission requires the desire to lay down one’s life. Not the willingness but the desire. For us that may be our calendars, checkbooks, and conveniences. Nonetheless, the willingness to sacrifice one’s life is a noble calling.
There are undoubtedly so many other things to learn about great missions but I opened with “Why You Should Go On a Mission.”
I learned by joining good missions, bad missions (even when well intentioned) what a mission should be and who I wanted to be. I wanted to be highly trained, I wanted to be the best of the best, I wanted to save the world, and I wanted to be able to give a steely-eyed, firm jawed “We did it man” look to my teammates. I want to do the impossible. I also learned how to embrace the question “What needs to be done?” and to push on through even when I was just done myself. I have learned to be a better me, an impossible me, and a me that just won’t quit. I have learned to sacrifice.
I urge you to not just admire those incredible men and women on a mission, those soldiers and saviors, but to take the chance to become one. What is your secret mission?
Doug Burrier © 2017