1. Be the servant.As obvious as this one sounds, we often approach serving others from the position of “better than.” We think we are superior and focus on what we can offer and how much of a difference we can make, but if we want to serve others well, we have to view ourselves as a servant. We are all equal in the eyes of God and we all have something to share and learn from one another. Read our post about servant leadership here.
2. Listen and learn.When you listen to and learn from those you are serving, you may quickly find that what they need is completely different than what you are giving. For example, if you are meeting someone’s physical needs and they are talking about loneliness or a lack of purpose they feel in life, you’ll soon realize that the person also needs mental and spiritual support! On the other hand, if you’re preaching and serving a group of people and notice a group of hungry children in the corner asking for food, you’ll learn that they need to eat before they can take in anything you are trying to teach them. Far too many times a mission team has gone to build a home or update a school in an impoverished place but only takes a few minutes of their time to look into the eyes of the people and be open to what they can teach the team. When you choose to serve on a medical missions team, you receive the amazing opportunity to work one-on-one with people. Ask them their stories! Learn about their culture, their needs, and what their individual gifts. We are all given gifts from the Lord and being able to use those gifts is an empowering experience.
3. Serve with sacrifice.As mentioned above, service is uncomfortable and often inconvenient. It requires giving of yourself and pouring into others. Service requires sacrifice. If you want to serve well, you must be willing to sacrifice. You’ve positioned yourself as a servant and have listened to the needs of others. Now it’s time to figure out how to meet those needs. This may mean changing your agenda. Maybe it means staying up late to share a meal with someone you meet on the trip and listen to their story. Sacrifice could mean working longer hours because more people show up to receive medical attention than originally expected. Maybe it means making a plan for when you return home to continue the impact by making others aware of your experience and the people who need continued support. Whatever it looks like, be sure that on your trip you are serving well by sacrificing yourself for others. Remember: “Loving people the way Jesus did means living a life filled with constant interruptions.” -Bob Goff
4. Help grow the planted seed.A missions trip plants a seed, but the seed needs special care to grow! There are many ways to continue making a difference for those you are serving after you plant the seed. This can be done through making others aware of the needs and the mission, as mentioned above. We have a list of ways you can help the seeds you plant grow! Read this post: 3 Ways To Continue Supporting Mission Trips Upon Your Return
Now that you know how to serve well, it’s time to join our next Mission’s Trip Team! Join today!