From the beginning, God had a magnificent plan that people everywhere would be able to know him. God promises Abraham that “all peoples of the Earth will be blessed” through his children. About 4000 years pass and Jesus himself commands his disciples (that’s us) to “go and make disciples of all peoples, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, Son and of the Holy Spirit, and to teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
We are his disciples and this is our command, too. The early church understood this and sent evangelists. These evangelists were soon followed by people showing others how we as Christians are to serve others. God loves and redeems our souls, but as James puts it “faith without works is dead.” We are to be about the business making lasting changes in the world both spiritually and physically.
Teens who serve on short-term mission trips and then continue the friendships and lessons learned abroad stay far stronger in their faith, stay active in church, and have a more active faith. Sending our students out on missions, in unfamiliar territory, where they have to depend upon God and one another, serve others, and share their faith, is transformational.
Adolescents “who had spent 40 hours or more involved in service through their local church were twice as likely to affirm the importance of church in their lives as compared with those who had not.” Service was a better predictor of faith maturity than Sunday school, Bible study or worship. Transformission, by Wilder and Parker