By Chris Roberts, with Aaron Molesky, director of CIY’s Engage
In Part 1 of this 3-part series on missional thinking, Christ In Youth’s Senior Director of Engage Matt Gilchrist said that “every mission trip lands somewhere on the spectrum of DOING and BEING.” He gave us three things any church or youth leader can do to help students develop a heart for DOING.
In this second part of the series, Aaron Molesky tackles what it takes to develop a heart for BEING.
Molesky said every mission trip you take with your students needs to have four key values: Abundant Prayer, Transferable Principles, Mutual Transformation and Deep Service.
“The idea of BEING is that intimacy leads to involvement,” Molseky said. “The tendency in service is to have the attitude that ‘I’ve come to serve you,’ as opposed to serving and living together in God’s Kingdom. Sometimes just BEING with people levels the playing field. Ultimately, our DOING should flow from our BEING.”
Molesky has three strategies for helping your students develop a heart for BEING.
1. Listen – Instead of being eager to do something physical and with tangible results, encourage your students to listen to people in other communities and cultures. Listening comes from a foundation of relationship, and requires your students to BE present with people.
2. Ask personal questions – This takes the “listening” step to the next level, moving your students from passive observers to active and engaged partners in ministry. Encourage your students to ask questions such as, ‘What’s one thing that God is doing with you or your ministry?’ Those living in other cultures will get excited about the chance to share about their communities and the way God is moving among them, and your students will learn more than they ever would have imagined.
3. Love people, not projects – Help your students understand that people are not project to check off your list, and that a mission trip to another culture is less about accomplishing tasks and more about loving people. If they are listening and asking personal questions, they’ll begin to love others the way Jesus showed them, and mutual transformation begins to take place. It becomes more than simply providing a house over someone’s head – sometimes the best act of service for someone is just BEING with them.