When a Plane Ticket Makes a Missionary

Jason Seville | June 15, 2016

A plane ticket never made a missionary. 

I’ve heard this quip a number of times in a number of forms from a number of teachers. Indeed, I’ve even used it myself to aid a preaching point.

And the point, of course, is that purchasing airfare to Jamaica (or taking a road trip to Florida) won’t magically transform someone into a missionary. The ensuing one-liner often goes: “If you’re not sharing the gospel over here, you won’t all of the sudden start sharing it over there.”

To be sure, there’s much merit to this idea, which is why so many have verbalized it. It’s a notice to churches and sending organizations to both temper expectations and speak realistically about what’s taking place on many short-term trips. The adage is also a helpful reminder that mission is ever-present—something Christians should be engaged in everywhere their beautiful feet take them. Gospel sharing shouldn’t be relegated, merely, to something you can circle on a calendar.

Very well and good. Having affirmed those truths, however, I offer two rejoinders.

Jumpstarting a Lifestyle

First, there are plenty of times when a short-term trip does make a missionary. Have you thought about that? Get beyond the lovely lilt of our…

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