Why Short Term Mission Trips are Important for Students

Recently, we took our students to Jamaica on a short-term mission trip. We were there for one week working with a missionary that our church supports. We were involved in several public schools in Jamaica, we had a work day at a local church in Jamaica, and we ministered in the church on Sundays. We also did some street visitation as well. It was a life changing week for sure! Our students came back changed, and wanting to impact our community with the Gospel. Now, the question that I want to answer for you is why mission trips are important? Why are mission trips important for you to get your students involved in?


  1. Mission trips help students get a heart for the Gospel– This was the purpose of our mission trip! The Gospel! This is why we went to Jamaica. Our students were able to see life change in people’s lives that helped them gain a heart for the Gospel and the power that it brings.
  2. Mission trips help students get a heart for their city– This was the coolest thing for me to see in our students. I have seen our students come back with a desire and burden for the people in our city. They are ready to take the Gospel to the “least of these” in our community. They all came back with a desire to be more missional and intentional with the Gospel right here in our community.
  3. Mission trips help break down cultural and comfortable barriers– When you go on a mission trip, you are immediately taken out of your comfort zone. You face so many cultural differences that it pulls you out of your comfort zone. This is a good thing. When you are in your city, you are comfortable. It is what you are used too, and it is difficult to step out of that comfort zone. Mission trips help take you out of it. For example, when we got home, some of our team went downtown right where we live and shared the Gospel with some street homeless guys. This was uncomfortable, but because of what God did in our hearts on our trip, we were okay to step out of our comfort zone, because we ultimately were under the protection of God.
  4. Mission trips are an encouragement to missionaries– This is HUGE! Go to a mission trip to be a blessing to the missionaries there. Connect with them, and get to know them. Living on a mission field can be lonely, and groups need to go more often to be a blessing and an encouragement to the missionaries in their area.
  5. Mission trips get students thinking about missions– This never hurts. You never know a mission trip could be what God uses to call one of your team members to be a missionary somewhere.

[Question]: Do you take your students on short-term mission trips?

Published by Josh Evans

Josh is the connections pastor of the Oakleaf campus of Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL. Before that, Josh had been a mentor and pastor to students for 10 years. Josh is passionate about empowering church leaders to make a difference. Josh and his wife Abby have two children. You can connect further with Josh on this blog or send him a direct email at joshhevans@gmail.com.

9 thoughts on “Why Short Term Mission Trips are Important for Students

  1. While these are true, with the slight exception of #4, they are all pretty much self-serving. Having been on both ends of such mission trips (taking youth to short-term missions and desiging them to recieve youth) it can easily become more of a burden to the missionaries than a support. How can we challenge the youth to engage these short term mission experiences in more of a sacrificial, for-others, attitude?
    Tim <

    1. Good insight from the other perspective Tim, thanks for sharing. In my experience, we have tried to encourage and not be a burden on the missionary at all. We try and help and assist them as much as possible without being overwhelming.

  2. our short term mission trips should not be a burden to missionaries but other side it really helps missionary get challenged by the team who sacrificially leave comfort zone and minister in their mission field. this mission trips are not actually burden but a privilege for missionary to edify and motivate his church for a active involvement just like the team in working for the Lord..It “also enhance and advance the work of missionary” (Growing Great commission church; Global Focus)…thank you

  3. I appreciate this so much. I am going to be taking our youth group to Rancho Sordo Mudo for our summer camp. I purposely mixed summer camp and mission trip for many of these reasons.

  4. Great Blog! Thanks for sharing. I found this directly in line with my personal experience with missions. Being involved with many short term missions in the past I have seen so many kids go into the ministry and mission field because of short term mission trips both domestic and overseas. Burden or not, we are acting on the Great Commission and it is beautiful to be a part of.

  5. Hey Josh, I am the webmistress at Macedonia Baptist Church (mbcjackson.org) [I am working on a totally new website, so our old one is uh, not really representative (lol)]. I would love to post this for our youth parents, as we are going on a missions trip to Jamaica this year and I think our parents *really* need to hear this message. May I post this with a link back to your site? Please email me if you have any questions…

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