Evangelism. It’s a common theme for mission trips. It’s a central calling of the Christian life. But what are we doing when we do evangelism?
Some good Christians will disagree with me, but I don’t believe our job is saving souls. If we’re going on a trip to save the poor heathens, I think we’re sorely misguided. Only God can save souls. And we’re not “bringing God to people” as if God’s somewhere in the cargo hold of our airplane. God is already there. God is with the people we’re serving regardless of whether or not we show up and minister to them.
Instead of thinking of our role as saving people, I like how TobyMac puts it in his song Speak Life from his newest project Eye on It. Our job is to share the good news of God’s love with people, to speak life to them.
If you stop and think about it, it’s a mind-blowing idea that the God who created everything and everyone deigns to work through our feeble efforts. As the song says in one of my favorite lyrics, “It’s crazy to imagine words from my lips as the arms of compassion.” What good are my words? Without the power of the Holy Spirit working through me, I can do nothing. Jesus says it pretty clearly in John 15:5. “Apart from me, you can do nothing.”
As Toby sings, “Some days the tongue gets twisted. Other days my thoughts just fall apart. I do, I don’t, I will, I won’t. It’s like I’m drowning in the deep.” And yet God still works through us.
What an incredible gift! What an incredible charge we have as followers of Christ! “Spread the love like fire. Hope will fall like rain when you speak life with the words you say.” That’s an awesome responsibility and gift.
We’re called to be available for God to use.
Speak life to the deadest, darkest night.
Look into the eyes of the broken hearted.
Speak life when the sun won’t shine and you don’t know why.
We don’t have to have it all figured out. God does the work, but God chooses to do it through us. Wow.
If you haven’t heard this song, check it out. It has good energy, but isn’t as high energy as some of TobyMac’s music. There’s a more somber, weightier feel to this one that I think can give a little different feel to a mission trip video.
If evangelism is a goal of your mission trip (and I don’t know why it wouldn’t be), Speak Lifecould also be a good group devotional as you invite participants to think about what it is they’re hoping to accomplish on the trip. Or, even better, what they’re hoping God will accomplish through them.
Speaking life. That’s what we’re doing on mission trips. Isn’t that we’re called to be doing in all of life? Speak life.
Here’s a lyric video:
If you’re going on a mission trip and you’re using this song, I’d love to hear about it! Let me know in the comments below. Also, check out my list of other mission trip songs.