Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Missions-Trip Barbie

Overheard: "We couldn't afford a family vacation this year so we thought it would be nice to send [Teen Child] on a missions trip to [Caribbean Country]."

A missions trip, one might add, paid for by church funds and fundraisers. A trip on which Teen Child's boyfriend, best friend, and miscellaneous other friends are also being sent... and for which Teen Child is currently out shopping for bikini's to take with her on said missions trip.

I have a problem with this. First off, any trip that requires bikini swimsuits is NOT a missions trip, and in my opinion should not be sponsored by a church. Somehow wandering about in public in a lust provoking outfit half the size of one's underwear strikes me as being the opposite of a fitting witness for Christ. But issues of modesty aside -- did that mom really just say the missions trip was in place of a vacation?

I would like to know when the work of the church became sending spoiled teens on free vacations.

Many churches have honest, evangelistic missions trips undertaken to serve others and shine the light of Christ into some one's heart. I have no problem with that and I applaud the work done on those trips and the lives changed, the sinners saved as a result of those efforts. But this is not the first time I have encountered this attitude of entitlement, and this is not the first missions trip I've heard of dedicated to sending a social clique to a sunny beach on the church's dime, and this is probably not the last time self-serving self-righteous parents smugly congratulate their children on pretending to do the work of the Lord.

Reality check people. What are we bearing witness to through these missionaries? Our need to keep the kids entertained and out from underfoot? Our selfish opinions that, having done nothing to merit it and not being able to afford it, we all still "deserve" vacations? Or are we sending out missionaries who have a mature faith ready to witness the truth of the Gospel to those who hunger for more than bread, able and equipped and eager to share the message of Jesus?

I'm just saying, if your church is sending Teen Child on a missions trip this summer and she's out shopping -- please tell me it's for a travel-sized Bible not a dental-floss bikini.

1 comment:

My dear, few, readers you inspire me to keep writing. Thank you.

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