Recently, a CSM group leader posted this great blog post! We wanted to share it with you, too...enjoy!
To really have an impact on some body’s life you need to have continued contact with them. Do you agree? Then why do missions differently?
A mission team’s goal is to impact others lives by bringing the love of Christ to them. Why, then, do we not have continued contact after we return home?
Our church needed something different. We needed to help our students focus on issues of compassion while able to respond with justice. Most of us are great at compassion; we are quick to meet an immediate or felt need.Not to diminish this, but often times it seems to be that our cultural response is no more then a band aid or quick fix. Then when it comes to justice or the root of the problem we have no idea what we are doing.
So, this past summer we decided to partner with Center for Student Missions (CSM) for our summer mission trip. It turned out to be the best trip I have ever taken and my students have ever experienced. The main reason for our switch was not because other organizations are wrong or bad, but because CSM focuses on both compassion and justice. They helped our students work directly with programs and organizations that address immediate need, while helping people deal with the systemic issues of poverty, homelessness, broken families and so on.
CSM is in the community the whole year rather than just during the summer months. This is that continued contact that changes people’s lives. In a sense they are really “Doing Life Together” like the ECC. On top of that, they are “not working for these organizations, but partnering with them”, like Covenant World Relief.
The blessing of this trip was expanding our view of who God is; a more holistic view of missions; a new commitment by our students to be involved in working in our own community; and a revitalized commitment to relationships.
For more info on CSM check out their website: http://www.csm.org/
“And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.” (Act 1:8 MSG)
-JJ Johnson, Youth Pastor from New London Covenant Church (New London, MN)