Lots of people have been reading Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose-Driven Life. I particularly appreciate his suggestion in Chapter 38:
I urge you to save and do whatever it takes to participate in a short-term mission trip overseas as soon as possible. Nearly every mission agency can help you do this. It will enlarge your heart, expand your vision, stretch your faith, deepen your compassion, and fill you with a kind of joy you have never experienced. It could be the turning point in your life.”
If 10% of the people who read this popular book act on that advice, it could change the face of missions forever. Now there are many opportunities for good Christian service. Most that involve travel or crossing cultures are labeled missions—but that does not mean they have you doing evangelism—that is, telling unsaved people the good news about Jesus.
Jews for Jesus is hardly the only mission around that can give you a genuine short-term evangelistic mission, but all of our short-term missions are about direct evangelism. Right now we’ve got two short-term missions going on, one in New York City, the other in Manchester, England. I look forward to taking part in our New York City Summer Witnessing Campaign next week. If you scroll down, you can get a bit of news from both these campaigns.
Did you know that we are always looking for people to participate in these campaigns? We have a huge number of opportunities as a result of Operation Behold Your God—and not just for overseas trips. With 66 cities to evangelize in 5 years, we don’t always have enough volunteers to fill the ranks.
Maybe you have not considered a missions trip with Jews for Jesus because you are not Jewish. It is true that all of our full-time missionaries are Jewish or married to Jews, and sending out Jewish evangelists is one of our core values. However, short-term opportunities are not necessarily limited to Jewish believers.
Maybe you are concerned that you don’t have enough knowledge, training or experience to take part in a short-term mission with Jews for Jesus. One person asked me, “Do you need to know Hebrew?” I had to smile as I explained that most Jewish people don’t speak Hebrew fluently, so there is no such language requirement. (English would be helpful). We all rely on the Holy Spirit to help us minister in each situation, but training is also part of the missions trip. No one on a Jews for Jesus missions trip is asked to do anything they did not receive training for.
Or maybe you wish that you could take part in a missions trip, but in a behind-the-scenes capacity rather than meeting people in the front lines. Well guess what? You can! We always need stewards for our evangelistic campaigns. Stewards are the invisible glue that helps to hold campaigns together. Their support roles include helping in the office, the kitchen, filling tract bags or doing whatever else is necessary to meet the needs of the campaign. Stewards are energetic and mature, humble, and often powerful prayer warriors.
Jews for Jesus campaigns are rigorous. They are physically and spiritually demanding, for campaigners and stewards alike. Because they are short term, they provide a burst of time during which you can give your all for the sake of the gospel. If you’ve got the energy, love the Lord and want to do evangelism, “to the Jew first and also to the Gentile,” do we have opportunities for you! To see a list of upcoming campaigns and dates, click here.
So how do you sign up for a missions trip with Jews for Jesus? Go to the URL above and click on the city where you would like to minister. If there is an e-mail address to contact for further information, send your inquiry there and ask for an application. If there is not an address to contact, call our ministry-at-large department at 415-864-2600, EXT 125, or e-mail them at [email protected], and let them know you are interested in an application for a BYG campaign in (city of your choice.)
When you get the application, we ask you to include the story of how you came to faith, along with a pastor’s reference.
Campaigners who are accepted to serve then need to raise money for their support—the amount varies from one trip to the next. It covers the cost of your food and housing for the trip, as well as your travel expense. Some prefer to pay the cost out of their own pocket, but it really is important to ask your local congregation and close Christian friends to help you go on the mission. By involving them in your ministry, you provide opportunities for them to share the joys and victories as well as—and this is crucial—the motivation to pray for you.
If you inquire or fill out an application, expect to receive a phone call from the campaign leader. He or she will answer any and every question you could ever think of—and maybe a few you haven’t yet thought of!
I hope you will prayerfully consider involving yourself in one of our short-term missions. I know that if you do, God will show you whether or not He wants you to go. If He says “yes” I have no doubt that you will join with us for the adventure of a lifetime in whatever city He tells you to go to. A missions trip to Paris probably sounds more appealing to most than one to Houston, Texas. But each trip, no matter where it is, will be packed with opportunities to serve Jesus. There is nothing like watching Him work through you to accomplish His will and bless the lives of many others.
If you are on the front lines, you will witness to more people than most Christians do in a lifetime. If you are behind the scenes, you will have the joy of service and still know that you are part of the work God is doing in that city. Either way, you will make fast friends with lots of people, both Jews for Jesus staff as well as a bunch of great volunteers just like yourself. Most of all, you will give God lots of reason to smile as you bring glory to His name through your life. Try it, you’ll like it!