3900 Australian churches have organised a mission trip, according to a National Church Life Survey research paper. About 34 per cent of churches reported that they organise trips overseas or to other parts of Australia.
Pam Thyer, national director of Missions Interlink, believes that mission trips have increased in popularity and hopes to be able to track an increase when NCLS surveys churches again in 2016.
“An incredible amount of resources are used to organise these trips,” Thyer told Eternity. “How worthwhile they are depends on whether they are simply ‘mission tourism’ or whether there is a strategy behind them.”
The local church can make the trips much more effective if they prepare participants for the trip and debrief them well. “Are churches investing in mission above and over the trip?” Thyer asks.
At its best “it’s a tool in exposing people to mission which could lead to long-term deployment or creating supporters,” says Thyer.