Thursday, March 29, 2007

Missional Vacation - Voluntourism and Kingdom Building

If you have noticed, I read alot.

Matter of fact I'd call myself and information junkie. The internet has made my habit worse, blogs havent helped. So suprise suprise when I found this article:

'Voluntourism' on the rise

Go ahead go read and then come back...........

Did you see this quote?

Like the 55-year-old Wood, many of the vacation volunteers are baby boomers, who have the money to spend and the time to donate as they edge closer to retirement. But with inspiration coming from a variety of sources -- be it 9/11, Hurricane Katrina or just having more disposable income -- participants range from teenagers to retirees. Voluntourism is catching on in college campuses, where many students would rather spend spring break doing something altruistic than carousing.

The church needs to understand that people want to praticipate and they will sacrifice and give up to be part of the solution. They want to get their hands dirty and see that they have made a difference.

Is the heart of what this article talks about missional? Maybe we should take a hint and move our churches in this direction.

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DaveDV said...

Amen! Great encouragement!

(keep reading and keep posting)

Pete H. said...

This is a great point... my retired parents have been "Voluntourists" with the Red Cross for 10 years, since their retirement. They've been to every major disaster since 9/11... when told by a Bay St. Louis resident after Katrina, "I wish you could have seen our community before, when it was beautiful", my mom's reply was, "seeing you all pull together like this, to help each other and restore your community is more beautiful than any building or park could ever have been".

Webb Kline said...

Jerry, Of course you know that this concept is the basis for a lot of our volunteer forces who go to Ukraine. What I have a hard time trying to get most folks to understand however, is the reciprocal fallout these trips have back home at their churches and community.

Let's say you have a 200 member congregation. If a church 'adopts' a 3rd world country and focuses on say, an orphanage or a small village, and 2 couples from the church go for a 2 week period to work there. If the church sends 2 couples (or 4 people) every 2 weeks, they now have a 24/365 representation there!

Now, what happens is that when everyone in the church experiences this life-changing form of 'church' no longer is missions a vague, nice idea that they never get involved with aside from writing a small check to a full-time missionary somewhere. Instead, they really begin to grasp the needs of the people they are reaching, which in turn helps them develop a vision for how to help them. Next thing you know, that church has something to drive their faith into action and miracles start to happen. Now, the mission becomes the life of the church, and even what is done back home is geared toward changing the world, not only for the people in the 3rd world country, but suddenly their eyes are opened to the need all around them and the church becomes missional.

Not having enough financial and physical resources to fulfill their vision in the mission field, they reach out to people outside of the church for volunteers, and guess what? They find scores of folks who now want to join the church because at last they have found a church with true purpose, where they can work with others to change the world--and evangelism happens.

If a church works together on such a project, it can do much. Rather than scattering seeds all over the world, if they all work together on that one place where God wants them to go, vision happens, and their collective ability make a difference goes through the roof, the public begins to like them, they become the media darlings, and not only does the church grow, but it grows an incredible crop of sold-out disciples.

Yet, in all this, no one needs to commit more than 2 week's service in the field per year unless they want to.

We are rapidly gaining churches and hospital staff from all over the country to volunteer with us, and this thing is spreading like wild fire. Funny thing is though, that it happens more by doing it than by teaching it.