This is how one mission website described their short term adventures: “Our trips are designed to be Christ-centered, affordable, safe, and hassle free!” I get that “affordable” matters to anybody who’s got to raise several hundred or several thousand dollars for an international flight and living expenses for a couple of weeks. I know “safe” matters to every parent–whether they’re a fan of the trip or against it. And of course, safe also matters to adults flying into a restricted country or one with lousy to scary medical facilities. And who among us likes hassles? Of any kind? I mean, who wants to repackage a purchase from Amazon that’s not quite right and call FedEx to come get it? Who wants to change a tire in the rain? Who wants to put up with the telemarketer? Who wants to count calories? Why should there be so much paperwork to do your taxes?
I just wonder if any no-risk gig should get to sport the label “Christ-centered”. That’s all.
I am not some hooah guy sneering at those who quake in their boots. I am, however, concerned that by pandering to accomplished wusses like me, the church ends up making it less likely–not more–that I will participate in some expensive, high-demand, high-risk, death-defying, Christ-exalting role in reaching the world for Jesus Christ. Or simply helping someone up the street who could be a danger to me. People like me do not need reassured or given more opportunities to do safe things. We need challenged. Reminded that the cost of following Jesus is all in–just like He was for us.