Can a short-term mission trip work? Over the past 20 years, the Lord has given churches and individuals across America increasing opportunities for short-term missions. Many of these opportunities pursue the unreached in other nations. However, God is strategically bringing the nations to our own backyard. For the past three summers, International Project has offered short-term trips in New York City called Seed Weeks. Each Seed Week trains teams in prayer and gospel sharing. Participants then immediately take that training to the streets of New York City.
Abundant gospel sowing among unreached people groups
The purpose of Seed Weeks is two-fold. First, they grow short-termers in their passion for Jesus and in reaching the lost. Secondly, they sow abundant gospel seeds, especially among the unreached peoples of New York City. Each Week immerses the participants in prayer and evangelism, enabling their personal growth.
New York City is home to dozens of unreached people groups and diaspora people from many nations of the world. The heart of International Project is to see these people come to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Through our Seed Weeks, we pray for many unreached men, women and children to hear about Jesus for the first time. Abundant gospel sowing in this context means going to the neighborhoods of unreached people groups, looking for “people of peace” (Luke 10), and sharing the gospel.
We train our short-term teams to engage a spiritually interested person through Bible stories and gospel truths. This often leads to relationships with our long-term mission workers. We cannot underestimate the work of our Father in short periods of time. An entire city was destroyed after the Israelites marched around it for seven days. And the Son of God himself raised from the dead after three days — completely changing the course of history. A few days of sowing gospel seeds during a short-term trip may seem insignificant. But in the Kingdom of God these few days could alter the course of not only a life but a whole nation!
Seed weeks: preparing for long-term work
Seed Weeks emphasize the partnership between short-term missionaries and long-term workers in New York City. Long-term missionaries train short-termers before they embark on ministry assignments in specific neighborhoods. On the flip side, short-term missionaries make connections with unreached people. Long-term workers can then begin connecting with them through relationships.
The Holy Spirit uses short-term mission trips as an essential part of his plan to reach the nations in New York City. Through prayer and evangelism, Seed Weeks can launch the gospel in specific neighborhoods. God uses many gospel conversations to reveal deep truths about his Son. A single seed can grow into more than we could ever ask or imagine, for nothing is impossible with God.
By joining us for a Seed Week, you are saying, “Yes” to boldly stepping out and sharing the gospel among unreached people groups. Even more importantly, you are saying, “Yes” to Jesus and his desire that all people know and worship him alone. Will you answer the call of a short-term mission trip?