Sight-seeing vs. missions, by Mollie

Washington Post: Churches Retool Mission Trips
Work Abroad Criticized for High Cost and Lack of Value

Wall Street Journal: The ‘Great Commission’ or Glorified Sightseeing?

LCMS Reporter: Missions seeks 20 short-term teams to serve in Poland

As the LCMS brings home missionaries, as the LCMS forces missionaries to raise 150% of their expenses, as the LCMS calls non-ordained folks missionaries, as the world recognizes the high expense and low value of short-term, so-called mission trips, here’s what LCMS World Mission is doing:

LCMS World Mission is seeking 20 short-term mission teams to lead weeklong “camps” with teenagers in Poland next summer.

Through the camps, LCMS volunteers serving on mission teams will be expected to share their faith while helping Polish youth practice their English-language skills. The camps also will include games, Bible study, music, and sports competitions. They will be held in July at 40 Lutheran churches throughout Poland.

As the Wall Street Journal notes, people spending one-week in Poland is glorified sight-seeing, not mission work.


Sight-seeing vs. missions, by Mollie — 4 Comments

  1. Here is a bigger question: Why would you send missionaries to the most Christian nation in all of Europe – Poland?

    Are they going to try and get the most staunchly Catholic people on earth to abandon the papacy?

    This is site seeing.

    The former Eastern Germany needs missionaries. I’d even write that all of Germany needs missionaries. The Czech Republik is largely no longer Christian.

    There is a huge lack of understanding here – or it is “religiotourism”.

  2. “Why would you send missionaries to the most Christian nation in all of Europe – Poland?”

    Jon Townsend, that was my thought exactly! This is nuts.

    A family acquaintance is finally back from a year in a Communist country where she worked for LCMS,Inc as an English as a Second Language teacher who was:

    1) Forbidden to say the words “Jesus” or “God”
    2) Obviously, forbidden to tell the Good News
    3) Allowed to refer to God as “Father” in e-mails, which were monitored by the government.

    So what was the point of this woman raising a ton of money, entrusting it to the LCMS,Inc’ker who doled it out to her, and teaching people how to speak or improve their English?

    Apparently, the entire point was to teach English! What?! Are the people she interacted with supposed to figure out the Good News by some kind of osmosis? Yes, absolutely they need the Gospel, but *this *did *not *get *it *to *them!

    I understand that some places on earth forbid Christian mission work. This is deplorable but a fact of life, and it’s just my opinion, but it seems that other places where the Word is not known, and would be welcomed, should be the places that missionaries go!

    But, calling sports camps in Poland, “missionary” work. I need to calm down.

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