beyond the church walls

HELLO! I cannot believe it is already half way through March! Oh my goodness, has it been a busy month for me, but it has also been a wonderful month full of spiritual growth, love, and God’s grace.

For my spring break, I decided to go on a mission trip with fellow students at my university’s Christian organization. I spent 10 days in Nashville, Tennessee serving others, building community, and growing through God’s reckless love.

Along with 50 peers, who are now like family to me, we encouraged each other to serve, listened to each other’s stories, and challenged one another to reach out of our comfort zones. It was amazing to see how God worked in my friend’s lives and in my own heart.

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On the other hand, there is a big reality that comes to mission trips…people are more than likely to experience a “spiritual high”. If you have been part of a mission trip, you know exactly what I mean. Being constantly surrounded by encouragement, worship, and acts of intentionality…how could one not experience God’s goodness? Having a spiritual high is not bad, in fact, I believe they can be used to our advantage. Just because a mission trip is done, does not mean that we can not “feel” God. Instead, how can we bring the same atmosphere from mission trips back home? The things that God taught me during our time of service does not need to be left there!

Christianity goes beyond mission trips, Bible studies, and the Church walls.

Yes, I believe that mission trips, Bible studies and Church is and are wonderful things to participate in! These three environments are spiritually fulfilling, open up your eyes to new things, and you create the most memorable relationships. I have built wonderful friendships through these communities, so I encourage you to seek out these relationships. I pray that you find amazing community through these Christ centered places.

But, let us not stay in these Christian safety zones, because God calls you to go beyond your bubbles. God calls you out of your comfort zones. God calls you out into places that may seem scary, nerve racking, and empty…but through these areas, He wants you to learn things you never knew. He wants to pour out His unconditional love and undeniable grace.

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The great thing about missions trips, Bible studies, and Church, is that they all teach you how to apply the teachings of Jesus to everyday life. These settings are open areas where you can discuss how to grow in your faith. Because the applications of your faith should not be confined to your comfort zones. God calls you to not love only your friend in Church, but also to those who do not know Him. To reflect God’s love and living your life through Him, does not mean you have to travel in order to do that. It can be in your own hometown because God’s love needs to be spread everywhere! I believe that if you have the opportunity to go on a traditional mission trip, take it because the Lord will reveal Himself! But do not forget that your mission may be in your workplace, classroom, etc. and is no less than going to another state/country!

John 13:34

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

The Lord requires you to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him (Micah 6:8). What does this look like? It could be something big and evident like serving on a mission trip to something personal like praying for your friends. Both of these acts are beautiful and are full of love and good intentions. God calls you and me to love…not just on our Church friends, Bible study group…but everyone. That is how we can all share the love of Jesus and be disciples of Him.

1 John 3:18

My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.

love,

rebecca wen

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