St. Mark’s Values & Why Mission Trips Matter
Discipleship, Integrity, Community, and Excellence in the Real World
Mission Trips are often mountain top experiences. Youth are moved and filled by the Holy Spirit as they intentionally work for God’s kingdom here on earth. Those experiences stay with them, encouraging our youth to serve during the school year, to seek out Christian fellowship and study, and to pray and study scripture on their own. All mission trips include nightly worship and devotions. When we pray, sing, and study Scripture together we create a safe place to grow, share, and serve together in God’s presence. These trips lead to real world discipleship.
Mission trips give youth real world experiences which enable them to tell the story of God with integrity. Youth are equipped to fearlessly talk with and serve the homeless, afflicted, and fearful in our world. These trips forge bonds between youth that cross the boundaries of schools and cliques. These integrity filled relationships are what make the youth group at St. Mark a welcoming and respectful place for youth with different abilities, interests, and skills.
St. Mark youth serve alongside youth of other churches and denominations. It never fails that we become friends with our co-servers, sharing our living space together for a week. We also experience community from those we serve as we enter their homes or living spaces to serve them. Mission trips are also filled with experiences where we feel compassion for the people we encounter. More than that mission trips train youth to meet new people with our compassion already “on” – intentionally seeking ways to serve God’s people wherever they meet them rather than waiting for others to show them how.
Mission trips are, by their very nature, excellent uses of our time for God’s purposes. We spend six hours a day for four days serving in God’s name. Moreover, we see and learn from the extravagant generosity of those who work full-time in service work as we partner with them. Through these examples and experiences youth are called to continually live lives of excellence for God.