The Case for Short-Term Missions
by David P. Nakhla
When someone asks you to consider a short-term mission trip, you may immediately think of the reasons not to go. “I don’t have anything to offer,” you may respond. Or perhaps, “There are others much more qualified to go.” Maybe you have limited vacation time, or maybe you just don’t think you’re the adventurous type. Perhaps you’re not sure that a short-term mission trip would be the best use of your funds.
The many reasons not to participate come readily to our minds. And they certainly may be legitimate. However, if you have never actually participated in a short-term mission trip, you may not be aware of the reasons why you should go. In an attempt to allow you to weigh both sides of such a decision, let me make the case for participating in a short-term mission trip. Read more
Serving for the Selfie?
by T. Nathan Trice
Compassion is cool these days. During the last “Giving Tuesday,” Facebook and PayPal partnered to match personal charitable donations. According to a spokesman for Facebook, “within a matter of seconds,” the match limit had been reached: Americans had contributed $7 million.
We are comparatively generous with our time as well. The US government estimates that 25 percent of Americans volunteer time for charitable causes at an average of fifty hours per year, particularly for collecting and distributing food to the poor. Giving and serving on behalf of the needy is widely valued in our society, and as Christians we should be glad for this. Read more
Reflections on My Service with the CDM
by Lendall H. Smith
I have been invited to provide some reflections on my service with the Committee on Diaconal Ministries (CDM). Before my retirement last year, I served the CDM for twelve years, nine of those as president. It was a time of great growth and expansion in the vision of the CDM, a season both challenging and immensely rewarding.
When I was elected to the committee, its members were beginning to consider how the CDM could enhance its service to the church. They understood that the CDM, like the local diaconate, was called to a position of assistance and not prominence, in order to preserve the priority of the church’s ministry of the Word and prayer (Acts 6:3–4). But they were also eager to develop the potential within the committee and to increase its ministry in the denomination. It was an exciting time to take my place among these brothers. Read more
Diaconal Wisdom from Diaconal Veterans
by Christopher A. Sudlow
What do deacons do? What is their ministry and service? What is required of their calling? Deacons are called to be servants, to be helpful in times of need, to make difficult judgments, to come alongside both saints and unbelievers, and to demonstrate the compassion of Christ our King.
Most of what deacons do is plain and ordinary hard work, done in quiet and behind the scenes, requiring energy and time spent away from their families. Read more