By this time, you should know the drill. But if you’re new here, our Ask Wess post  got the ball rolling, and it’s left the following in its wake:
- What advice would you give to a young director of a small starting ministry? (Gabe )
Make sure the cause of the ministry that you are leading is your absolute passion. Ask yourself deep in your soul
Is this really what I’m all about? Is this absolutely my passion?
The test that I put myself through every few days — and I would tell you to do the same — is this:
When you think about this ministry that you’re launching, test whether or not it can move you to tears in 30 seconds — either tears of great sorrow at the need that you are trying to fill or tears of great joy at the impact and the joy of making a difference in your world? If it cannot move you to tears in 30 second, my advice is … don’t do it.
Don’t start a ministry without huge passion. It’s got to come from deep inside you.
- What is the best thing that people going on a short term missions trip can do to make a lasting impact with the people that they serve? (Sara Benson)
First of all I would say, “Good for you!” for going on a mission trip. I think in this day and age, as small as the world has gotten and how easily we can travel to any corner of the world, anyone who can financially do it ought to get out there and see it. But my caution to you, Sara, is that you’re in for a surprise. Because you are going to be the one who’s impacted.
I know that it takes a wonderful heart to go out there — a heart to bless people and to make a lasting impact on them. But you are the one who’s really going to be changed.
What you should plan to do is to go to love, to serve and to learn, and you should go fully expecting to be blessed. God gave us two ears and one mouth, and I advise you to use them in that proportion. I know that’s especially true when you go overseas into a setting that you are not familiar with. You should do twice as much listening as talking.
Go with a heart to bless, but my experience has been — and I believe your reality will be — that you will come back with a heart far better blessed than you could ever imagine. Your biggest challenge isn’t what you do over there. Your biggest challenge will be determining afterward what you are going to do over here with what you now know and what you now feel. Scripture says “To whom much is given, much is required.” And that isn’t about money … that’s about experience and heart and insight. So I wouldn’t go over there without a realization that when I come back, I’m going to have to do something with what was done to my heart.
And one last thing I have to say is read Hope Lives  – Amber Van Schooneveld’s  book. I don’t know of a five-week personal journey that better prepares someone for a mission trip than that book.