On Mission: Devotions for Your Short-Term Trip
by Patric Knaak
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A missions trip provides unique opportunities to experience God’s grace in ways that we often miss during our day-to-day routines. Over time, however, these spiritual lessons tend to be forgotten as the memories of the trip fade. On Mission is an expanded daily devotional guide, designed to help you make the most of your experience by: spiritually preparing for your trip, staying connected to Jesus each day, and reflecting on what God has taught you and finding new ways to stay missionally engaged after you return home.
Mission trip leaders, youth pastors, and pastors will want to use this devotional to guide mission trip participants, provide for in-depth learning together, and spark lifelong change. Each of the ten daily devotionals features a bible passage from Christ’s life and ministry, an article to help the reader understand the spiritual lessons of the passage, and journaling exercises to help connect what they are learning with events and lessons experienced on the trip. On Mission is applicable to a broad range of missions trips and suitable for audiences from high school students to adults.
Patric Knaak, MA, is the Area Director for Renewal at Serge where he leads their publication, teaching, training, and mentoring ministries. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America, Patric has worked in curriculum development and was the pastor for spiritual formation at Naperville Presbyterian Church (IL) before joining Serge. A veteran of nearly a dozen mission trips, he’s seen the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes living out grace at the fray.
"Patric Knaak's On Mission is a wonderful resource not only in helping short-term missionaries prepare, reflect, and debrief their short-term missions experience but to draw closer to our Lord Jesus Christ."
Lloyd Kim, Coordinator, Mission to the World
"Patric Knaak's devotions are wonderful for the spiritual preparation, encouragement, and reflection that should accompany (and follow) mission trips. His thoughtful, vulnerable, and dear explanations of the impact of the gospel on his heart during the 'stretching' experiences of mission work provide intriguing reading and inspiring thoughts for those who want Christ's identity to transform their own hearts, as well as save the souls of others."
Bryan Chapell, Author of Christ-Centered Preaching; pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Peoria, IL
"Patric Knaak has been on a lifelong journey to further God's mission. With humor, transparency, and wisdom On Mission deals with the issues he has faced and lessons that can be learned on the missionary journey. Patric's book will help the reader deal with practical challenges that require God's grace while on God's mission. I commend On Mission to all who would follow Christ in leaving the comfortable certainties of the home culture to spend time and effort in what will seem a strange and challenging yet enriching mission experience."
Paul McKaughan, The Ambassador at Large, Mission Exchange
"I highly recommend this new book that provides devotions for short-term missionaries while on their mission. It includes methods of debriefing after returning home with studies to assist them to continue in mission while at home."
John E. Kyle, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Philippines and USA; Founding Director, Mission to the World; Missions Director and VP of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA; Senior VP of the Evangelical Fellowship of Mission Agencies
"Short-term mission trips are often surprisingly powerful, life-transforming experiences for those who go. Why? Because God takes pleasure in bringing honor to his Son by displaying his presence and power to those who align their purposes with his for the nations. When followers of Christ leave their comfort zones, even for a brief period on a short-term mission trip, they are often forced to face their fears, arrogance, and foolishness. However, most have not been adequately prepared to embrace their weaknesses in a way that leads them to deeper levels of dependence on Christ and intimacy with him. That's why I'm grateful for Knaak's On Mission. It's a comprehensive, gospel-centered resource designed to help you encounter Jesus in unique ways before, during, and after your mission trip. I highly recommend it."
Dr. Steve Childers, Professor of Practical Theology, RTS-Orlando; President and CEO, Pathway Learning
"It is generally easier to get people logistically prepared for a mission trip than to help them prepare spiritually. This small book is quite remarkable because it helps prepare you for your short-term trip spiritually and also relationally. And it does this in a very reflective way by providing thoughtful devotional resources for your trip as well as a debrief. Short-term trips provide a great opportunity for service and the spiritual formation of those who go. This book helps make that formation intentional and gospel-driven."
James C. Wilhoit, Scripture Press Professor of Christian Education, Wheaton College
"This is the devotional I wish I'd had for so many short-term trips in the past, and it's the one I hope future short-term teams will carry with them when they come. It's a daily, poignant, and personal reminder that God's mission isn't first ‘out there'; it is first to me, 'in my own heart.'"
Cartee Bales, MTW International Director, Asia/Pacific
"Accessible and helpfully formatted, On Mission realistically identifies the challenges of mission teams, especially cross-cultural ones. Through looking at a number of stories and incidents from the life of Jesus, it focuses on applying the transforming good news about Jesus to the heart rather than simply offering skills or techniques. It also provides important encouragement for debriefing, including helpful material on how to tell your story. The final sections ensure that readers are encouraged to think about how to develop as world Christians rather than just seeing the trip as a self-contained event. I hope this short book is widely circulated, and I can see its first users/readers becoming the best publicists."
Cassells Morrell, International Fellowship of Evangelical Students Associate Regional Secretary for Europe