Detach During Your Mission Trip

What does it mean to detach from something?  Webster’s definition of detach is ‘to separate from a larger mass; disengage or withdrawal’.  If we were to detach from everything during a mission trip what would the outcome be?  Would we be better or worse off?  I am of the opinion that we would be better in the end because of it.

I am definitely guilty of being caught up in the moment of social media distractions.  It is easy to open Facebook or Twitter and see what everyone else is doing.  Why?  It takes the spotlight off of me momentarily to see what others are doing in their spotlight.  I can scroll through and see that Clemson won the National Championship or that Sister Sally needs prayer for a hip replacement, because someone on social media is posting about it.  It is convenient but it should not be the one place for social interaction, so here are a few suggestions to think about during a mission trip.

Just unplug.  Make a conscious decision that you will unplug from social media for the week.  Challenge your students and yourself that it is only for a week to take time away.  Spend time with your students or time with the Lord instead.  You will be glad you did.  If you want to keep parents or church people in the know about your trip, designate someone back home to do it for you.  Take the challenge to heart, so your students will too.

Relax.  Since there won’t be the social media distraction, use this time to hang out with your students.  During free time, students want to be invested in during the trip.  Students want to learn from you.  Even if you are teaching them the rules to 4-Square, teenagers like to know that you care.  They will have the memory of you beating them in a 4-Square game, not just a memory of you sending emails on your phone.  

Unlock truth in Scripture.  Spending time reading God’s Word will unlock truth for you to apply to your life and your students.  I have always loved Hebrews 12:1-2, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witness, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.”  Things will distract us from serving and keep us from loving others, but why not lay aside an obvious distraction for the week.

My challenge for you is to ‘detach’ during your trip this summer.  Make it a point to not have your phone in your pocket every hour of the day.  Keep your phone in your vehicle and only use it to take pictures of the week.  Wear a watch for the time.  Be conscious of this time away and your students will be conscious of it too.