The review of Kara Powell's message was very thought provoking.
Here's some quotes that got me thinking...
Many churches have gotten involved in short term missions trips (STMs) that often involve a service project in a developing country. But are these trips making any real difference...Powell shared about how those being served by North American church groups often feel demoralized by our service, and how many wished these churches would simply send the funds so they could do the work themselves. On the flip side, evidence suggests these trips are having a minimal impact on students as well. In an article she wrote called “If We Send Them, Will They Grow?” she concluded that students who go on STMs are not more likely to become long-term missionaries, and it doesn’t impact their materialistic lifestyles.
Our churches tend to approach service as an event—buying gifts for poor kids at Christmas, feeding the homeless, going to Mexico to build a house. Again, these are worthwhile things. But justice isn’t an event, it’s a lifestyle.
We are trying to teach our people this very truth by creating opportunities for them to serve. But so far we are just at the "event" stage. I hope that we are able to truly make service a lifestyle.