Not your ordinary Mission Trip

The generosity and hospitality of our neighbors has taught us a lot about service.  Hosting many mission groups over the past has taught us a lot about mission.  Being deemed “missionaries” by others and carrying the burden of what that might mean has made us think long and hard about the great commission.  We too have learned the lesson that Charlie teaches in this video:

Additionally, our seminary friend, Casey Callahan recently wrote a nice blog post for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship on moving from mission trip to pilgrimage.  His helpful description speaks well to our experience.

Because of our various experiences, we recently sat down to evaluate The Family Tree youth group’s involvement in mission and service.  We came to conclusion that this summer, we’d try something new.  Our youth will keep working weekly with local service agencies like Hope Chapel and Urban Ministry Center, but instead of going on a typical mission trip, we are going on an “Underground Exploratory Adventure!”  For 7 days, we will be explorers, looking for the ways that God is working and moving.  We will seek out places and people that inspire us.  We will look for holy places and participate in practices of prayer.  We will go on a safari…looking for rare finds, glimpses of the kingdom: radical hospitality, spirit led creativity, and rooted inspiring acts of prayer.  Our exploration will take us to go to places outside of our comfort zone, places unfamiliar and eye opening in New York City.  Places like:

St. Joseph’s Catholic Worker House

Harlem Bruderhof community

Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries

And places that you suggest to us as well.  What have you experienced in NYC that has been inspiring to you?  What people or places have you visited that sparked your creativity or motivated you to deepen practices of discipleship?  Where was your spirit ignited and your eyes lifted unto the hills?  These are the places we want to visit and we need you to tell us about them.  You can send your suggestions to helms[at]

Throughout our adventure, we’ll journal and reflect on our experience.  We hope to come back energized and refreshed.  We hope to bring home inspiration and creativity.  We’ll be thrilled to share with you our experience and to let you in on the wonders of God that we have witnessed.  In the fall, we will host a gallery opening where we will display our journal entries, art pieces, and reflections from our exploration.

Join us on the adventure!  Catch a glimpse of the Holy Spirit in action.  We’ll be going August 11-18, 2014.

  • Sponsor a member of The Family Tree youth group:  $300  Donate Now.
  • Give your suggestion of a place/person we should visit.  We are looking for places/people who are “rooted in discipleship” and who practice creativity, prayer, and/or welcome.
  • Apply to go along as a chaperone.