rebelling against low expectations

3 Things I Learned From My First Missions Trip


This past summer I went on my first missions trip to Kentucky.

It was the most amazing, challenging, and spiritually growing week of my year. The lessons I learned during those seven days have stuck with me as I have continued to think about them and how they will affect my life now.

Here are just three of the things God taught me during that one week in Kentucky.


I don’t like to be interrupted when I’m doing something.

Especially when I’m writing. If someone interrupts me when I’m sitting at my computer screen and my fingers are flying across the keyboard, I will not exactly be thrilled to respond.

But the truth?

Maybe I don’t like to be interrupted because sometimes I can be just a little too selfish.

Sometimes I would much rather do my own thing when I want, and focus on my stuff, instead of stopping to reach out and help someone else.

Over and over during our week in Kentucky, I kept realizing how many times a task I was doing was interrupted in order to be there for a person. And it struck me: people are so much more important than tasks, but when I avoid interruptions completely, so often I treat my tasks like they’re more important than people.

Jesus was always willing to interrupt what He was on His way to do in order to stop and love the one person needing His attention, the one person needing healing, or the one person who needed to be seen.

People are always more important than tasks. I can get my tasks done later. Sometimes in order to love well, I just need to be willing to be interrupted.Sometimes in order to love well, I just need to be willing to be interrupted. Share on X


Normal life keeps me busy.

I have my schedule, I have my plans, I have my busy, busy life that doesn’t slow down. And often it keeps me noticing everything in my schedule, except for Jesus.

Because the truth is that it’s a whole lot easier to get distracted by all of the other things demanding my attention or all of the other things I’m focusing on.

When I was in Kentucky serving, I noticed that it was much easier to see even the little ways that Jesus was working. When I put aside all of my distractions for seven days and just took time to serve the people around me and pull closer to Jesus, I noticed Him more. In areas I normally wouldn’t have given a second thought, I saw Jesus working in amazing ways.

It was a challenge to me to put aside the distractions facing me every day.

Maybe that means shutting my phone off for an hour or removing social media from my life for a little while. Maybe it means slowing down some so that I can pay better attention to where He’s working.

Trust me, friends. He’s working in us and around us all the time. It’s up to us to slow down and take the time to notice Him.


It can be so easy to get home, unpack our bags, pull out our cell phones again, plan out our normal schedules, and slip right back into our normal routine before our missions experience.

We can assume we’re back from our “trip” and so our missions-minded attitude and heart end right there too. We get back into the habit of wanting others to serve us more than we serve them and we can forget all the lessons we learned until the next year when we go and do it all again.

Let’s make missions more than just a trip once or twice a year.Let’s make missions more than just a trip once or twice a year. Share on X

Let’s make missions and serving others the attitude of our heart all year round. Missions is all about pointing other people back to God. That doesn’t end after one week. How can we point people back to God every day of our lives? How can we serve God by serving His people every day? How can we tell other people about the God who loves us, even when it’s not easy?

Missions should be our all-day, every-day attitude. Let’s get back to that.

Whether or not you’ve been on a missions trip, I hope these reminders will encourage you to look for ways to serve those around you and notice Jesus at work in your life. It’ll be an amazing adventure, I promise.

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About the author

Bella Morganthal

Bella Morganthal (22) is a writing coach, editor, and author. She is passionate about leading teens and young adults to a relationship with Christ through her work as a Student Ministries Team Leader at a local church in Maryland. She’d love to hear from you.

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By Bella Morganthal
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →