There’s no way connecting people to Jesus does not have long term impact. The key is to make sure we are connecting people to Jesus, not us. The Great Commission is not to just go and help people for a bit. It’s to bring people into a real and life-altering relationship with God.
After all, Jesus never said to preach the Gospel and then move on. Instead He modeled what it meant to have and continually live from a relationship with God.
Mission trips are one of the most effective ways to wake students up to their roles in the Kingdom of God. They literally wake up to the fact that God is at work and they can join Him in what He is doing in the world.
Just imagine what could happen if every student realized firsthand what it meant to be radically loved, forgiven, and called by God.