Read More About Native American MissionsBefore you read further, please understand – short-term missions should be win/win experiences for both mission teams and the people who receive their ministry.
They will be, if:
Here's a little more about the scene in Indian Country.
Reservations typically offer few jobs, and sometimes too little incentive. Unemployment can exceed 80%. Less than 3% of America's Natives follow Jesus. Daily life can be a struggle. Mirroring Anglo society, alcohol and drug abuse, diabetes, and teen pregnancies seriously impact communities. Teen suicides are as high as 10 times the national average. "The Lord God has put His Spirit in me, because the Lord has appointed me to tell the good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort those whose hearts are broken, to tell the captives they are free, and to tell the prisoners they are released." Isaiah 61:1
We are dedicated to sharing Jesus' truth and the Father's love on the reservations – gently, with love and sensitivity. This has not always been the case in past missions work, which seems to have generally brought more harm than good. We have an opportunity to turn that around, although maybe only a few people at a time. "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." John 17:3
Most Natives are going to be at best cautious about, and at worst resistant to, what you have to say about Jesus. So, expect to spend extra time with the people God gives you. Share lives with them, get to know them beyond the hard shell they sometimes wear to protect themselves – and let them get to know you. It's about taking time, probably with just a few. You can make a difference, especially when you leave local believers with renewed confidence in their Father, who says, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." Psalms 32:8
Spiritual warfare is waged fiercely in Indian Country. It's unwise to minister there on your own strength. Invest in serious ministry preparation, especially prayer. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil." Proverbs 3:5-7
Possible Native Ministries(subject to our local partner's direction)
Visiting elders, nursing homes
Teen detention center, jail, prison visits
Bible camps planned with the local church
Ladies' Night special dinner
Bible studies (usually by age group)
Discipleship book/programs (Purple Book, Partners in Growing)
Classes on parenting, healthy marriages, abstinence, integrity
Ministry to the Ministers
Personal needs met
Family care and attention
Church-wide, honoring celebrations
Creative ways to energize ministers, developed by your team
The above activities are not suggestions for church groups. We'll join our partner in the ministries God has given, working alongside the local Body of Christ.
Return to Native American Trips Page