As I write this I’m in Belle Glade, Florida at Collaborate, which is a week long mission trip that involves serving the people of Belle Glade in different ways. I’m in charge of one of the paint crews. Between both paint crews we have painted eight houses in two days.

Some students are serving in other areas at the church and throughout Belle Glade. I want to share with you something that the Lord told me earlier this week. It struck home, because what He told me challenged me to really think about what it means to serve on a mission trip.

Missions void of the heart of Jesus is empty service.

Here’s what the Holy Spirit told me:

Missions void of the heart of Jesus is empty service.

Have you ever gone on a mission trip? Maybe you are on one right now like I am.

Ask yourself: “When you serve are you serving with the heart of Christ?”

If we go out and paint houses, help in soup kitchens, feed the homeless, build houses, love on kids at sports camps, clean up trash off the streets or anything else, if you don’t do it with Jesus. it’s empty service.

So many people do mission work for Jesus as if trying to earn God’s favor. Here’s the thing: There’s nothing you can do to make God love you more or less. When we go and do mission work with Jesus we have the opportunity to make an impact on someone that will echo into eternity. I don’t know about you but I want to make an impact that echoes beyond this world.

Today, after being prompted by the Holy Spirit, one of my students and I got to pray for a woman named Dora as we painted the house next to hers (we painted her house the day before). That was a win! She spoke hardly any English but we prayed for her anyway. I believe she was a Christian, because she prayed with us in Spanish and I could pick up on a few of the words she had said.

We don’t know what she is struggling with, but God knows. Mission work that doesn’t impact people isn’t mission work. People matter to God more than painting houses or doing a sports camp. People should matter to us as well more than the project itself. Dora matters more to God than her painted house. You might be thinking: All you did was pray with her…how does that make an impact? Do you believe prayer is powerful? God told us to pray. So we prayed. I believe God honors obedience, don’t you?

We may not see the fruit of our obedience and that has to be ok because mission work isn’t about us. It’s about Jesus. It’s about sharing the love of God to people because people matter to God. This week we are focusing on the reality that Jesus is above all else and when we go and do mission work with His heart we can make a difference…even if it’s only one person. That’s still a win!

So, again, ask yourself: “When you serve are you serving with the heart of Christ?”

We mustn’t forget that missions void of the heart of Jesus is empty service.

Article first appeared on in June of 2017.



In May 2015, Aaron began serving as the Youth Pastor at More 2 Life Ministries in Okeechobee, Florida, where he lives with his wife Sarah and son Oliver. Aaron has a passion for reaching students with the gospel, teaching, writing, and equipping the church with helpful resources that edify. His heart is to make Jesus famous and point others to the only One who can save us from our sin. He’s spoken at Younified (which is an annual youth rally in Okeechobee County attracting more than 500 students) and at c20 (which is a ministry of Grace Bible Church in Sebring, Florida geared toward those in their twenties and college).