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There are a few different kinds of mission trips: short-term, long-term, relational and ones meant simply for helping people in need.
Some might choose to dedicate their whole lives to missions as well.
The earliest Christian mission, then, the Great Commission and Dispersion of the Apostles, was active within Second Temple Judaism, as Christianity had not yet split from Judaism.
Whether a Jewish proselytism existed or not that would have served as a model for the early Christians is unclear, see Circumcision controversy in early Christianity#Jewish background for details.
Soon, the expansion of the Christian mission beyond Judaism to those who were not Jewish became a contested issue, notably at the Council of Jerusalem.
The Apostle Paul was an early proponent of this expansion, and contextualized the Christian message for the Greek and Roman cultures, permitting it to reach beyond its Hebrew and Jewish roots.
The most active orders were the Jesuits, Augustinians, Franciscans and Dominicans. These are some of the most well-known missions in history.
While some of these missions were associated with imperialism and oppression, others (notably Matteo Ricci's Jesuit mission to China) were relatively peaceful and focused on integration rather than cultural imperialism.
Wherever these powers attempted to expand their territories or influence, missionaries would soon follow.This pattern of grudging acceptance of converts played out again later in Hawaii when missionaries from that same New England culture went there.In the course of the Spanish colonization of the Americas, the Catholic missionaries learned the languages of the Amerindians and devised writing systems for them.The Reformation unfolded in Europe in the early 16th century.For over a hundred years, occupied by their struggle with the Catholic Church, the early Protestant churches as a body were not strongly focused on missions to "heathen" lands.