Here Comes Short-Term Mission Season

imageIncreasingly the US summer has come to be associated with the short-term mission season. That has occurred primarily to coincide with the summer breaks for US high schools and colleges. June, July and August is when the vast majority of US evangelical churches plan their annual mission trips. If your church is sending a mission team out this summer, likely the first of the year begins your heavy planning season. Here are a few thoughts to help long-term and short-term missionaries prepare for the summer. Feel free to share the contents of this blog with your mission team or church.

helpingThe most frequently asked questions we have received from short-term missionaries are, “Is it even a benefit for us to come on a mission trip? Shouldn’t we just send money? Aren’t we creating dependency on foreign aide?” Our experience tells us that most of the people who have these views developed them by reading the unfortunate book When Helping Hurts. Many churches and mission agencies try to prepare their short-term missionaries for service by having them read this misguided work. You can read Mike’s watered down review of that terrible book HERE.

To address the “when helping hurts” mentality Mike wrote the article “Send Me Your Short-Term Missionaries.” Here Mike tries to demonstrate the value of short-term missions on God’s long-term glory. Indeed, some full-time missionaries dislike short-term missions. But, our mission agency, Mission to the World (MTW), does not force its long-term missionaries to host short-term teams. Neither do most other agencies. If that is the case, you must believe that missionaries that host short-term teams find value in you visiting for one to two weeks, or they wouldn’t invite you.

IMG_5230However, missions is certainly hard work and requires serious preparation. Short-term mission trips should be prepared for, prayed over and planned on ahead of time. Mike wrote another article, “How To Prepare For Your Short-Term Mission Trip.” In that article Mike outlines how short-term mission trips should be centered on prayer, service, flexibility and relationships. If you, as a short-term missionary, do not have those four things at the center of your heart, don’t go.

It is our prayer that our Father sends out countless short-term missionaries this summer. If you would like to be one of them take a look at some of the trips MTW has planned.