How can we create truly effective short-term missions?
Short-term mission trips should be powerful tools for making disciples, but they can actually waste time and money and reduce vision if they’re not structured for full spiritual impact. Poorly thought-out STMs can reduce “mission” to a brief, exotic working holiday rather than give participants a vision of mission as a passionate and costly pursuit of God’s heart for lost humanity.
Before you decide where to take an STM or what the team is going to do, decide why you’re putting together an STM (what do you want Holy Spirit to do in participants’ lives?) and who you plan to serve.
Teams that go with a list of expectations of what they want to see, do, or experience are often frustrated themselves and frustrating to their hosts. Teams that focus on connecting deeply with the host people, helping them carry out their vision, and encountering God together will return home with a deeper walk with God, a greater love for people and activated spiritual gifts.
Here are just 3 of many great resources on making the most of your STMs:
- EFCA – 10 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Missions Trip
- Boaz Project – 9 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Missions Trip
- Relevant Magazine – Things No One Tells You About Going On Short-Term Missions Trips
Let’s move STMs from short-term experiences to long-term engagement in God’s mission.
ACOP Global Harvest Worker