Monday, May 18, 2009

Ten Commandments for Short-Term Missions

by Paul Cull
So you're ready for the Great Missionary Adventure. You've got your visa and your airline tickets, had the immunization tablets and shots, bought lots of film for your camera, and made some contacts with mission bases in your target country. You've heard about some short-term trips that didn't turn out quite as expected, but you're sure that this will be different. After all, you have a genuine burden for the people you will be visiting, and have received definite confirmation that the Lord will use you and your team to reach the lost during this trip.

So, what remains in your preparation?

My answer to this question would be one word: "lots." My experience with short-term teams and visitors has convinced me that we need to emphasise some basic points in order to increase the effectiveness of such teams and decrease the possibility of unpleasant things happening during or after the team's visit.

Let's consider the 10 commandments of short-term outreach. Bear in mind that these are written for outreach teams, such as church groups or teams from a Bible school, who have no specific technical training, and who are coming to work alongside an existing long-term base. There will be some exceptions to these rules, such as in the case of pioneering ministry to unreached areas, and the case of teams which have been formed of trained individuals for a specific technical task (i.e. medical, disaster relief, or community development).

We'll begin with the most important commandment: (click here to continue reading).

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