PROCLAIMING CHRIST AROUND THE WORLD Longterm Success for Short Term Missions
by Marilynn Lester
A study by Robert Wuthnow found that approximately 2.4 million people went on a short-term mission assignment in 2004 . Tis includes mission trips sponsored by individual churches, colleges and universities, mission agencies of all kinds, as well as secular humanitarian agencies. What makes a good short-term team? How do we measure
success? And how can we ensure that our efforts are mutually beneficial to both the goer and receiver? Many articles have touted the ineffectiveness and wastefulness of good resources on short term missions with good grounds for their argument. On the other hand, thousands of teams are effective and appreciated by the receivers. It is imperative that each team be properly prepared not only physically, but also mentally and spiritually. Te organi- zation, Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Mission (SOE), has developed seven guidelines to measure your team’s likeliness of success . (Points below are from SOE; comments are mine.) 1. God-Centeredness: Is your first goal to seek God’s glory in the process and the product? Are you using wise, biblical, and culturally appropriate methods to bear fruit?
2. Empowering Partnerships: Are you seeking to establish healthy, on-going relationships between the sending and
receiving partners as evidenced by a primary focus on the intended receptors, plans which benefit all participants, and establishing mutual trust and accountability?
3. Mutual Design: Are you working together with the receiv- ing partners to plan methods and activities that will benefit both sides?
4. Comprehensive Administration: Are you being truthful in your promotions, finances, and reporting of results? Are you managing the risk factor appropriately? Are the logistics handled with the highest quality possible?
5. Qualified Leadership: Are you screening, training, and developing capable leadership for all participants addressing spiritual character and maturity, competent skills training, and valuing leadership potential in the participants?
6. Appropriate Training: Are you training your participants for the outreach by appropriate Biblical training, ongoing training for the task at hand (pre-field, on-field, post-field)? Are your trainers qualified to do the job of training in these areas?
7. Torough Follow-up: Do you provide comprehensive debriefing (pre-field, on-field, post-field), on-field re-entry preparation, and post-field follow-up and evaluation?
Te FEBC Commission on Missions, in an effort to be supportive and sensitive of our missionaries abroad, is sending an- other short-term ministry team to Paraguay in June 2016. We began to build relationships with the people in Paraguay on our first trip in 2013, and now we will be focusing on a specific area and a specific ministry. We will be working with René and Anja Gaona who serve under Action International. Tey have shared their needs and worked out how we can help. Together we will: • Reach out to those in the community school and residential home for children where René and Anja are serving in the town of Itaugua, an hour’s drive from Asuncion using ◆ Personal testimonies ◆ Dramas and/or other art forms ◆ Practical training in areas such as cooking, carpentry, and parenting skills
• Share the Gospel and show love, making direct contact with children and youth, as well as parents from the community. • Be involved in other activities ◆ Maintenance work on the large property of a residential home for kids ◆ Outreach in a local hospital and in shelters set up for low-income families ◆ Humanitarian needs arising from recent devastating floods
Please be in prayer for this team and for René and Anja as we seek to follow the guidelines outlined by the Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Missions.
Missionaries René and Anja Ganoa
Students on a Mission: College students approved to take a summer mission assignment for six weeks or longer may apply for a grant from the FEBC Commission on Missions. Request an application packet from firstname.lastname@example.org
Fellowship Focus, March/April 2016 9
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