Short Term Missions (STM) in the local church has long been alternately branded as a blessing or a curse. As with most ideas in missions, STM itself is not evil; it’s what you do with it and how you do it that makes it either an asset or a liability. STM leaders are the vanguard for effectiveness of the short term missions project and opportunities of your church. STM leaders need to understand a proper framework for STM in order to train and lead participants in helpful ways.
What STM is NOT (or should not become):
- a litmus test for your church’s achievements in missions; i.e. – the more STM participants, the higher your church ranks in missions achievement
- a sponsored and all-expense-paid vacation
- a burden to the missionary hosts
- a stumbling block to the indigenous recipients or observers
What STM should be:
- a WIN-WIN-WIN situation for participants, hosts, and recipients
- an intensive spiritual discipleship experience
- an opportunity for selfless service
- a positive, couldn’t-have-done-it-any-other-way, contribution to field ministries
- a unique cross-cultural growth opportunity
- a stepping stone to long term relationship with missions and service in the local church
- a personal skills and gifts development laboratory for the Kingdom
- an opportunity to stretch participants’ faith in a sovereign, loving God
We recommend the unique training and orientation program of Culture Link. Visit the CultureLinkInc.org website for more information.
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