How often should I go on a STM?

Stewardship of time and money calls us to ask this appropriate question. Some people return to their favorite short-term site frequently to continue ministry in an ongoing way. Others like to serve on a wide sampling of short-term trips around the world. Here are some suggestions for how to determine whether or not to serve on your next potential short-term trip.

Go on the trip if…

  • You are seeking a first-time exposure to a new culture, or to learn what God is doing around the world.
  • You are considering serving longer-term at the site of the trip.

Return to the same site if…

  • You’re serving as a leader of the trip.
  • You provide a unique and necessary service to the team that will go unfilled if you don’t go.
  • The trip is accomplishing the next stage of an ongoing partnership. (C.f., don’t go to continue construction on the same Mexican church building.)

Go to a new location if…

  • You are considering serving longer-term at the site of the trip.
  • You provide a unique and necessary service to the team that will go unfilled if you don’t go.

Don’t go on the trip if…

  • You simply like going back to the same place. If God is calling you to impact a particular place from a distance, move into a role of greater impact, such as mobilizing others to go, leading teams, getting involved in a regional advocacy network for a people group, etc.
  • You view short-term involvement as a replacement for longer-term involvement to which God is calling you.

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2.5.13

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