Real Value — in Short Term Missions
How do you measure VALUE in your short term mission experience?
As one who has received teams (while serving in Lithuania and Uzbekistan) — and as one who has sent hundreds of teams (while serving with CCC, and directing STM for a denomination)
— I know there are many factors in determining where to serve, who to serve with, and even when to serve. It’s amazing to see how God guides, directs, and provides for so many to serve both locally…and globally!!!
One common mistake that I’ve seen however — is the tendency we have as churches to put cost on a level much higher than that of impact…. or long term relationships… or even Strategic Partnerships with those who are serving the field full-time.
For instance — “we have a tight budget”, so we automatically rule out going to a far-a-way site, because ‘we can’t afford it.’ My desire would be that we would listen first … and then trust the Lord to get us to where HE was leading. 🙂
Another danger I’ve seen is the – “we can do this cheaper on our own” mentality — so we cut costs, ‘save’ on administrative fees, — and fail to partner with an agency who has a long-term relationship with the national laborers, missionaries, church, or even orphanage.
In the meantime — the (local) team leader has a tremendous increase in the amount of time needing to be spent on details that otherwise would be covered by the cost (and) expertise of a viable sending agency…
The short term team still goes — God still honors their efforts — but….. have they MAXIMIZED their impact???? Seems like a good question to consider.
Can God use us as we ‘go it alone’ — in setting up opportunities for Global Impact? Absolutely.
Might God maximize our impact — if we consider serving with someone who knows the field more intimately than we do? — Again … Absolutely.
I’ll write more on this later — but for today — the blogosphere is finito!!! Keep on keeping on, folks!!!! And Keep on looking for opportunities — -and taking the initiative to GO!!!!