in his book Short-Term
Mission: An Ethnography of Christian Travel Narrative and
six ways to structure your short-term missions trip.
- Spend as much time studying the history, economics,
politics and spiritual context of the community as is spent preparing for
- Invite people from the country or community to
which the team is traveling to address the group.
- Spend time talking to leaders of the community –
Christian and non-Christian – about the problems, solutions and initiatives
already at work.
- Present visits to a museum, educational
institution, monument or natural site as part of the mission, rather than “just
- Plan several mandatory follow-up meetings to review
what people have learned, how it has affected them and what changes they have
made or should make in their thinking and behavior.
- Prepare a presentation of the trip, focusing on
resources in the country and the work going on there, rather than a portrayal
of the needs and how the team met them.
Darren Carlson is the Founder and President of Training Leaders International. As President, Darren oversees the general direction of the ministry and serves as an advocate for pastors with little access to formal training and thoughtful cross-cultural theological engagement. You can connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.