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Missions 101

Suggestions Toward Restructuring Short-Term Missions Narratives

May. 29, 2015By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

Brian Howell, in his book Short-Term Mission: An Ethnography of Christian Travel Narrative and Experience, offers six ways to structure your short-term missions trip. 

  1. STMSpend as much time studying the history, economics, politics and spiritual context of the community as is spent preparing for activities.
  2. Invite people from the country or community to which the team is traveling to address the group.
  3. Spend time talking to leaders of the community – Christian and non-Christian – about the problems, solutions and initiatives already at work.
  4. Present visits to a museum, educational institution, monument or natural site as part of the mission, rather than “just tourism.”
  5. 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.
  6. 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

Tags:  short-term missions
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