Saturday, August 8, 2009

Short Term Mission Teams

Last week I talked about different types of partnerships.

so far I have written about:

  • The Sending Church
  • Prayer Advocates

But what about the Short Term Mission Teams? – People or Groups who come over for a one time project or event.

This would be what I would call a “one-off” project. Honestly in my overseas experience I have usually preferred longer term partnerships with churches BUT often a one time project can lead to a strategic partnership that turns into long term. I think it can be a matter of preference for the worker on the field as they put together their needs.

There are a lot of articles out there about the usefulness of short term teams. Do they serve a purpose other than expanding the worldview and heart for missions for the person or church coming over. While these are two awesome benefits for people who come over I think they can serve in some ways and do some things that we may not be able to do. I think they can compliment our strategy to see people come to Christ and for churches to be planted. It takes intentionality on the part of the missionary to put this into their strategy.

If we do not think ahead in how we can utilize volunteer teams then it can put us in the position of responding to a team who wants to come over with a certain purpose in mind. In other words, inserting them into our ministry whether it is strategic or not. We need to be thinking of ways to proactively work with churches who want to come and serve.

Another good aspect about a one time project is that it gives both the church and the worker the chance to see if the chemistry is good for a longer term ministry relationship. Something that is very important in my opinion.

What do you think?

Are short term teams beneficial?

If so, how have you seen it work effectively?

1 comment:

tto said...

Hey Larry,

Thanks for your thoughts on this. I agree in the preference for long term partnerships, but have found one-time teams to be very beneficial. This is especially true in projects where we do not yet have relationships. Bible distribution or prayer walking in a new area that has no believers, for example.