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Short-Term Missions Trends and Issues In 1970 you could count on one hand the number of youth groups doing short-term missions. Now it is a standard annual.

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Presentation on theme: "Short-Term Missions Trends and Issues In 1970 you could count on one hand the number of youth groups doing short-term missions. Now it is a standard annual."— Presentation transcript:

1 Short-Term Missions Trends and Issues In 1970 you could count on one hand the number of youth groups doing short-term missions. Now it is a standard annual experience for most youth groups. But does it make a difference? 1

2 Growth of Short term Missions In 1979 22,000 lay people went overseas for a few days to 4 years In 2006 1,600,000 went overseas from 40,000 churches, agencies and schools. STM growth = 3,233% Career Miss = 9% 2

3 Ten Trends in Short-term Missions 1.From Youth Event to Missions Program –Youth Pastors tend to be event-oriented (just another experience) –Needs to become a means showing a Macedonian vision –Should be a stair-step progression of increasing spiritual challenges 2.Greater Accountability for Funds –Mormon families support their own sons for 2 yrs. –Some churches promise tithers 1 trip a year free –Liberty gives equal scholarship to high schoollers with Xtreme –Great care for cultural sensitivity and false expectations 3

4 Ten Trends in Short-term Missions 3.From Work Camps to Short-term Missions (STM) –Typical summer was youth camp for fun, now “work camps” of service and teambuilding –Short-term trips offer chance to share faith 4.From Fad to Phenomenon –STM was once rare, now it is norm –Most career missionaries went on STM 4

5 Ten Trends in Short-term Missions 5.Increased Emphasis on Preparation –Main issue is lack of understanding of complex cross cultural issues (pre-field prep) –Mission preparation should be a part of discipleship 6.From Summer Experience to Ongoing Ministry –Debriefing and continuity (evangelism training and local projects to keep “other-focused.” –Successful missionaries learn to love evangelism and discipleship early and at home first. 5

6 Ten Trends in Short-term Missions 7.Greater Denominational Emphasis –IMB offer over 900 STM opportunities –Seen as chief recruiting and screening tool 8.Increased Networking –Area churches sponsor united youth trips to cut costs –Parachurch groups bring people from many churches 6

7 Ten Trends in Short-term Missions 9.Internationalization of the Movement –Youth from other countries are organizing for world missions faster than US 10. Junior High Involvement –In some ways youth are maturing earlier – they want meaningful experiences –If program of discipleship exists and youth are trained 7

8 Missions-as-process vs. Missions-as-project Missions-as-project –Focus on vision trips, major projects, and short- termers –Definition: short-term= 2 weeks to 2 years –“Been there and done that” Missions-as-process –Focus on biblical basis, church planting technique, strategy development, track record, doctrinal statements and long-term associations –Definition: long-term = 2 to 4 terms (5 yrs each) 8

9 A Strategy Monnie Brewer 1.STM is centerpiece of church’s mission program – make it work for you 2.Establish a clear vision statement and develop a strategic and tactical plan for your church’s mission program. 3.Infuse your mission budget with a one-time cash allocation to fully support one missionary unit for one year. 4.Set up a Candidate Training Program for training 2-4 years ahead for those who may be sent. 5.Send out first short-termer (1-2 years) when fully equipped, pick up 30-100% of support or –Harder to raise funds for short-term sometimes –Boomers to X-ers hate to ask for money (they’d rather not go!) 9

10 A Strategy Monnie Brewer 6.Sent short-termer in area compatible with church’s long-term strategic plan. Place them with an agency they might go with full-time 7.On return home, use their experiences to assess their call to ministry, personal vision, ministry skills, theological depth, language- learning aptitudes, organizational compatibility and cross-cultural adjustments Only a lengthy short-term can provide this assessment Vision trips and summer trips don’t allow culture shock (takes 6 to 18 months to experience w/o group) Attrition is usually due to unrealistic expectations from short-term experiences 10

11 A Strategy Monnie Brewer 8.Some short-termers will go back as career missionaries immediately (resubmit their budgeted support) Others first need to get more schooling, pay off debts, get married, get more ministry experience 9.Those returning immediately (within 6 months) have passion, stories, visuals, so they can raise support as veterans, not rookies. Home church can adjust their support back to a 30- 50% basis, freeing up funds for others Church missions team helps organize meetings, small groups, and other opportunities to raise their support. Kept accountable for support raining (meetings held, 11

12 Definitions STMCareer 1-3 wks 2 mo to 4 years Long-Term or Career = more than 4 years 12

13 Overview of STM Institutional Trends Challenge to “missions as usual” Entrepreneurship encouraged Mega Church independence Explosion in Micro-Term Mission Projects Down-aging Global awareness Experience orientation Short-term commitments preferred Cultural Trends Results: 13

14 STM in a Local Church 14 International Ministries Volunteers Event or Project Debrief & On-going Involvement Screen FilterTotal Church Pool Training-Discipling, Planning and Preparation Results: Impact for Christ Changed lives/New worldview Ongoing interest in other cultures Decision to pursue more involvement Motivate and challenge others to get involved

15 Goals of Training Realistic Expectations Adequate cultural preparation Discipleship and ministry development World awareness Self awareness Greater toleration of ambiguity 15

16 Types of Short Term Projects Exposure to the world “Try Us Out” Construction Academic Drama Medical/Dental Professional Services Teaching Discipleship Justice National or Global Event Unreached Peoples Research Cruise for awareness Etc. 16

17 10 Ways to ruin a STM 1.Keep narrowly focused on spiritual activities. –You want to win people to Christ. So, focus on your loftiest expectations. Avoid menial work like data entry, loading trucks, or working on buildings. Such things will only distract you from your primary task. 2.To tighten up your schedule, eliminate personal prayer and Bible study. –You will be so rushed that you won't have time. Besides, can't you get all the spiritual food you need from group devotions and from church services? 3.Stay organized. –Set detailed goals before you go. Establish schedules and refuse to deviate from them. –Do not accept delays, last-minute changes, and impromptu visits and invitations. Those things will just keep you from getting things done for God. 17

18 10 Ways to ruin a STM 4.Help the missionaries by pointing out their mistakes. –Bring them up to date on what you've heard are the latest missions trends. Some missionaries are stubborn. So, you may need to enlist some support among the nationals for your views about how things should be run. 5.Get involved romantically with someone. –Being away from family and friends makes this the perfect time to get involved romantically. While it may distract you slightly from the work, you will be able to expose national Christians to America's progressive dating customs. 18

19 10 Ways to ruin a STM 6.Don't embarrass yourself by trying to pick up the local language. –People are always saying that English is spoken all over the world. So, insist that those people use it with you. 7.Immediately begin pointing out your team members' faults. –Time is short. It will be difficult for people to make the needed changes if you don't help them from the start. Focus your helpful criticisms on team leaders. 8.Make hygiene a top priority and don't eat any of the local food. –To be sure, you may miss some friendly opportunities with "the natives," but you'll avoid all those awful germs! 19

20 10 Ways to ruin a STM 9.Keep your distance from team members who couldn't raise their full support. –They may try to mooch off you. Don't give in. Sweating over finances will help them build their faith. 10.When you return home, scold your home church and friends for their lack of commitment, for their weak prayers, and for their inadequate giving to missions. –This may be one of the few times you will have their deferential respect. Make the most of it. 20

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