Missions Works! God chose to give us the Great Commission. He chose to use weak vessels to carry out the greatest task on earth and because He initiated the plan, it will be accomplished. The purpose of this blog is find ways in which we may be more efficient in this task. We would like to generate healthy conversation that will result in more results for our resources. While no article written here will perfect our missions methods, we pray that we can network together to more efficiently use our resources for the spread of the gospel. While there are many topics explored in this site, the top trends to raise our efficiency are listed both above and below to the right as links that can take you to an article explaining the why and how. Please, feel free to comment on articles and share this site within your network of Pastors/missionaries/friends.

Short term trips

How do we balance short term trips?
Many missionaries were called to missions as a result of a short term trip.
Lots of money is spent each year on short term trips.
Most long term results on the field are a result of a long-term missionary being there.
Missionaries can receive huge boosts in results and great encouragement from short term teams.
Some short term trips have or are mini-vacations.
Seeing a 3rd world country is good for any American Christian.

Please list other facts that could go here. I don't know the perfect balance in how many short term trips should happen, but I do know that a lot of money goes towards short term trips when it takes a long time for long term missionaries to raise support. Are all these trips necessary? And they may be. I believe that eyes are opened on these trips, more missions giving happens after a trip, and short term trips can accomplish a lot. Let the conversation begin!

Short term trip shortcomings

Another blog wrote this article on short term trips.

And yet another blog from Team on short term trips


  1. As a missionary kid in the West Indies and then a resident missionary in Brazil I am a whole-hearted believer in what short-term missions can do for the Kingdom. The caveat is that they must be done correctly, in partnership with people on the ground in those countries, serving as a means of seeing the resident missionary/host pastor's vision from God become reality. Once that is established the potential for long-term mutual blessings to come to both the short-term team and the partner served is astronomical. The onus on the team leader from the U.S. is to find such partners, listen to them as equals, and do only what they say, how they say, when they say do it. The onus on the partner in-country is to find people who know how to develop and facilitate such teams. Once that is done, it is a win-win. While most long-term results on the field may be the result of a long-term missionary I can assure you the value of short-term missions in helping that long-term result become reality. The other side of the coin is that teams from America, once exposed to what God is doing elsewhere, is never the same again and their churches are never the same again if they keep going back to deepen that partnership.

  2. What do missionaries need churches to do different as it applies to short-term mission trips? Would they rather have a student do an internship with them for 2-6 months? How do the trips impact the missionaries financially and spiritually, as evangelism is at an all-time high when they have a big group in town?

  3. This commentary is from a missionary in a country where he cannot post on this blog publicly, but sent it to me in a private message:

    Great wording "islego". Your second sentence is right on target. Too many times I had been part of "m-trips" where we did a lot of "good things", but we never saw fruit and we never planted seeds where they could be watered. If there is no one to follow up with what you are doing, you are at best creating spiritual infants without a source to be nurtured. Seek out some workers who you can partner with. Maybe you will have the opportunity to have a long-lasting partnership where you truly can make a difference and be a blessing to the ministry of the person you are partnering with.

    Now, as someone serving overseas, here is my opinion from "kpatton"'s question. First off, this is different for every person overseas. We all have different needs, so you can't answer that question in any dogmatic sense. But, here are some general rules. First, be a blessing, not a hardship. It is difficult to host a large team. It takes time, money, and energy (long before the team comes). We actually sometimes ask ourselves if it is even worth bringing in a team. But, if that team is seeking God on how they can be a blessing to that "worker" and his/her ministry, then it can be a success. Next, there is a benefit to both the "m" and the intern if they are able to stay longer. This should always be a goal in our ministries to take someone beyond just a weeklong trip and have them give a month or more to really see ministry first hand. Finally, it is good to know that for many of us serving overseas, having a group come to serve CAN be beneficial. Especially areas without foreigners, seeing Americans opens up doors that might have been closed before. The question I used to ask when I was in the States was, "Be honest, if we brought a team of 10 or more, in what ways would we be able to help you do more that what you are able to do alone?" If we couldn't see how we could help, we continued searching for someone else or another place. We just need to make sure that we are seeking how we can best be servants to those overseas and less about putting heavy burdens on our "m's" to provide our large American team a great time overseas.

  4. kpatton, it is more a question of what churches should BE in short-term missions than what they should DO. What needs to happen is that we need to quit seeing it as US - THEM as we are all one Church under one God and Father of all. The Church in America needs to see itself as part of the Church everywhere else. That allows us to start valuing what God is doing elsewhere as well as the people of God elsewhere, treating them as equals. Ask those partners what vision God has given them for reaching their own people and how they see a missions team helping make that vision reality. If your part of the Church can't come alongside that vision long-term then look for another partner that you can serve that way. Short-term missions has to have long-term determination to be effective. The early apostles were sent by the church to start and develop (disciple) long-term churches, return to their church to report on what they had seen, and then kept going back or sending others back to keep that relationship strong as well as stay on task in a mutually-shared ministry. Where short-term missions fails in any way it is because we too often go into short-term trips with short-term vision, making it something we DO instead of something we ARE.