Short-term Mission




Christianity Today, "Short Term Missions"
"A longtime staple of church youth groups, short-term missions took off in the 1950s, when Youth With a Mission (Loren Cunningham) and Operation Mobilization (George Verwer) began sending young Christians around the world to build houses, minister to the needy, and share the gospel in unchurched communities. Trips lasting a few days to a few weeks give lay Christians a taste of the life of a missionary, without needing as much financial support or the blessing of a sending denomination. More recently, missiologists, pastors, and career missionaries have criticized STMs for blinding churches to the needs in their local community, their financial burden, and their reported ineffectiveness at creating lasting change abroad. Others defend STMs for encouraging young Christians’ faith and putting them in touch with fellow believers worldwide." Download.

Corbett, Steve & Brian Fikkert, When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself (2012)
"When Helping Hurts provides foundational concepts, clearly articulated general principles and relevant applications. The result is an effective and holistic ministry to the poor, not a truncated gospel."e;Initial thoughts"e; at the beginning of chapters and "e;reflection questions and excercises"e; at the end of chapters assist greatly in learning and applying the material. A situation is assessed for whether relief, rehabilitation, or development is the best response to a situation. Efforts are characterized by an "e;asset based"e; approach rather than a "e;needs based"e; approach. Short term mission efforts are addressed and economic development strategies appropriate for North American and international contexts are presented, including microenterprise development". Read more. Summary of the book. Download.

Deep Justice Journeys
"50 Activities to Move from Mission Trips to Missional Living. Make your youth ministry mission trips and service projects more than just drive-by-feel-good outings. Instead, allow them to be opportunities for students and adults together to go deep into God's heart for justice as people and communities are transformed." This is a  curriculum designed with options  to be used with your team in preparation for the BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER portions of your missions and service opportunities. Read more.

Global Connections, Short-term Mission Code of Best Practice
The Global Connections Code of Best Practice aims to encourage the improvement of standards in Short-Term Mission practice from and beyond the UK.The Global Connections network initially developed the code in 1999/2000. It was then updated in 2005 to make it more applicable to churches and UK based organisations." Download

Howell, Brian M., "Mission to Nowhere: Putting Short-term Mission into Context". International Bulletin of Missionary Reserarch, Oct. 2009

Howell, Brian M. , An Ethnography of Christian Travel Narrative and Experience (IVP, 2012)
"Anthropologist Brian Howell explores the narrative shape of short-term mission (STM). Drawing on the anthropology of tourism and pilgrimage, he shows how STM combines these elements with Christian purposes of mission to create its own distinct narrative. He provides a careful historical survey of the development of STM and then offers an in-depth ethnographic study of a particular mission trip to the Dominican Republic. He explores how participants remember and interpret their experiences, and he unpacks the implications for how North American churches understand mission, grapple with poverty and relate to the larger global church." Read more.

Livermore, David A., Serving with Eyes Wide Open. Doing Short-term Missions with Cultural Intelligence (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2006)
Read more.

Missiology, An International Review,  Anthropology and Sociology of Short Term Mission, No 41, 2013
"Like the anthropology of tourism, research on short-term missions has had to overcome a bias against what is often assumed to be a trivial phenomenon. As scholars in a variety of fields have encountered this growing, global phenomenon, they have begun to develop a vibrant and multifaceted research-based literature exploring its cultural, historic, economic, and political aspects. This introduction to a special issue of Missiology on short-term missions presents a brief overview of the development of this emerging literature, as well as synopses of the six articles advancing our understanding of short-term missions." Download.

Papi, Daniela, "Viewpoint: Is 'gap yah' volunteering a bad thing?" (BBC Newsmagazine, April 30, 2013)
"Volunteering abroad to build schools or dig wells might make people feel good about themselves - but it can be detrimental to those who are supposed to be helped." Download.

Papi, Daniela, "The Problem with Volunteering" (BBC 4, May 1, 2013)
"Daniela Papi explores the dark side of volunteering overseas, and asks how local people and wealthy 'voluntourists' alike can ensure a positive experience." BBC broadcast. Download.

Priest  et. al, "Research on the Short-term Mission Movement" (Missiology 34, 2006, pp. 431-450)

Ramachandra, Vinoth, "Who says "No" to "Mission Trips"?"


Codes of Conduct

Missions Interlink, Short-tem Mission. Code of Best Practice (Aurstralia, 2009)

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, The Code of Best Practice for Short-term Mission



Short Term
" is coordinated, produced, and maintained by Mission Data International (M-DAT) and its volunteers. M-DAT is a ... non-profit ministry that provides web services to help people make it to the mission field. ... The goals of this website are: 1. To become a central place for people to learn about, interact on, and discover short-term mission trips. 2. To provide an effective way for mission organizations to get the word out about their mission opportunities."

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