Publication Date

Spring 4-10-2018


School of Divinity


Global Studies


Short-term Missions, Missions, Ministry, Cross-cultural


Missions and World Christianity


Short-term missions (STM) is a phenomenon that is quickly growing; each year more and more teams are sent out from North America to locations across the globe to share the gospel and do work projects in another culture. However, there are some significant issues with the current execution of STM, ranging from its ineffectiveness in accomplishing helpful projects to its heavy financial cost to the potential negative impact on host communities. In order to push the impact of STM in a positive direction, there are two major shifts in the way it is carried out that must take place. First, the focus of STM must shift so that it is focused on serving host communities and learning from national believers and long-term workers. Secondly, short-term teams must receive careful preparation from sending entities in three significant areas: practical preparation, cultural preparation, and spiritual preparation. If these adjustments are made to the way STM is implemented, it will begin to lead to long-term impact in powerful ways.