Short-term mission trips have become quite an industry in and of themselves. In fact, according to this article, each year 1.5 million North American Christians go on short-term mission trips, spending close to $2 billion on those trips. Those are astounding numbers.
In the past, these numbers have led us to be very hesitant as a Global Outreach team when it comes to short-term trips. We greatly decreased our involvement in short-term trips because the stewardship questions loomed too large for us. We’d ask, “How much good could that $2 billion do if it were given directly to good solutions in the places short-termers want to visit?”
But…recently we have reversed course a bit on this idea. Recently we began to ask whether short-term missions could be done differently, whether a short-term trip could be a critical piece of the puzzle both for those who go on the trips and for those who receive the short-termers? What if after a trip those who went were more engaged with the people or places they visited? What if they sacrificially gave of their time and money to those areas and people and mission fields they visited? What if a trip could be used to advance their own discipleship in a way that staying home just can’t promise?