For over sixty years, InterVarsity has been sending students out on short-term missions projects around the world. Here’s a list of our top ten resources for short-term missions.
1. Packing Light: This comic sketch is based on Luke 10:1-9. Three young people about to go to the mission field are suddenly confronted by Jesus.
2. Re-entry Journal Guide: This guidebook by Lisa Espineli Chinn could be useful for international and study abroad students, short and long-term missionaries, and even those who aren’t crossing international borders, but are experiencing the culture shock of moving back home after living away.
3. Short Term Missions Handbook: To get the most out of a missions trip, you need to go prepared. Whether you are going on your own or with a team, the keys to preparation are here in Tim Dearborn’s workbook.
4. Cross Cultural Servanthood: The last thing we want to do in cross-cultural ministry is to offend people in other cultures. Unfortunately, even though we don’t mean it, our actions often communicate superiority, paternalism, imperialism and arrogance. Our best intentions become unintentional insults. How can we minister in ways that are received as true Christlike service?
5. Perspectives Course: Perspectives is a 15-week course offered by the U.S. Center for World Missions around the country to help people find their place within God’s purpose to bless the world. Some of the material and articles are written by InterVarsity alumni. Check out their site for online resources and to locate where the closest Perspectives Course is being held.
6. InterVarsity STIM Training: Before heading out on Global or Urban projects, InterVarsity students are encouraged to attend STIM training (Students Training in Missions). Talk to a local staff member about when and where the next STIM training will be held in your area or connect with staff about hosting a STIM training event for your church. You can connect with a local staff worker here.
7. Global Project Journal Guide:With Bible studies and reflection questions for specific points during your trip, this is a great resource to take along with you on a missions project.
8. Urbana 2012: Every three years, InterVarsity holds a missions conference where you can connect with missions agencies, participate in Bible studies and seminars focused on missions, and listen to speakers talk about current mission trends.
9. Global Trek Reader: InterVarsity students who participate in the Global Trek are asked to read through a compilation of articles in preparation for their trip. These articles cover a wide array of topics such as water and sanitation, theology of poverty, and mission.
10. Round Trip Missions DVD Curriculum: This resource from Christianity Today attempts to find answers to the questions, “How do we turn a short-term trip into long-term impact? How do we change the lives of the participants as well as the hosts we’re visiting? How do we turn cross-cultural missions trips into long-lasting global partnerships?”
What resources do you use to prepare for a short-term missions trip?
Sarah Kirk is the Alumni Development Coordinator for InterVarsity.