Mission Issues

Thinking and re-thinking missionary issues

Short-term outreaches

 Being a missionary in Swaziland for more than 22 years have led to contact with hundreds of people from all over the world – many of whom had come to Swaziland as part of a short-term outreach team. Some of these visits blessed us tremendously. We had also had teams visiting us which ended up in a fiasco. Inevitably one has to ask the question at some point whether short-term outreaches are worth the effort and the money. Christianity Today ran a series of articles on this topic about two years ago. The first one was entitled Are Short-Term Missions Good Stewardship? It would only be fair to say that I am convinced that short-term outreaches can be extremely positive for both the teams coming as well as those being visited. I therefore do not share the mainly negative feeling towards this as reflected in the mentioned article. But I do believe that the team on the short-term outreach as well as those being visited need to be prepared in order for this type of outreach to be really successful.
I will be sharing some thoughts on this matter, but in the meantime I would be glad to get some response, positive or negative about this topic.


Thursday, April 5, 2007 - Posted by | Short-term outreaches


  1. […] Giving without creating dependency I subscribed to another blog where the owner recently raised the question how one should give in missions. You can read his viewpoint here. This connects to a certain extent to my first entry about Short-term outreaches which you can read by clicking on here. […]

    Pingback by Giving without creating dependency « Mission Issues | Monday, April 9, 2007 | Reply

  2. Interesting that you should bring this up. In a new course of which I am part of the teaching team, we are discussing this issue with our students many of whom will become youth leaders. One of the books of interest is David Livermore’s book Eyes Wide Open. It is by Baker Book House. One of the benefits of short term missions is that it opens the eyes of the people going so that they can have a renewed sense of the mission of God’s church. How do we make this happen without spending all the money travelling? One of the changes we have made is to be as cost effective as we can in planning the trip. We also are working on ways to encourage our students to see this as a visioning trip and asking God for insight into how to change how they live their lives in order to have a more powerful witness. Suggestions would be welcome.

    Comment by Teresa Renkema | Wednesday, April 11, 2007 | Reply

  3. Hi Teresa,

    Thanks for responding on this topic. I thoroughly agree with you that there are certain things which you will probably never achieve without taking people on a short-term outreach. I am leaving this coming Saturday for Russia where I have for the past six years been involved with assisting in training Bible students. This year I am taking four people with me, three of whom will be going exactly for the reason that you mentioned, to give them a vision for mission. As I previously mentioned, I am not as negative about this as the writer of the article – in fact I think it is essential.

    I think I’ll blog about this later today to share some of my feelings on this and perhaps we could get some more people to respond.

    To whom are you presenting your course?


    Comment by Arnau van Wyngaard | Wednesday, April 11, 2007 | Reply

  4. […] person whom I met about two years ago at a conference in the Netherlands. Please read her response here. You will find it under the second […]

    Pingback by Short-term Outreaches (2) « Mission Issues | Wednesday, April 11, 2007 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: