This is an interesting article for someone who has been on countless short term-mission trips around the world, and as someone who has sent countless teams of students around the world on mission trips.
I know that this has been a question that has been asked by many churches and people for quite a while. Is it worth our money, and a good use of our money to send a student overseas, or is it better to just send the money to a Christian organization there? Why spend $3,000 on a short term-mission trip to pay for student’s aifare, food, indidentals, etc., when the whole amount could be sent overseas for use by the local missionaries? These are some of the questions that people are now asking.
Christianity Today just published an email exchange/article tackling this very issue. Some current research has been done on this topic, and it is worth a look. Are Short-Term Missions Good Stewardship.
In my own opinion, I do think that short term-mission trips are a great thing. And I do think that one of the best ways we can be good stewards of our money is to support someone on such an endeavor. I know that my life has been changed in many ways by my travels, and experiences, as well as the lives of my students. Do these trips always yield all the results we want…maybe not.
I know when I told people last year that I was going to Fiji on a mission trip with the high school department and YWAM, there were quite a lot of laughs in the room. Fiji? Wow, tough trip laying on the beach. Well, that’s not what we did, and I saw high school student’s lives transformed by their experience in the local villages. Will those experiences have staying power? Maybe, maybe not. But I think the money was well spent. And I think that the 20 plus students that I have sent on short-term missions this year would say the same thing.