5 Questions Churches Need to Consider Before Saying Yes to Short-term Missions
November 8, 2021
Short-term mission trips can be a great opportunity for a group of people to be immersed in a culture, to learn about ministry in a different context, and to grow in faith.
When it comes to travelling during a pandemic, there are hoops that need to be jumped through, questions that need to be considered, and an open mind to the different options.
We recognize that you, or your church, may feel hesitant towards sending a group of youth or young adults on a short-term mission trip in 2022. In this article we’ll go over five questions that churches need to consider before saying “yes” to short-term missions.
1. Why do you want to say yes to short-term missions?
As things begin to open up, it’s easy to jump into the mindset of wanting to go somewhere far off, and what better way than through a missions trip? Everyone has a “why” when they make a decision. What’s your “why”?
Is it pent up, accumulated excitement simply to go somewhere else and experience a new environment? Is it part of your development and growth as a leader or as a church community? Is this opportunity to learn more about God and faith in another place in the world? Are you hoping that the short-term trip will make major impacts on the lives of the people you interact with? Are you wanting to go because you want to learn more about a different culture?
With the travel uncertainties that 2022 has, it’s more important than ever to reflect on your “why”. It may be that your why shifts from “why yes?” to “why now?”.
2. Where do you want to go?
It’s possible that where you want to go isn’t currently taking travellers, or that our sites are not currently hosting in-person. What about taking advantage of Virtual Missions Trips to explore different places? If you’re okay to go anywhere, and you just want the experience of travelling for a mission trip, you may want to consider these next questions.
3. How will this experience impact your young leaders?
There are lots of amazing benefits to going on a short-term mission trip as a young adult. It’s an opportunity to grow in faith, to see God’s world and His work, and to learn more about how Christians can be lights in the world. A short-term trip may be a great opportunity for your youth and young adults to experience growth in all of these areas.
In saying that, it may also be a stumbling block if the trip gets moved or cancelled because of COVID-19. With travel restrictions and COVID variants constantly changing, we are still in an unpredictable and hard to navigate time. Is it possible that planning a short-term trip may let your youth and young adults down? We’re not saying this is guaranteed, it’s just another layer to consider that wasn’t on our radar a few years ago.
What areas do the young adults in your church need to grow in? Is it possible that focusing on one-on-one mentorship right now may be a beneficial opportunity for your young leaders? It’s possible that many of your young leaders are facing different roadblocks and challenges than young adults in previous years due to the pandemic.
4. Who will you partner with?
There are countless different “sending organizations” that would be excited and eager to send you and your group. When you partner with Envision Canada, you get the opportunity to connect with Alliance leaders who are already on the ground making an impact in their communities.
Our international workers are eager and excited to ignite a passion in young adults while educating them about how God is moving. When you partner with Envision you are partnering with a group of people who are passionate about creating opportunities for the next generation as we equip our new leaders.
We hope that this question of partnering helps you grow in awareness that yes, short term trips do often benefit the sending church more than the hosting church initially. But over time, we strive for continuous partnership and relationship with a global family in Christ!
5. What are the other options?
It’s possible that you may feel that 2022 is full of uncertainty – especially when it comes to travelling. We sure feel that way and it’s helping us to be more reliant on God’s Spirit and aware on how He is at work! If you’re wanting to make an impact in the lives of the young adults in your church, but you’re hesitant to step on a plane, then we’re excited to inform you about our other options.
We have short-term virtual trips that are an incredible opportunity to meet new people, learn about a new culture, and hear about what God is doing while staying in Canada. This approach enables you to educate your youth and get them excited about missions without the travel uncertainty.
Another amazing opportunity that we have for young adults (18-35 years old) is our Greenhouse mentorship program. Young adults across Canada are being mentored and guided by Alliance leaders. It doesn’t matter if they are looking to enter into ministry, or they’re looking for guidance on how to navigate an ever-changing world, Greenhouse is a chance for them to be partnered with a Christian leader who is eager to see them grow.
Whether you’re looking at planning a short-term mission trip in person or online, or you want to learn more about Greenhouse, you can visit our opportunities page to learn more, or you can always reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
For travel advisory information, check out our update page here!