Guest / Limited Access /

In 2007 the Christian Vision Project asked, What must we learn, and unlearn, to be agents of God's mission in the world? CVP editorial director Andy Crouch has been exploring this question with mission leaders not just in the pages of Christianity Today and its sister magazines, but with the help of a documentary film crew, producing a curriculum on short-term missions that will be released in October 2008. Here he describes what some churches are learning, and unlearning, as they rethink the meaning of mission trips.

A few years ago I was in a church service where a team of energetic young adults was reporting on their short-term international mission trip. Like most such groups, this one had plenty of cross-cultural experiences to report. "The food was so spicy," one wide-eyed young woman said, drawing laughter from the congregation. "It was terribly hot and humid—we had such a hard time getting to sleep," another team member said. Amid much hilarity, the team leader described their consternation when they arrived at a remote village only to discover that the Christians there were expecting them to lead a worship service—on the spot.

They had been stretched, they said, way beyond their "comfort zones." They had also returned full of praise for God and love for one another and their new brothers and sisters. "We received so much more than we gave," one team member said. All wonderful, true sentiments that I had heard dozens of times from returning short-term missionaries.

The only difference was that I was in Nairobi, Kenya, every member of the team had been born and raised in Africa, and they had just returned from India.

That morning I had to unlearn several of my ideas about global mission. That this short-term ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only
Tulsa Dustup
Lawsuit charges ORU president and his wife with fiscal, moral improprieties.
Current IssueArt Advocates
Subscriber Access Only Art Advocates
A snapshot of Christian witness in the world (as it appeared in our October issue).
RecommendedRussia's Newest Law: No Evangelizing Outside of Church
Russia's Newest Law: No Evangelizing Outside of Church
(UPDATE) Putin signs new restrictions that limit where and how Christians share the gospel.
TrendingOld Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
Old Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
What a culture of death tells us about a culture of life.
Editor's PickHow Science Became a Weapon in the Mommy Wars
How Science Became a Weapon in the Mommy Wars
Peer-reviewed research intensifies parenting debates… and can leave us even more confused.
Christianity Today
Unexpected Global Lessons
hide thisDecember December

In the Magazine

December 2007

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.