Jump directly to the Content

Common Pitfalls of Short-Term Missions

How to prevent these potential problems.
Common Pitfalls of Short-Term Missions

Every year churches and missions organizations send out hundreds of short-term missions teams. These short-termers send out support letters, organize fundraisers, plan, pray, and eventually pack their bags—all in preparation to serve God some place other than where they live.

In spite of efforts to prepare for these trips, many groups—and individuals—are still victims of the most common pitfalls of short-term missions.

It's Not about Location, Location, Location

Doug Franklin is the founder and president of LeaderTreks, a ministry committed to developing student leaders. Each year, LeaderTreks' staff leads youth groups and school groups on dozens of short-term mission trips within the United States and overseas.

Franklin attributes many of the pitfalls he has witnessed to a lack of preparation, or an incomplete understanding of the nature of the mission.

"The biggest problem I see is that people put an emphasis on location instead of service," Franklin says. ...

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

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
The New Evangelism
The New Evangelism
How churches from different countries, different cultures are demonstrating and proclaiming the gospel.
From the Magazine
How a Mother’s Love Built a School that Can Transform Hearts and Brains
How a Mother’s Love Built a School that Can Transform Hearts and Brains
Jacob’s Ladder challenges special education norms thanks to Amy O’Dell's relentless belief in her son.
Editor's Pick
What Sanctification Looks Like
What Sanctification Looks Like
The Bible’s diverse narratives help us disciple those entrusted to our care.
close