"It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way." (Proverbs 19:2)
The above passage highlights an important truth: passion alone misses the mark. Perhaps nowhere is this proverb's wisdom more needed than in the short term mission movement. The U.S. Standards of Excellence (SOE) in Short-Term Mission, is a code of best practices for the STM community. The seven standards call short-term mission facilitators and participants to combine passionate activity with knowledge in order to achieve excellence and provide effective kingdom service in partnership with the global body of Christ.
A startling amount of resources pour into short-term missions. In the past decade we've witnessed exponential growth in the number of U.S. STM participants. Many have raised questions about the long-term effectiveness of all this zealous activity. Short-term volunteers are often ill-prepared, culturally insensitive, focused mainly on their own growth experience, or lack understanding ...1