Are Short Term Mission Trips a Waste of Time?

October 22nd, 2010

The answer?  “Depends on the mindset of those going,” according to Noel Becchetti.  He provides an interesting break down of unhelpful attitudes Westerners often bring as they go to minister in other cultures.  Despite the title of his article, keep in mind he actually does promote short term missions.  If you’re considering taking a missions trip, I encourage you to read it:

Why Most Mission Trips Are a Waste of Time

Apparently, task-oriented rather than relationship-oriented is what gets Westerners into the most trouble.  Noel writes,

“One of the most common cultural collisions occurs between linear cultures (like ours) and nonlinear cultures (like Latin). Our culture is task-oriented; Latin culture is people-oriented. Our culture is time-sensitive; Latin culture is situation-sensitive.”

My assessment is this lack of relational focus gets us Westerners in trouble here at home too.  In light of this, my next several posts are going to have the following theme: Being Missional is Being Relational

“Relationship with [those you’re visiting] is far more important than money, buildings, and preaching. They will remember you for your love and friendship, not what you did!” (shorttermers.com)

2 Responses to “Are Short Term Mission Trips a Waste of Time?”

  1. Danny R Says:

    You have certainly been thinking a lot about mission trips! I wonder if you are considering going…

  2. Nick Says:

    As a matter of fact, Sherlock… :-) I am! Just gotta figure out the little details like when, where, how, why, stuff like that.

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