1. Why are you going on a short-term missions project?

Of course we assume part of your motivation is founded in your desire to be obedient to the Great Commission. Are you going on this project because you want to test the waters to see if career missions might be what God is calling you to? It is not at all unreasonable for someone to take one trip and fall in love with a particular location and want to commit their ministry years to that location. Or maybe you want to simply give God a week or two of your vacation time or a break from school to sow something for Him, rather than yourself.a

2. What type of experience do you want?

Short-term mission trips can involve you in construction, evangelism, teaching, medical, ministry to street kids, or other areas. Do you have a particular skill that will enable you to contribute something to the team when you participate? Don’t feel like you have to be a gifted carpenter to work on a construction project. You will be amazed at what novices can do when you add the right amount of on-site coaching and the motivation to serve the Lord.  Oftentimes, just your presence on the project brings the intangibles such as encouragement and support to the folks you work with.

3. What level of cross-cultural experience do you want or need?

There could be two answers to this question. The cross-cultural level you want may not be the cross-cultural level you need. One of the most common mistakes people make in short-term missions is starting out with a cross-cultural experience they simply aren't ready for. Basic levels of cross-cultural barriers may include only one or two stress factors. You could go to an Indian reservation in the U.S. have the cross-cultural barriers of education level, income level, and an ethnic level. You will speak the same language for the most part, but this is a great cross-cultural experience for beginning your short-term missions experience. Now add to that mix the stress of traveling to another country where they may or may not speak your language. Perhaps you might want to consider being a member of a larger team on your first overseas or international project where your lodging is in a camp or dormitory setting. Here you have a safe place to retreat to in the evenings where you can speak with people who speak your language and the food is familiar. The next level of difficulty is traveling as a smaller group to a foreign country and living within the community of those you serve. You still have your teammates close by to provide familiarity with your own language and customs, but you are more fully immersed into the culture in terms of where you work, what you eat, how you communicate, and what you do in your free time. The most demanding type of experience is when you are either on your own or in a small group and you live in the home of a national family who cannot speak your language, nor can you speak theirs! It would not be wise to sign up for a two-week trip of this nature if you have not tested your ability to handle cross-cultural barriers in less intense experiences.

Level 1

  • Project components: Same country, Same language, Possible different ethnic group, Large group
  • Stress level: Low
  • Experience level: First-timers, jr. high & high school age

Level 2

  • Project components: Different country, Same language, Different ethnic group, Housed together in familiar setting
  • Stress level: Low to medium
  • Experience level: Mature first-timers or those with little experience overseas

Level 3

  • Project components: Different country, Different language, Different ethnic group, Small group housed together in community
  • Stress level: Medium
  • Experience level: Previous STM experience recommended

Level 4

  • Project components: Different country, Different language, Different ethnic group, Individual or small group housed separately with national families
  • Stress level: High
  • Experience level: Previous STM experience recommended

There are other questions to consider about yourself, but these issues at least give you something to think about as you plan.

Foursquare Missions Resources

FMI Prayer Guide

Each month, Foursquare Missions International publishes a guide to help us pray for missionaries around the world and the projects they are working on. Download the Monthly Prayer Guide for ways that you can incorporate Foursquare Missions into your daily prayers.

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FMI Quarterly Supplement

Released quarterly, the Foursqure Missions International (FMI) quarterly supplement is available to Foursquare churches as a free download. Showcasing what The Foursquare Church is doing around the world, the downloadable PDFs are ideal for church information tables or as a bulletin insert.

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FMI Videos and More

Visit Leadership Tools to find videos and other helpful Foursquare Missions International tools.

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Foursquare Missions Press

Order free tracts and other evangelistic resources for your upcoming Foursquare missions trip. Foursquare Missions Press, the non-profit literature arm of Foursquare Missions International, has helped to spread the gospel to 110 countries in 52 languages. In addition, Foursquare Missions Press produces the Children's Gospel Box, ideal for children's ministry in the U.S. and around the world.

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Last modified on Monday, 29 April 2013 20:57