Let Short-Term Work Yield Good Results


Edifying activities of short-term workers

  • Observe and learn in order to serve more effectively at home or abroad.
  • Meet urgent needs of any kind, those of missionaries and of nationals.
  • If experienced in coaching, then coach others or hold workshops for national workers, to equip them to multiply churches. Lasting effectiveness usually requires repeated visits and building relationships over time.
  • If you are unfamiliar with the culture, then avoid dealing with culturally related church activities, style of worship and methods of training. Much damage has been done by well-meaning visitors that assume their own church’s procedures will fit another field.

Unwise motives for short-terms

  • A condescending assumption that you will be a blessing to the poor people, instead of going humbly and eager to learn, to receive a blessing from them.
  • Giving young people something to do during vacation.
  • Doing building projects or giving toward physical needs, creating dependency, making them beggars and blunting their stewardship, where national Christians should be meeting the needs on their own.
  • Seeking opportunities to preach to a big crowd.
  • Introducing inappropriate technology and methods that do not fit the economic and educational level of nationals.
  • Introducing into local worship Western entertainment that is foreign to the culture.
  • Introducing Western, individualistic, private approaches to evangelism.
  • Dealing with local economic issues without understanding the realities of local commerce, marketing, supply and capabilities, especially where people are suffering deep poverty.

Preparation for short-terms workers

  • Ask workers on the field how you can serve and be served, then respect their advice.
  • Find what local church leaders want (besides cash) and prepare to help them.
  • Arrange for useful events that nationals cannot deal with, because of feuds or politics.
  • Make sure your aims contribute to the larger purpose and long term goals of field workers.



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