Maybe you’re more of the quiet temperament and feel you’d be out of place on a summer camp mission. Or maybe you’re not as physically agile as you used to be to serve with a construction team.
There’s room on those teams for you, too.
It never ceases to amaze me how God forms and fashions short-term mission teams. We have a firm conviction that team members must know that they’re called to a short-term mission assignment, and we’re not the kind of leaders who take any and all willing bodies, but we learned long ago to never dismiss someone because of their “limitations.”
Without failure, whenever we announce a short-term mission trip, for as many interest responses we get, nearly just as many, “I wish I could go, but…” responses come in (and they’re not just work or money related). And to just about everyone, we ask, “If God wants you to go, will you believe you can go, even though…?”
That’s our reply because we’ve discovered that being too narrow or general with our mission description potentially robs us of having what could be a really dynamic team.
Here’s what I mean:
A mission that’s called to build a new dormitory at an orphanage shouldn’t be strictly a construction team. Being young and athletic isn’t the sole requirement for a camp mission. And a teaching mission shouldn’t be made up of just teachers.
- How about bringing a team photographer/videographer whose job is to capture the team in action and get all those great shots that can never be repeated?
- Or a team scribe, who records the events of your journey (the ones you promise yourself to remember, but they still get forgotten).
- And what about a team intercessor who is covering each individual, the team as a whole, and those who you are serving.
- Then, there’s what we recently discovered in having a team grandparent, who gave our host missionaries the surprise blessing of a much needed baby break.
If you’re someone who longs for a short-term mission experience, but the perfect fit hasn’t shown up, think about asking the team leader whether or not there’s room for a supporting role that you’re able to fill.
And for those of you who plan and lead short-term mission teams, consider how you might broaden the job description of your mission to include those one or two individuals who might otherwise not feel qualified. You’ll be glad you did!