Short-term Missions and/or Volunteer trips are not always beneficial for the people who are being “served”. Why? Read more here.
We need to make sure, especially as Westerners, that we are not going into a community, doing things how we do it, and leaving the community feeling helpless while we feel like heroes. Going to Africa for three weeks to a country where we don’t speak the language to take pictures with kids whose names we can’t pronounce looks good on a resume. It doesn’t do a lot of good for the community, though.
Traveling to Nepal to a church in the mountains to give out guitars and drum sets to the worship team looks awesome posted on Facebook. When the Westerners leave and the Nepalese church realizes they need plug-ins, chords, drum mutes, and who knows what else, they become discouraged. They may feel they don’t “worship correctly” (aka worship like Westerners) when, in reality, Heaven will be filled with much more creativity than American Rock – thank God! This is an example of us as Westerners having good intentions with really bad strategy.
Once again, I stress the importance of STRATEGIC missions. To take an entire class on strategic missions, which is taught by missionaries who have years of experience on the field, take Perspectives. I HIGHLY recommend the course and have not met one single person who has taken the course whose life has not been changed and ruined for God’s best in strategic missions.