Short-term missions is good AND bad

By October 25, 2006

USA (MNN) — George Verwer, the founder of Operation Mobilization, is saying something that may be a bit controversial. However, if you know Verwer, you know he doesn’t mind doing that especially when he knows it’s true. He says when it comes to short-term missions, churches and mission organizations need to be careful.

“There are a lot of ‘noodle heads’ going into short-term missions,” says Verwer in an interview with Mission Network News. He says, “They don’t have any training and they’re just going on a lark — kind of a Christian vacation.”

Verwer says, “I’m not totally negative about all of these things, but I believe even people on short-term missions from churches who send a dozen people to a country still need training. They need preparation as we cannot have culturally insensitive people.”

He says when you combine American cultural insensitivity with pride and arrogance, that is bad news. He says these people cause problems for the work abroad.

He told Assist News that, “I’m leading a campaign called, ‘Stay In America — We Don’t Want You Yet.’ It’s going to upset a lot of people because there are a lot of churches getting into short-term missions because they think that’s the big thing.”

He says churches have gotten away from sending career missionaries. “They think, just send people from their church on short-term outreaches and they partner with other groups that are as good. But often it is in countries where there are already thousands of churches.” So, frontier evangelistic work isn’t taking place.

Verwer says indigenous mission workers won’t tell the U-S church not to come because, “They need the funding,” says Verwer.

Pray that churches who are sending short-term teams will go through the needed training so missionary work isn’t jeopardized.

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