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The following is a list of articles published in periodicals that deal specifically with missions or STMs and/or written by people with considerable experience in the STM field. Click on the links to see either the full text or a more detailed outline.
- "To The Ends Of The Earth: Lay Volunteers In Missions: A Panel Discussion." Baptist History and Heritage. v. 29 no. 3, (July 1994): 28.
- Atkins, Andrew. "Work teams? No, taste and see teams." Evangelical Missions Quarterly (Oct. '91).
"The fragile world of cross-cultural ministry, based primarily on relationships, sensitivity, and understanding, takes time-one thing that work teams don't have a lot of."
- Becchetti, Noel. "Why Most Mission Trips are a Waste of Time (And How to Make Sure Yours Isn't). Youthworker Journal (March '97).
Short-term mission trips would be more effective if northerners stopped trying to control everything. As it is, they often "accomplish" things that do not really help nationals while pulling ministry partners away from meaningful work.
- Borthwick, Paul. "Short-Term Youth Teams: Are They Worth It?" Evangelical Missions Quarterly. v. 32 no. 4 (Oct. '96): 402-408.
STMs can change North American teenagers' lives if there is significant training beforehand, participants are screened for readiness/dedication, leaders are capable and likeable, the focus is on changing participants' lives (not getting work done), follow-up continues long-term after trip, families support the option of becoming a missionary.
- Clark, L. Blair. "Separating the Wheat from the Chaff: Evaluating Short-Term Mission Opportunities." Didaskalia: the journal of the Winnipeg Theological Seminary. v. 5, no. 1. (October '93): 63-68.
This article says that churches need to ask themselves 5 questions before going on an STM: 1) Whose Needs Drive This Program? 2) Are the Goals Realistic? 3) How Will you Communicate? 4) What Will it Really Cost? 5) Who Will Benefit?
- DeHainaut, Raymond K. "Anachronism and Adventurism: Recent Mission Trends." The Christian Century (March 1, 1995).
The author, who has been a missionary in Latin America since the 1960s, voices concern that much of today's mission activity (particularly short-term mission activity) is "reminiscent of 19th century attitudes and borders on adventurism," due to lack of proper training and a lack of respect for the needs and efforts of nationals. Today's missionaries and STM teams are fostering a sense of dependency among the people they work with, and unprepared missionaries and work teams run up against cultural misunderstandings that inhibit their effectiveness. However, thoughtful, culturally understanding missionaries can always be used.
- Jeffrey, Paul. "Short-Term Mission Trips: Beyond Good Intentions." Christian Century. v. 118 no. 34. (Dec. 12 2001): 5-7.
Good intentions aren't enough to make short-term missions worthwhile. Good short-term missions will make volunteers truly interact and learn from nationals, and will force them beyond their comfort zone. Volunteers should come away with a better knowledge of the root causes of poverty and with a firm idea of how their own lifestyles and decisions are linked to that poverty.
- Pocock, Michael. "Gaining Long-Term Mileage from Short-Term Programs." Evangelical Missions Quarterly, v. 23 no. 2 (Apr. "87): 154-160.
Short-terms done right are effective means to recruit long-termers. "Unless a very clear identification or bonding with the mission organization is formed during their time of service, the worker is likely to remember the experience at the expense of the organization." --p. 157
- Reapsome, Jim. "The Peril of Drive Thru Mission Work." "Final Analysis." (column) World Pulse (Billy Graham Center). v. 28 no. 12 (1993): 8.
The author compares the STM attitude to American culture's demand for fast food. He asks whether STMs are producing long-term results, and what trade offs are we making for the sake of speed. Says results of STMs may be like the seeds in the parable of the sower that start out fast but soon get choked out. "If we burn rubber on missions, all we get is smoke."
- Schwartz, Glenn. "Missionary Forays: An Analysis of Short Term Missions." (essay) Lancaster, PA: World Mission Associates, Jun 01, 1986.
Suggests that short-term mission trips would accomplish more and be better witnesses if northerners took a much more humble approach to interacting with nationals.
- Searle, Howard G. "Medical Missions Reappraised." Evangelical Missions Quarterly. v. 18 no. 4 (Oct. '82): 242-255.
This article is about long-term missionary hospitals, but it covers many topics relevant to today's short-term medical missions. An introduction, five essays by different authors, and a conclusion all point to community-based, preventive healthcare as an improvement over high-tech symptom-treating. It's interesting to note that 21 years after this article was written short-term medical missions seem to be encouraging the opposite.
- Slater, Bryan A. "Short-Term Missions: Biblical Considerations." Evangelical Missions Quarterly. v. 36 no. 4 (Oct. 2000): 452-457.
Cites 12 disciples, apostles Phillip and Paul as biblical examples of short-term missions. Guidelines for modern STMs stress clear goals, cultural and linguistic readiness, integrating with long-term strategy.
- Tucker, John M. "Short Term Missions: Building Sustainable Mission Relationships." Evangelical Missions Quarterly. v. 37 no. 4 (Oct. 2001): 436-441.
Short-term missions more effective if visit the same place year after year and are integrated into work and strategy of long-term missionaries.
- Van Engen, JoAnn. "The Cost of Short-Term Missions." The Other Side. (Jan.-Feb. 2000): 20-30.
The author, a development worker in HOnduras, argues: "Third-world people do not need more rich Christians coming to pain their church and make them feel inadequate. The do need more humble people willing to share in their lives and sacrifices."
- Ver Beek, Kurt. "International Service-Learning: A Call to Caution." Chapter 5 in Commitment and Connection: Service-Learning and Christian Higher Education, Eds. Gail Gunst Heffner and Claudia DeVries Beversluis. New York: University Press of America, Inc., 2002.
The author, who lives in Central America, argues that the vast majority of service-learning trips, (or STMs), "neither understand nor address the true dilemmas of poverty."