“Short-term teams can be the wind in your sails or the waves against you.”
We heard the phrase above the last time we were at the Adventures in Missions’ office. As we have had a team in April, a friend visit and serve in May, and 2 more teams coming in July, this idea has been forefront in our minds.
Thankfully, we have, more often that not, encountered teams that are blessings to us. As summer approaches, and your church sends teams out, please think about these things, and how your short term team is just that – short.
Short term teams are hard. They take time away from regular daily tasks or meetings, require things to be set up in advance (in countries that don’t usually function that way), and trying to translate language and culture all the time can be exhausting.
But in the hard, there can be a strengthening of connections with partners for those of us who stay,
or there can be destruction of those relationships.
There can be a better understanding of how to pray and come alongside the national partners and the missionaries,
or there can be false promises and lack of follow-through.
Their energy can be a renewal of vision and excitement for what God is doing,
or it can be draining and exhausting.
Find ways to build up those who stay, listen to those who live there, and encourage the ways God is already moving there.