Short-term Missions Workbook

Tim Dearborn

This is a very useful book for those preparing for short term mission. I read this book just to review it and I have been on a few short term mission trips both with a group and also alone. I have been a participant and a leader. 'Short term mission' is not a clearly defined term. In my opinion, short term mission is every trip with a Christian aim, from building a school in an exotic country for three weeks up to going to do street evangelisation for 5 months in a foreign city. It's from that perspective that I've read and reviewed this book.

The book assumes that short term mission is something you usually do with a team, so it expects there to be team meetings for preparations. The book is divided into eight chapters and each chapter can be used at a team meeting; which would give eight team meetings ... quite a lot in my opinion for a short term mission trip.

All kinds of topics are dealt with from culture shock to effective communication, from expectations to reverse culture shock. All this is written with a long term view, which means it not only prepares for the next short term mission trip, but also for how this trip affects the long term 'ministry' of the participant. It contains bible passages to discover how the bible relates to each particular area of mission and also has points for praying.

This is a workbook, which means that readers have to answer a lot of questions. That makes this book very practical because it helps you think about your trip, about your motives, about struggles, culture shock, cross cultural communication and how this trip affects your life when you are back home. It also contains games and exercises to help you get to know your team and to learn how to deal with cross cultural situations.

There is a special section for team leaders on how to use each chapter in a team meeting or a preparation session. As a team leader you can use this book as a complete course or you can use parts of the book in your team sessions.

To conclude, the 'Short-term Missions Workbook' is very practical and complete. It deals with everything you should know in advance. It is a must have and a must do book for teams who are preparing for short term missions. Must do, because the book not only prepares you through reading (normal for most course books) but also through doing!

Reviewed by Jaap Jansma

Jaap Jansma is a Dutch student currently studying mission at Redcliffe College.