Review: Short-Term Missions Workbook

Kathy Hillman reviews "Short-Term Missions Workbook" by Tim Dearborn.

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Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens

By Tim Dearborn (IVP)

In a world where “the Western church spends as much on short-term mission trips as on long term missionaries,” how does a team, family, or individual participate so that hosts are glad they came rather than relieved they left? Tim Dearborn answers that question and others in the revised edition of Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens.

Although the author has chosen not to tackle such issues as logistics and travel planning, he offers a helpful bibliography on those subjects. Instead, the veteran overseas missionary, World Vision International director and mission trip leader provides a preparation workbook suitable for teens through senior adults. The manual clearly lays out the benefits and risks of short-term missions, asks readers to assess motivation and urges participants to commit to God, to the team and to those served through personal prayer and training.

Ideally, the team completes nine 30-minute to 60-minute sessions prior to their journey and one after return. Chapters contain group activities, Scripture readings, questions for reflection and discussion, and a variety of material and challenges. Topics covered include understanding culture and stereotypes, communicating, crossing bridges, focusing on others, facing risks and exposure to adversity, and working and living together. Dearborn leaves the reader with eight what-can-I-learn questions. An appendix contains a leader’s guide, language and cultural helps, debriefing questions and other valuable items.

If all teams completed the Short-Term Missions Workbook, far more lives would be changed with far greater impact. And there would be far fewer missteps, far fewer missed opportunities and far fewer hosts happy to say good-bye.

Kathy Robinson Hillman, former president

Baptist General Convention of Texas

Waco

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