Thursday, July 17, 2008

Short term missions

Great discussion going on over at Andrew Jones Blog

Short terms missions teams tend to be groups of young people who go away for two weeks to engage in some form of "mission" work, building projects, orphanages, helping out in churches or coming and working on the streets with people like us!

I haven't always been a fan sometimes it can feel a bit like christian tourism and there can be a lot of money spent on actually getting a team to a destination etc.. Some argue, me included, that the money actually spent on getting the team to the destination could be better spent given directly to the charity.

However my mind has changed and I am more open to the concept of mission teams than ever before.

We will have had 9 teams out here this year plus 7 people who have come for a month or more and we couldn't actually do what we do without them

So for us they:

1. Enhance the quality of work we do especially with bodies out on the street.
2. Encourage us just by hanging out with us and helping us to remember we are connected to something bigger
3. get a heart for what we do and pray for us upon their return
4. occasionally throw someone up who wants to join us longer term
5. help generate financial support for all we are trying to do

I guess for them we bring a challenge on issues of grace, prayer and service, I feel most people grow by serving out here.

the down sides as Andrew rightly mentions is that I think Ibiza is quite a cool place to come to and it appears to be easy to attract people we don't want to end up just as a trendy destination as long as we feel that people are helping us build we will keep having teams. When we move to the point were we feel as a community that we are predominantly serving the teams and they aren't serving the work here we will need to revisit it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was a privilege to be out with you, both times. 24-7 Ibiza was actually my first short term mission team outside of Northern Ireland, I have had my reservations about such teams in the past as well, namely the "mission begins at home" sentiment.

I think I can speak for the Dublin folks when I say that we felt incredibly welcomed into the core of mission you guys are involved in. We felt valued and needed, and your willingness to trust us with the mission you've all spent years building gave us licence to immerse ourselves in it and give everything we had.

Take encouragement from the numbers of Christians wanting to serve with you; whilst I admit Ibiza is a cool place to be, I returned because I've never felt so free serving Christ in my life, and I've never seen love work itself out in action so fittingly as it does through the Christians in the West End! I don't think anyone who serves with you can miss those big truths and experiences!