Last month I attended the Wild Goose Festival and had the opportunity to hear a presentation by the hosts of the Failed Missionary podcast and the author of The Very Worst Missionary. The conversation revealed a lot of pain and questions around the practice of mission, in particular, evangelical short-term mission and mission placements of … Continue reading What is Mission?
Eleven years ago I had the opportunity to lead a mission trip to Belhar, near Cape Town. Our team worked with a Methodist Church, helping them with the part of the construction on their new building. We took a lot of pictures. Everyone had a camera, most with digital memory sticks that we downloaded onto … Continue reading Mission Selfies
Next year, United Methodist Women will celebrate their 150th anniversary of women organized for mission. In 1869, Methodists had been training and sending missionaries for nearly 50 years, but women were only allowed to participate as missionary wives. The Mission Board did not financially support mission training for women, nor did they see the need … Continue reading What’s History Got to Do With Mission Trips?
This past weekend two things happened: a friend asked me a question and I got a new compass. I’ll be honest. I really love hiking, but I have NO idea how to use a compass. Now that I live in a region with lots of trails, I’ve been learning. I’ve gone to classes, I’ve researched … Continue reading Planning a Short-Term Mission Trip – Part Three: Do No Harm
Welcome to part two of our series on planning a short-term mission trip! Monday we discussed selecting a destination. Today we consider the question of the work done on a mission trip. How do you choose what work your mission team will do on your mission trip? And when do you make this decision? In … Continue reading Planning A Short-Term Mission Trip – The Work Project
#MyHope4Methodism If you are a member of the United Methodist Church, you are likely already aware of the conflicts and divisions within the denomination. If not, a quick internet search may lead to you to blogs, articles, news reports and Twitter feeds about our wrestling with how to be a single denomination while holding differing … Continue reading Cross-Cultural Short-Term Mission
Ten years ago my oldest daughter went on a youth mission trip. She was the only one from our church, joining a group of youth from churches in our district. They spent the week working on the kitchen of an elderly woman who told them stories of growing up in Jamaica, how proud she was … Continue reading The Problem of Persistent Poverty
Woah. That’s too much. A couple weeks ago, my friend Jonathan was in my town on business. We invited him over for dinner and enjoyed catching up, laughing and talking while we ate dinner. Dinner table conversation is underrated, in my view. I think it’s one of the most important ways we build each other … Continue reading Conversations Around the Table
Rev. Matt Lacey, director of United Methodist Volunteers in Mission for the Southeast Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church wrote a blog post this week digging into the term “voluntourism”. Voluntourism mashes together the words “volunteer” and “tourism” and describes what some critics of short-term mission see as the main problem with the practice of … Continue reading Moving Beyond Voluntourism