I recently read this in Lesslie Newbigin’s The Open Secret: An Introduction to the Theology of Mission.
All thinking about the world mission of the church today must thankfully and joyfully take into account of the fact that the “home base” of missions is now nothing less than the worldwide community, and every proposed expression of the church’s missionary outreach must be tested by asking whether it can be accepted by the whole ecumenical family as an authentic expression of the gospel.
I wonder what would happen if all short-term mission efforts began with some simple questions? Do you want us to come? Will you accept our mission efforts? What a grand idea—to be asked to be accepted by the church community in a host country—instead of assuming that we are needed, we must go, and they must accommodate us. So many short-term mission efforts are done more for the experience of the goers, than for those who are supposedly being served. When one considers the billions being spent on just the jet fuel for short-term missions, we need to seriously ask, What are the strategic long term benefits?
There is a huge need for training in short-term missions and partnership with indigenous ministries. This is why Mission ONE has developed The Beauty of Partnership learning journey. Would you like to join the journey with us?