When a member of your local church comes to you and says “I want to go on a short term mission trip!”, it’s important to know who you’re working with. What sense of calling do they have for the mission? How financially and practically prepared are they to go? Do they have the life skills and experience to meet the requirements of the short term mission? How actively and energetically are they presently serving the Lord? How enthusiastic is their participation in the local church? It’s so important to answer as many of these questions as possible before you SEND them. While the process might not be as thorough as for long term missions, it is still vital to invest some time in thinking things through and planning.
How can you determine the answers? ASSESS the candidate. Get the church leaders together and have an interview – ask them the tough questions, get real answers. This isn’t a grill session, it’s an opportunity to hear their heart, to join them in celebrating what God is doing, to band together to seek the Lord’s guidance. Pray with them, love them, encourage them… and at the same time, protect them, guide them, shepherd them. As you assess, cheerlead and exhort. Make plans. Then pray some more. The goal of assessment is that as church leaders, you would be able to be fully informed and fully behind the short term workers and teams that you send.