“The gospel . . . is the power of God that brings salvation.” Romans 1:16

CBM

Why Short Term Missions?

We want to dispel any notion that short-term is a throw away activity that does little to nothing for the cause of global evangelism

March 2017


Short term comes across as something not to be taken seriously.  So why is CBM entering the realm of short-term missions?  We want to dispel any notion that short-term is a throw away activity that does little to nothing for the cause of global evangelism.  It certainly has its pitfalls that dampen ministry effectiveness, leaves a very poor impression upon the target audience, and a mess for the hosting worker to clean up.  It can also lead to an “immunization” effect where participants feel they fully understand the missional calling and can check this off their spiritual “to-do” list.  These are very real and unfortunate outcomes of mistaken short-term missions’ efforts.  Though potential problems loom, it does not warrant abandoning a very useful tool in building up the body of Christ.  Every Christian must be exposed to, and given opportunity to practice, missional living.  In fact, a missionary’s lifestyle is expected of all disciples of Jesus.  We are sojourners and temporary citizens here.  We are ambassadors from another country.  We represent another sovereign and speak on His behalf.  We are only moments away from being called home, but in the meantime, we are to faithfully fulfill the duties and obligations placed upon us by our king.


Not only is the disciple’s ambassadorship representative of the sending country, it is also one of serving on behalf of the sending country.  Missionaries are not placed to just make announcements, but to build relationships and serve the people they live with.  Everything is mirrored on the life and ministry of Jesus.  The difficulty of raising and placing people in the field is simple logistics.  The farther away, the more remote, the greater cultural difference, the fewer are inclined to go.  This is where the biggest benefit of short term work and the greatest need for raising and placing people meet.  Short-term trips open the eyes of our church members to both the need and lifestyle of missionaries.  It provides an opportunity, because the duration is brief, to immerse ourselves in the what-ifs of God’s calling to world evangelism.  It places people in the uncomfortable setting of not knowing and not controlling circumstances and introduces us to the full embrace of the Holy Spirit as He gives insight, direction, resources, and peace and power to accomplish what we could never on our own.  The vibrant experience of answered prayer, of power to endure, of comfort in discouragement, of fruit when all seems barren, of the reality of Jesus Christ in “us” and for “them” will all revolutionize how we mobilize, equip and send workers into God’s harvest field whether local or global.  The benefits are real and profound.  What we must avoid and work diligently to overcome is the typical inertia that sets in when we think “mission” accomplished or job done.  As long as the Lord tarries in his imminent return, we have a calling and obligation to faithfully labor in his world.  CBM undertakes this new aspect of global evangelism and church planting to serve the Lord’s church in equipping and sending.


– Jerry Wong