Short-term mission trips are the best and the worst things we do in North American youth ministry.
That’s the first sentence in this book, and it sets the rationale for why this dialogue is so critically important. Of course, intentionality is important in all aspects of youth ministry, but since short-term missions have such a unique possibility of doing more harm than good (both for participants and those we serve), it’s about time we had a more robust conversation about the good, bad, and ugly.
5 Views on Youth Ministry Short-Term Missions reflects the thoughts, stories, and real-life tips of five in-the-trenches youth workers who regularly lead short-term mission trips. Here you’ll find practical wisdom on many approaches to STMs, from work camps to urban missions to long-term partnerships with Indigenous church leaders across the globe. Appendices tackle the important topics of junior high short-term missions and the incredible value of multigenerational trips.
With compelling stories and reflective questions (plus some pushback in chapter responses), the array of wise perspectives here will both affirm and challenge your thinking—and will provide encouragement and challenge as you approach short-term missions in your own ministry.
Meet the Contributors
Mark Oestreicher is a veteran youth worker and founding partner in The Youth Cartel.
Todd Freneaux serves as the Jeremiah Project’s Executive Director, where he lives out his passion for mission, ministry, and leadership development with middle and high school students.
Susie Gamez served as a youth pastor and church planter in South Central Los Angeles for fourteen years and is now on staff with Light and Life Christian Fellowship in Long Beach, CA.
Jon Huckins is the Co-Founding Director of The Global Immersion Project, a peacemaking training organization helping people of faith engage our divided world in restorative ways.
Jim Noreen is on the leadership team at Praying Pelican Missions, where he focuses exclusively on effective short-term missions through a local church partnership model.
Kurt Rietema is the Director of Justice Initiatives at Youthfront. He lives and works in a diverse, under-resourced neighborhood of Kansas City.
Shawn Kiger is the Director of Youth and Missions at Wright’s Chapel UMC in Ladysmith, VA.