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Philosophy of Short Term Mission Ministry

GCC – STM Philosophy of Ministry – 2017

A.  STM Overview

 1.   All STM trips will be designed to partner with an established, like-minded church, or one of our supported missionaries.  This allows for a solid foundation for ministry on the trip and ongoing ministry after the trip.

2.  We desire to work hard at careful communication and preparation with the partnering church or missionary so as not overwhelm their resources or be an undue burden on their ministry.  We understand that a STM team almost always means for the hosting church and ministry team the following:  a heavy work load, a draw on resources and some level of distraction from their primary ministries.

3.  We also understand that the opportunity to visit and encourage our missionaries can carry great benefit for them, the team members, and therefore the church as a whole.

4.  We believe that a well-run STM trip is an investment in the present and future health of the church in all its capacities, including ongoing growth in missionary endeavors.

B.  General Goals for an STM Trip

1.   Encouragement of supported missionaries and like-minded churches.

2.  Some level of ministry enhancement for the church or missionary hosting the team.

3.  Spiritual growth and use of giftedness by those on the team.

4.  Greater enthusiasm and involvement in the sending church by those who went on the trip.

5.  Greater recognition and enthusiasm for the work of God, through the church, around the world.

6.  Greater appreciation for other churches and ministries outside our own.

7.  Increased prayer, participation, and giving for the work of God, through the church, around the world.

C.  What to Expect In Preparation for an STM Trip

1.  Monthly or bi-monthly meetings for preparation, prayer, encouragement and spiritual accountability.

2.  Some level of evangelism training.

3.  Training in writing and sharing your testimony.

D.  What to Expect on an STM Trip

 1.  Continual encouragement to avoid or overcome selfishness and laziness.

2.  Constant exhortation to be aware of and sensitive to the customs and culture of the country you are visiting.

3.  Careful use of social media and electronic devices.

4.  Continual evaluation of how your need put the needs of the team and the ministry above your own.

5.  Some measure of exhaustion and physical exertion beyond what you may be used to.

E.  Financial Policy for an STM Trip

 1.   You need to be able to commit for the full amount of the trip – even if you are planning to raise support.

2.  We ask that you provide some amount of personal funds for the trip – even if you could receive full funding from others.

3.  We ask that you view the finances for the STM trip as completely separate from your normal giving to the church and that you do not reduce the amount you give monthly in order to provide for the trip.

4.  In most cases, you will need to be able to provide at least $1,000 for plane tickets by mid-March (for summer trips).

5.  Money paid for the trip needs to be viewed as non-refundable, even if for some reason you are not able to go on the trip.

6.  Support given to the church on your behalf cannot be “refunded” to you after the trip.

7.  Some level of support may be provided by the church but this will vary from team to team and may not be available in any given year.

8.  In general you will not be able to arrange your transportation or any part of the trip personally as this makes organization very difficult and may be a detriment to other team members.