The Global Outreach Office receives many inquiries annually as to what resources might be obtained for leading and/or developing a Short Term Missions ministry. Below is a brief annotated bibliography followed by an additional listing of resources which may be of use.
Serving with Eyes Wide Open by David Livermore
Your passport to learning how short-term missions can best serve Christ's kingdom. Short-term mission trips are great ways to impact the kingdom. Yet they can lack effectiveness because of mistakes or naivete on the part of participants. In this insightful and timely book, David A. Livermore calls us to serve with our eyes open to global and cultural realities so we can become more effective cross-cultural ministers. Serving with Eyes Wide Open is a must-have book for anyone doing a short-term mission or service project, whether domestic or overseas.
The Essential Guide to the Short Term Mission Trip by David C. Forward
A helpful and concise guide to the most essential preparatory aspects for a STM. This is the most holistic guide to determining whether to organize a STM all the way through the return. The narrative is easy to read and insightful. Chapters are organized chronologically through the process of leading a STM.
Stepping Out: A Guide to Short Term Missions by Tim Gibson, Steve Hawthorne, Richard Krekel, and Kn Moy.
A compilation of short articles by numerous facilitators of STM. This is not a step by step guide for leaders but rather provides bite-size chunks of food for thought to team members. Recommended uses include assigning relevant chapters to team members for reading and discussion. Almost all chapters are less than 8 pages in length. Though some of the material is dated (published in 1992), the last section on returning home contains timeless principles for debriefing.
A Guide to Short Term Missions by H. Leon Greene
The main chapters of this book contain helpful material, but the real benefit of this resource is found in the appendix. The author is a medical doctor with extensive experience on medical ministry trips. His quick reference guide to illnesses, diseases and immunizations is a helpful introduction to the uninitiated lay leader. Overall, this is a good supplemental resource, but not a comprehensive guide as the title indicates.
Short-term Missions Workbook by Tim Dearborn
A pre-field curriculum for teams to work through individually and as a group. This resource helps a leader prepare a team in cross-cultural communication, team dynamics, and spiritual readiness for the mission ministry. The author does an excellent job of rooting the principles he is communicating in scripture and calling the team member to dig and reflect on his own. Even if not used as a curriculum for a team, STM leaders may find the group exercises for team development and the bible studies fodder for team devotions.
Bibliography of Resources:
Elmer, Duane. Cross-Cultural Connections: Stepping Out and Fitting In Around the World. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002.
Jordan, Peter. Re-Entry: Making the Transition from Missions to Life at Home. Seattle, WA: YWAM Publishing, 1992.
Lane, Patty. A Beginner's Guide to Crossing Cultures: Making Friends in a Multicultural World. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002.
Lanier, Sarah A. Foreign to Familiar. Hagerstown, MD: McDougal Publishing, 2000.
Lingenfelter, Sherwood G., Mayers, Marvin K. Ministering Cross-Culturally: An Incarnational Model for Personal Relationships. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1986.
Peterson, Roger, Aeschliman, Gordon, Sneed, R. Wayne. Maximum Impact Short-Term Mission. Minneapolis, MN: STEM Press, 2003.
Pirolo, Neal. The Reentry Team: Caring for Your Returning Missionaries. San Diego, CA: Emmaus Road International, 2000.
Werner, David. Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook. Palo Alto, CA: The Hesperian Foundation, 1992.