Minto Baptist

The Value of Short-Term Missions

Tue, July 27, 2010


Article by CBM—When asked to define the term mission, the great Scottish missiologist and church-leader, Bishop Lesslie Newbigin gave a stunning answer “Mission is learning!” He had, for decades, struggled with understanding the delicate relationship between the sending and receiving church, the rise of the voice of Christian leaders in the global South*, the tendency toward colonial mission patterns from the wealthy North, and the need for a new understanding of the local church in mission. While some people felt that mission(s) was all about evangelism and others were convinced it was all about social engagement, Newbigin cut through the haze and defined mission simply as learning.


One of the exciting and growing edges of global mission is the emphasis on short-term mission (STM) trips. When CBM joins hands with Canadian Baptist churches and facilitates such STM opportunities, we are driven by the deep conviction that mission is learning. Whether you go on a two week trip to Haiti or a two year one to Bolivia. Whether you travel alone to work with Somali refugees in North-East Kenya or with a group from your church to help build a home in El Salvador. The crux of experience is about learning: about being God’s missionary people, serving the poor, the cost of discipleship and what can be done back home.


There is a fascinating image of learning from one another in 2 Corinthians 8 & 9. The Apostle Paul is encouraging the wealthy church of Corinth to join hands with their brothers and sisters in Macedonia in offering help for the famine relief in Palestine. He encourages them to become partners with the poorer churches. Paul uses a powerful image of learning together. In 2 Corinthians 8:13-14 he writes, “Our desire is … equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn, their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality.”


Through short-term mission, we are inviting Canadian churches to become co-learners and partners with the church in the South*. It is much more than just relieving another person’s needs, or offering help to build a home or paint a classroom. Mission is learning from one another and allowing God to shape us through the experiences we share. The result may just be a mighty movement of global disciples, living passionately for God in a broken world.

Welcome To My Neighbourhood in India

Join us as we travel to India for a five-day adventure called Welcome to My Neighbourhood.

Welcome To My Neighbourhood is CBM’s mission curriculum for children, offering Bible lessons, stories of children from around the world, and a variety of activities, games and crafts for you to use at camp, summer outreach or throughout the year.  It’s a great tool to promote our India partnership!

Order your FREE copy today by emailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

OR visit the web site at

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