MF Behind the Scenes
Rethinking Short-Term Missions
There are few subjects in the mission world as controversial as short-term missions and their impact on field mission work. Few would argue with the powerful impact that short-term missions are having in mobilizing pastors, churches and young people to support missions or to go as missionaries themselves. There are, however, many questions that still swirl around the effectiveness of these short-term mission efforts and their sometimes detrimental effects to ongoing mission work on the field. But those involved in short-term missions are working to overcome these problems.
In this issue of MF we explore the major trends in short-term missions and present some examples of well thought out efforts to make short-term mission experiences beneficial for both the participants and the work on the field. In all cases the people on the field should have the last say as to whether short-term missions would be helpful or not. The needs and the progress of the work on the field should take priority. Don't miss Luis Bush's thorough examination of the strengths and weakness of both short and long term missions starting on page 16.
An Exciting New Series on Mobilization
When you meet someone who is consistently able to mobilize churches for missions involvement, you wake up and take notice. Earlier this year, just such a person, Larry Reesor of Global Focus, came to visit us here at the U.S. Center. We were all held spellbound as Larry told us story after story of churches that his ministry had worked with which were transformed into mission-minded churches with pastors who now have a passion for missions. We believe that Larry has some crucial insights that we all can use in mobilizing our churches with a passion for missions. I urge you to read his article starting on page 38. This is the first in a series of articles on mobilization that Larry will be doing for us. Keep your eyes open for his articles in future issues.
Major New Global Database Being Developedand It's "HIS"
For years now, the AD2000 and Beyond Movement has been blessing the global Church with critical data on the unreached peoples. They have given us the Joshua Project 2000 list, which includes unreached peoples with over 10,000 population, as well as the related list of Untargeted Peoples. We present the latest list of Untargeted Peoples starting on page 33. If your agency is able, please consider taking responsibility for reaching one of these groups. Perhaps all of them can be targeted by the end of the year 2000.
Now the AD2000 Movement is launching a new database effort that could be their greatest accomplishment yet. It's called the HIS Database and we introduce it to you on page 31. The database will include every people on earth with the latest most up-to-date information on the evangelistic status of every people. It is a major breakthrough in Christian cooperation as they will be combining data from many different mission agency sources. For the first time mission agencies will be able to work, "from the same page" and more effectively cooperate and coordinate their work.
I encourage you to lend your full support to this effort. If the HIS Database is to succeed, it will need thousands of ministry partners who will do everything from working in the office to supplying them with the latest data from the mission field. For more information on how you can be involved, you may E-mail Ron Rowland at <[email protected]>. If you would like to work in the HIS Database office contact them at <[email protected]> or call 719-576-2000. This is an opportunity for global cooperation that we dare not miss.
And the Winner Is...
Throughout last year we encouraged our readers to send in a gift of $15 or more to cover their own subscription and help us spread the vision of reaching the unreached peoples to an ever- growing audience of Christian leaders. Many responded and you can see the results on the following page. As you can see only one state came out at or above 100 percent of what was needed to cover their costs. Congratulations to New Mexico who was the first and only state to cross the line. Overall, these gifts covered just 11 percent of our total costs of producing MF. Advertising brought in another 12 percent. If we are to move forward in proclaiming the vision of reaching the unreached peoples, we will need to do much better this year.
We need you to send in a donation of $15 or more to help cover our costs. We need all of our readers to do to one of the three things listed below.
- Let us know if you do not wish to continue receiving Mission Frontiers, so we can take you off our list and save much needed funds.
- Let us know if you want to continue receiving the magazine but cannot afford to send in a gift.
- Let us know if you want to continue receiving the magazine by sending in a onetime or monthly gift of $15 to help us spread the vision.