Sunday, April 12, 2015

Reflections on 'teams' Part 1

I like to read. I like to teach and share information with my family.

 I daily look for interesting articles that make me think and look at things in a different way or introduce entirely new opinions and facts.

Topics that interest me range far and wide but a few really peak my interest like science, medicine, and missions. Sub-topics that really interest me in missions include: relationships, health of missionaries, communication, and one of my favorites- missionary kids.

I find it interesting and sometimes sad the amount of time and energy that can be wasted on debating certain 'hot' or controversial topics. I rarely find universal truths that can apply to ALL or even MOST missionaries.

Depending on your location, the culture, the type of work, the specific age or type of group you are working with ---the 'rules' or 'best way to do X,Y, or Z can change significantly.

So while I may rapidly scan articles that discuss the value or worth of this or that technique, I find that as I get older, I realize that too many folks strongly defend positions based more on background or emotions than on facts.  The 'facts' are so complicated; many things or accomplishments in life cannot be easily measured.

Only the Lord knows the impact of an encouraging smile or conversation. A faithful partner who prays daily for a people group they never saw in person. 

One of the popular debate topics in the last few years in missions that continues to come up on blogs or in articles concerns the value or harm of 'short term mission trips'.....should they even be called short term mission trips?

What projects are best? Should they wear matching team shirts? Could the money be spent better by nationals?  Do we need to call them 'discovery' or 'learning' trips? And so on and so forth.

I started this blog during a visit from a 'team' from a supporting church. This small team of 5 people came for spring break. Not a very long visit-only 5 full days bookended with travel days. [Discloser this team consisted of Cory's sister, brother-in-law and 3 of their kids]

Some may look at the blogs and what we did and say that it was vacation and not much of a ministry....but I want to help dispel this notion.

Watch for part 2.

1 comment:

Chris and Kath Sloan said...

So interested to hear your thoughts! By the way did we tell you we have three TCK friends here in South Bend?? Really neat people. Miss you guys! Praying.