Every Christian has a part to play in God’s mission to the world. It’s a mission that he started and that goes to the ends of the earth, and to the end of time! Mike Chalmers reflects on short-term mission.
Short-term mission is typically any length of time from one week right up to two years – but with long-term gospel impact. It obviously includes Brits going abroad. But it can also involve staying within the UK and even internationals travelling here!
UFM supports around 225 mission partners in 40 countries. We’re confident that serving alongside them will provide rich opportunities for the individual, their church, and the mission partner.
“I came back challenged by the huge need and amazed by the potential for the gospel”.
Individuals and their church are able to test and develop gifts, and learn first-hand about God’s long-term global mission, as they hold out the word of life to the least reached and support under-resourced churches.
Commenting after his medical elective in Ivory Coast, Jeremy said, “I came back challenged by the huge need and amazed by the potential for the gospel”.
The Childs family, serving in the Republic of Ireland, hosted a visiting summer team in their church. They reflected how this enabled them “to do more than we could on our own, to enthuse our church about service, and to equip those visiting to serve in a different context.”
It wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that traditional short-term mission opportunities have been limited in these last 18 months. International travel still feels like a distant memory! But God’s mission has not stopped, nor is his mission solely about crossing borders.
“Being in a team of mission workers, meeting local believers, experiencing church life overseas, seeing family life for mission workers, and getting to know locals, were just some of the highlights.”
William Brown, UFM’s Deputy Director and an elder at Emmanuel Church, Chippenham, explains that, “We don’t want to merely send individuals, but to forge a link as a church that will encourage ongoing prayer and interest in God’s work.”
As well as having long-term impact, short-term mission partners do not serve alone. Aled, an i:Witness trainee in Indonesia, summed it up well: “Being in a team of mission workers, meeting local believers, experiencing church life overseas, seeing family life for mission workers, and getting to know locals, were just some of the highlights.”
If you’re thinking about getting involved, the very best place to start is to talk to one of your church leaders. We’ll then be delighted to talk to you and your church, helping to suggest placements that best fit your gifts and current situation.
Whatever country you go to, or stay in, going ‘short term’ is a great way to get involved in God’s long-term mission in the world.
Here’s how you could serve:
Flexible, personalised placements – We’re confident there will be a ministry and location that will be a great fit for you.
i:Witness is a one to two year ministry training scheme with the benefit of living in a cross-cultural context. Find out more about i:Witness here
Student Ministry with IFES – Partnering with IFES in Europe, serve cross-culturally in a national student movement or work overseas in international student ministry.
Summer Teams – We can facilitate a group from a single church, or connect individuals from different churches. Not necessarily limited to the summer!
Bible College placements – Placements for students of UK Bible Colleges, whatever your course. Bursaries available!
Medical placements and electives – Opportunities for doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.
*NEW* Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship Internship – Work alongside local LCF partner organisations in other parts of the world, as interns or as part of short-term mission justice teams.
Operation Centurion – A fantastic opportunity to provide practical support wherever it’s needed. Work so far has included building an orphanage, classrooms, and houses for adults with disabilities.
Mike Chalmers is Short-Term Mission Coordinator at UFM Worldwide.