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Though this website focuses primarily on providing information for long-term missionaries, enquiries about short-term missions have led me to gather some information on books and articles on the topic:


"What to Do About Short Term Missions" and "The Mess of Short Term Missions" by Sarita Hartz on the website A Life Overseas

"Are short-term missions becoming faddish?" by Seth Barnes on the website Radical Living and his follow-ups "What does an excellent mission project look like?" and "Excellent mission team prep"

On the website for the Journal of Biblical Missiology, Georges Houssney has written What to Do About Short Term Missions, a three-part series about what short-term missions is, its positive and negative aspects, and principles for successful trips.

Access part 1 here, part 2 here, and part 3 here.

"Eleven Factors for Helpful Short-Term Trips" by A.W. Workman on the Entrusted to Dirt blog.

"There's Nothing Short About Short Term Missions" by Ramon Lull on the website desiringGod

Shepherd's Staff Mission Facilitators has several excellent posts on short-term missions, including "Short-Term Mission Teams that Are Sent Well," "Why Short-Term Missions,"  and "Short Term Mission Trip Team Covenant.

"When Being Helped Hurts" by Jennifer Holmes Curren on Christianity Today's website tells of Curren's experience at a small church as it received a short-term team of youth and offers suggestions for those who receive and those who send teams.

Global Connections has produced a suggested Code of Best Practice in Short Term Mission.

Missions Resource Network gathered feedback from Listening Groups made up of leaders from fifteen nations to produce a position paper: Short-Term Missions: Guidelines for Greater Impact.

For suggestions of questions to ask in debriefing after a short-term trip, check out Ten Questions for Debriefing After a Missions Trip by Dave Miller on The Banner website.

Culture Link offers a curriculum for churches to use to help prepare members of short term trips.

Short Term, a ministry of Mission Data International, has a series of articles on short-term missions trips. Additionally, it contains a search function, allowing site visitors to search through their database of mission trips from various agencies.

A Guide to Short Term Missions: A Comprehensive Manual For Planning an Effective Mission Trip by H. Leon Greene, M.D.

By far the best book I have found on short-term missions, this book provides practical information on the pros and cons of short-term missions, the elements of a good mission team, the determination of gifting and call of participants, the costs of short-term missions, the steps in preparation, and the effects of culture shock and reverse culture shock, and it and balances this practical information with the importance of maintaining the correct perspective and remaining flexible. There is also an extensive appendix containing a preparation timeline and principles, information on preparing a testimony, a checklist of things to take, steps in forming a mission team, information on how to stay healthy and be properly prepared for emergency situations, and a substantial list of books for further reading.

Serving with Eyes Wide Open: Doing Short-Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence by David A. Livermore

Livermore begins by making a case for re-thinking the way the Western Church does short-term missions in light of some of the weaknesses that have been revealed. He goes on to explain that short-term missions trips can be improved if effort is made to increase the cultural intelligence (CQ) of people going on these trips. After describing the four aspects of cultural intelligence, CQ drive, CQ knowledge, CQ strategy, and CQ action, and ways to develop each aspect, Livermore concludes by detailing ten starting points for doing short-term missions with cultural intelligence.

Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help and How to Reverse It by Robert D. Lupton

Drawing on his experience in urban ministry in Atlanta, Lupton explains how charitable giving can and often does cause more harm than good to the communities that individuals are wanting to help because, "Giving to those in need what they could be gaining from their own initiative may well be the kindest way to destroy people." Instead, he espouses community development which focuses on working with those in need, identifying and building on local assets, identifying what the local community sees as the most important needs, investing with the poor, developing local leadership, and working at a pace that the community is comfortable with in order to bring about lasting change.

When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor... and Yourself  by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert

Corbett and Fikkert explain that an incomplete definition of poverty in terms solely of material poverty in combination with the God-complexes of the materially non-poor and the feelings of inferiority of the materially poor lead to harm being done to both the materially poor and non-poor. They articulate strategies to develop policies and programs that will help a community by addressing both broken systems and broken individuals using a highly relational approach.

Effective Engagement in Short-Term Missions: Doing It Right! edited by Robert J. Priest

A compilation of over twenty articles on various aspects of missions, this book covers a broad range of topics, including a brief history of short-term missions (STM), an overview of trends in STM, various case studies of STM teams, legal issues related to STM, the effects of culture shock and reverse culture shock on team members, ways to create lasting positive change in STM participants, and an examination of how short-termers can "travel in ways that honor God's redemptive purpose."

After the Trip: Unpacking Your Crosscultural Experience by Cory Trenda

Trenda attempts to assist those returning from short-term missions trips in synthesizing their "experiences into actionable lessons that can, over time, actually change one's life trajectory." He encourages returnees to take time to process their experiences, to record stories of people and events that powerfully impacted them, to consider Scripture from the perspective of Christ-followers from other cultures, to seek an understanding of those who are different from us and the ways that all people from every culture are the same, to look for opportunities to foster ongoing interactions in cross-cultural experiences, and to find ways to be an advocate within your sphere of influence.

Transforming Missionaries: A Short-Term Mission Guide by David J. Wilson and Lorene Wilson

Go Light! Go Local!: A Conscientious Approach To Short-Term Missions in a Global World by Jean Ann Johnson

Listen: How to Make the Most of Your Short-Term Mission Trip by Larry McCrary, Melissa Fu, Caleb Crider, Debbie Stephens, and Nathan Sloan

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