I have been engaged in short-term ministry trips since the early 90’s. I have led, participated, trained, and sent numerous teams. I was fortunate in my early years to gain from the wisdom and experience of those went before me–Dan Hollingsworth, Tim Jack, Kaye Edds, John & Naomi Musgrave, and others. Because of their influence, I saw short-term ministry teams as a prime vehicle for discipleship and leadership development.
I am currently engaged in training a team that is going to Ghana this summer. As you can read in the Training Manual, we are combining Scripture memory, reading assignments, cross-cultural simulation exercises, and skill development to help prepare them for their task. Each member is memorizing 26 Scripture verses–1/3 of which are focused on presenting the gospel; 2/3 are all about servanthood; and the final two dealing with worry. They are reading John Piper’s book, Let the Nations Be Glad! The supremacy of God in missions, which is the best book on missions I have read. We’ve used the BARNGA game and the LUNA game as a way of helping them experience what it is like to enter another culture. The members will also be working on specific skills necessary to use puppets in sharing the gospel, interacting with people, and teaching groups of women and children.