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Why Short Term?

Why Short Term?

Christar offers short-term opportunities, not only to enable participants to serve in least-reached communities, but also to see God glorified in these communities for the long term. Below Andrew, our head mobilizer, shares his perspective on why trips shorter than a year are important.

Why does Christar encourage those who are interested in missions to go on short-term trips?

We have four desired outcomes for those who go short term with Christar:

  1. That short-termers would have a greater love for God and His Word.
  2. That short-termers would have a greater love and burden for the least-reached.
  3. That short-termers would participate in and contribute to the ministry goals of the host team.
  4. That short-termers would prayerfully consider serving long-term.

As you can see, we don’t just host short-termers for the sake of giving them experience in least-reached communities; we want their time to lead to something greater!

How do short-term trips provide guidance regarding potential long-term service?

For someone considering missions, it can be intimidating if an agency asks for a five- to 10-year commitment up front. Going on an exposure trip (two to four weeks) or completing an internship (one to 12 months) allows that person to walk in the shoes of long-term Christar workers, tasting what it’s like to live overseas. It can bring clarity for the short-termer as he or she sees the practical needs on the ground. Some things are best experienced and talked about in person rather than long distance.

Our short-termers often live with members of our long-term teams. Long-term workers can seem rather mystical to those viewing their ministries from the outside. But by living with them, short-termers can see that the long-termers have fairly normal lives—they’re just attempting extraordinary things!

How do our long-term teams and the communities where they serve benefit from short-termers?

Short-termers can help teams cast a wider net by multiplying the number of contacts made and sowing gospel seeds. In addition, sometimes they complete an internship utilizing a specific skill such as building a website for a team’s business. In either case, by coming alongside our long-term workers, young people can help reinvigorate these workers, enabling them see the work they do through fresh eyes. It also provides the long-termers with the opportunity to invest in and mentor the short-termers.

We do have to balance the logistics of offering short-term trips with the needs of the communities where workers are serving long term. The main goal is to advance our long-term objective of cultivating Christ-honoring transformation, and we design our short-term opportunities to aid rather than detract from that purpose. Short-term opportunities are a focus of Christar, but not the main focus.

How do short-term trips help Christar fulfill its mission?

Short-term trips help us with our recruitment efforts. For example, three years ago a young lady completed an overseas internship with us. After she returned from her trip, she finished college, built solid relationships with a sending church and raised support, and earlier this year she was commissioned for long-term service in the Middle East!

In addition, as short-termers help long-term workers make contacts in their communities and use their gifts and skills to contribute to the ministry of our teams, they’re furthering the long-term goals of these teams. Short-term service can play a vital role in the establishment of churches in places there they don’t yet exist.

What if I want to go for more than 12 months but I’m not ready to commit to long-term ministry?

We’ve recently changed our recruiting and training processes. Those who are going for less than a year (short-termers) come to our four-day Blaze training, while long-termers complete a more extensive vetting and training process. We now also offer the third option of mid-term, which we define as service of more than one year but less than three years. Potential mid-termers go through basically the same vetting and training process as long-termers, so that if they decide to extend their service beyond their initial three years, they don’t have to come back to the States for further preparation.

Thanks Andrew!

Sound like something you’re interested in? Check out our current short-term and mid-term opportunities here!

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