Short-term Mission Policy

The recent increase of work/ministry teams visiting CCM missions fields has been a blessing to the local church, the CGGC and the host ministry. People today are more knowledgeable about other cultures and lands because of a first-hand look at the missions field. The frequency of these trips is on the increase!

The following Policy is being presented to you by the Cross-Cultural Ministries Commission as a means of affirming and improving the short-term missions experience as it expands among us.

This policy is based on some underlying core values, which include:

  • A commitment to glorify God in all we do.
  • A commitment to high standards of excellence in ministry.
  • A commitment to all the participants in short-term missions such as the sending local church, the short-term team, the host church and/or ministry, and CCM.
  • A commitment to partnership and co-operation.
  • A commitment to communicate between participants as early and as fully as possible.
  • A commitment to live and minister in ways that are sensitive to the host culture.

Section 1: Aims and Objectives

A short-term missions program will have clear and realistic aims, such as expectations of outcomes and consideration of how the program serves the long-term objectives of all those involved.

The benefits to, and responsibilities of, the participant, the sending church and the host ministry will be clearly defined and communicated.

Any partnerships with host local churches and ministries will be defined in terms of agreed-upon priorities, ownership and expectations.

There will be a commitment to the participants to provide opportunities for personal and spiritual development throughout the experience, whether it be a work team, eyewitness tour or other ministry group. This may include (but not be limited to) daily group devotions and reflection time. The team leader will be responsible for assigning these devotions.

Section 2: Publicity, Selection and Orientation

Publicity
2:1 In defining the purpose of the program, publicity materials will be accurate, truthful and used with integrity.
2:2
Publicity will clearly be compatible with the vision and goals of CCM.
2:3
Publicity will not reflect negatively on the host culture or ministry.

Selection
2:4 The application process, including timeline, all financial obligations and use of funds, will be clear and thorough.
2:5
The sending church or ministry will be responsible for establishing a suitable criteria and screening. Whether or not the individual is accepted as a short-term participant, local pastoral care will be included in the selection process.
2:6
It is essential that all relevant details (such as special skills and abilities, dietary needs, health problems, etc) concerning the short-term participant be disclosed with the field.

Orientation
2:7 Information about the upcoming field experience will be provided as early and as fully as possible.
2:8
Orientation and training will be given prior to departure and/or arrival on the field.
2:9
Placement decisions and changes will be made with integrity and communicated clearly to all involved.
2:10
Each participant will enlist prayer partners from within the sending church to intercede for the team member and his/her family prior to and during the short-term experience.

Section 3: Field Management and Pastoral Care

3:1 Clear aims, objectives and job descriptions will be developed jointly by the sending and hosting leadership.
3:2
Communication guidelines will be established, implemented and reviewed between the sending church/ministry and the field.
3:3
Mutually defined lines of authority, supervision, communication, responsibility and accountability will be established and implemented through regular reporting and/or meetings of the sending team.
3:4
Opportunities for spiritual, personal and character development will be provided, promoted and pursued.
3:5
Participants will agree to follow guidelines on behavior, relationships and financial management that are appropriate in the host culture.
3:6
Procedures covering finances, healthcare and insurance, medical contingencies, security and evacuation, acts of terrorism or political violence, stress management and conflict resolution, spiritual warfare, misconduct, discipline and grievances, will be communicated in orientation and implemented once on the field.
3:7
Where and when requested, necessary equipping and training of hosts will be provided.

Section 4: Re-entry support, evaluation and program development

4:1 Re-entry debriefing and pastoral care will be seen as an integral part of the short-term package.
4:2
Re-entry preparation, including field evaluation, will begin prior to returning home.
4:3
The local church/sending ministry will assist the participant through re-entry, including facing unresolved personal issues and future opportunities and direction in discipleship and service. CCM can assist with this when requested.
4:4
Following the trip, the team leader will report back to the CCM office with an evaluation of the experience, including goals accomplished.
4:5
Field leaders are expected to report to the CCM office when a visiting team displays problematic behavior or attitudes.
4:6
The CCM office will communicate the results of these evaluations to the field and sending ministry for the purpose of improving future short-term experiences. Confidentiality, integrity and accuracy are required.