First thing: Don’t fall into the temptation of staying at home on Sunday morning. You’ve worked hard this week and you’re tired—that’s understandable. You need to be there to share what God did and what He taught you this past week! The very people who sent you out need to receive you back in, and they need to hear from you. You need to see them, too! You have people to thank and stories to tell. Be there!
Even the most experienced short-termer can make mistakes upon their return. Here are some of the most common pitfalls for returning team members:
- Coming back too “me-centered”, as in “Look at me! I was on the mission field!”
- Breaking all the rules and using the experience as an excuse.
- Talking incessantly about the trip.
- Having post-short-term mission blues.
- Having reverse culture shock.
- Having unresolved conflict with team members.
- Thinking that the location you went to is the only place you or anyone else should go.
- Having a “check-the-box” attitude about your experience. Been there – Done that!
Be on the lookout and avoid these pitfalls!
Where to from Here?
Considering further involvement in Sending and missions? Here are some possible next steps:
- You were able to share your faith this week. Now you’re home with increased confidence in telling others the good news of Jesus! Keep sharing the Gospel! Share it with intentionality and
- “Missions is great but not for me.” While moving overseas might not be what God wants, remember, every Christian has been called to make disciples of all nations—the Great Commission. Be sure and find your role for this season of life. There are many opportunities for ministry in the local church and in your community. Find your place in the Body of Christ.
- Continue to be involved by helping in Sending:
- Be a mentor to other Short-Term Mission team members
- Mobilize others
- Contribute financially to support someone
- “When can we go again?” Maybe you’ve found your ministry niche. Go for it! Remember that God is working all over the world among a kaleidoscope of peoples and cultures.
- “Could I lead a Short-Term Mission Team?” You may find that your abilities and gifts are well suited in forming, training, and leading a team. It’s all about making disciples to make a world impact!
- Missionary Care – get involved in caring for long-term workers through the Oasis House ministry and serve as senders!
- Mobilize others! Your passion for the nations can be contagious! Share it! You shouldn’t have all the fun—take someone with you!
- Internationals – Maybe you have a newfound awareness of internationals. Pay attention—you will soon find yourself bumping into all kinds of people and peoples! Reach them for Christ!
- “Me? Go long-term?” God might be prompting you to explore serving cross-culturally for the long term. Don’t be afraid to check it out! Set up an appointment with the Eagle’s Landing Sending Office to hear about the next steps in that direction.