Friday, August 19, 2011
“Don’t worry, I’ll show you everything you need to know.” Those were the words of my pastor when I was told I would be leading the youth group on their annual short-term mission trip in 1990.
My training consisted of a shopping list for supplies and a map of where we were going. Once there, I learned how to keep locals from getting in the way of our mission, the subtleties of buying clean drinking water, and what to do when your group scares the local chickens so much they cannot lay eggs.
That was over 20 years ago and certainly many things have changed. However, too much of our short-term training is still based on a model of pray, trust God, and go!
Thankfully, through the vision of a dedicated group of leaders that included people like Roger Peterson, Wayne Sneed, and Gordy Grover, things are a lot different than they were in those early days.
In the mid 1980’s, a small group of leaders began meeting annually to try and bring a little professionalism to a then young movement called short-term mission. Over the years the group of people attending those annual gatherings became known as the Fellowship of Short-Term Mission Leaders.
I became part of the Fellowship in 2004. It has changed my life, my perspective, and my mission. There is no single event in which I participate that I find to be more important to the continued success of Adventures in Life Ministry and my mission than the annual conference held by this group.
As a leader I get a chance to interact with and fellowship with peers in my field. I can seek counsel, test ideas, and see where short-term mission is headed in the coming years. It also gives me a great chance to slow down and consider where I believe God is leading AIL Ministry in future years.
This year’s conference, The Forum 2011, will be held at Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake, Wisconsin, October 12 – 15.
Our Keynote Speaker will be Robert Guerrero. Robert, the founder of Del Camino Network and an on field host receiver, is going to tell it like it is from someone who has received thousands of STM teams.
If you, your church, or your organization wants to improve your short-term mission, there is no better place to be. If you are a pastor, and your church is sending out short-term teams, you need to be here. If you have been wondering whether God is calling to the foreign mission field, a few days at The Forum can help you better understand that call.
Adventures in Life is better because of this conference. Please consider joining me and the Fellowship of Short-Term Mission Leaders this year at The Forum 2011.