Check it out...
Let's settle it once and for all: Short-term mission (STM) teams work — sometimes spectacularly. At the same time, the uneven results they can produce open the door to criticism.
The book of James says, "This is true religion — to help widows and orphans in their distress." Jesus tells us, "Go into all the world spreading the good news."
We can’t all go for the long-term, but almost everyone can do something for a week. A call to battle has been sounded. We've been commanded to get out of the malls and into the streets. So, the question before the court then is not one of a mandate.
But, STMs can be too costly. Some may be overly ambitious, aspiring to pierce the darkness in a place like Romania, when the light may be dimmer in New York City. Some critics see STM groups as being on a kind of philanthropic sightseeing tour. Or, a STM team can be a negative experience for both long-term missionary and participant alike if the team is inadequately prepared.
Bottom line: The problem is not the idea of STMs, but the questionable way in which some people implement them. Let's look at the six worst: