Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Missions

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The Seven U.S. (but we like them in Canada too!) Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Missions (www.stmstandards.org)

1. God-Centeredness
An excellent short-term mission seeks first God’s glory and his kingdom, and is expressed through our:

  • Purpose — Centering on God’s glory and his ends throughout our entire STM process
  • Lives — Sound biblical doctrine, persistent prayer, and godliness in all our thoughts, words, and deeds
  • Methods — Wise, biblical, and culturally-appropriate methods which bear spiritual fruit

2. Empowering Partnerships
An excellent short-term mission establishes healthy, interdependent, on-going relationships between sending and receiving partners, and is expressed by:

  • Primary focus on intended receptors
  • Plans which benefit all participants
  • Mutual trust and accountability 

3. Mutual Design
An excellent short-term mission collaboratively plans each specific outreach for the benefit of all participants, and is expressed by:

  • On-field methods and activities aligned to long-term strategies of the partnership
  • Goer-guests' ability to implement their part of the plan
  • Host receivers' ability to implement their part of the plan 

 4. Comprehensive Administration

  • An excellent short-term mission exhibits integrity through reliable set-up and thorough administration for all participants, and is expressed by:
  • Truthfulness in promotion, finances, and reporting results
  • Appropriate risk management
  • Quality program delivery and support logistics

5. Qualified Leadership
An excellent short-term mission screens, trains, and develops capable leadership for all participants, and is expressed by:

  • Character — Spiritually mature servant leadership
  • Skills — Prepared, competent, organized, and accountable leadership
  • Values — Empowering and equipping leadership

6. Appropriate Training
An excellent short-term mission prepares and equips all participants for the mutually designed outreach, and is expressed by:

  • Biblical, appropriate, and timely training
  • On-going training and equipping (pre-field, on-field, post-field)
  • Qualified trainers 

 7. Thorough Follow-Up 

An excellent short-term mission assures debriefing and appropriate follow-up for all participants, and is expressed by:

  • Comprehensive debriefing (pre-field, on-field, post-field)
  • On-field re-entry preparation
  • Post-field follow-up and evaluation
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