Home Forums Got a Short Term Mission Question? Recruitment vs. Training

Recruitment vs. Training

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    • #4476


      The text we’re working through deals a lot with training and equipping students and short term missionaries.  to step back though, it is important to know where we start from when assembling a team. I wanted to get some peoples thoughts on the value of recruiting vs training?

      What are necessary qualifications for joining a team?

      Are there things that disqualify people from a team?

      Is there value in having a standard to join the training, or after?

      Hoping to have some interesting discussions, i think this is a super valuable topic as many of us will be involved in a variety of teams while in ministry. What is and isn’t acceptable before we train someone to be a part of our team?

    • #4478


      I think it is vital to make sure that you put a good team together. As we talked about today while meeting with pastors from different churches, leaders are super important. Before putting a STM team together, I think you need to make sure that you have good leadership in place.

      Once you have that down, I agree with the whole application/interview process to decide who should and should not go on the STM. The qualifications for going on the trip I believe are dependant on the specific trip. Like pastor Chet said earlier, the jr. high students didn’t necessarily have to be Christians to go on the trip, but they needed to be searching.

      There are definitely some dos and don’ts in my opinion though. Some of the don’ts would be no drugs and no issues with the law, “big stuff” like that as well as some “smaller” things like open mindedness. I feel if someone isn’t willing to be open minded on a STM, then maybe they need to work on some personal stuff before going on the actual trip. Some dos would be people who are involved in other areas (service/ministry) would be an asset. People with experience in different areas could also be an asset. For example, if you’re doing construction, having someone with construction knowledge could be extremely useful.

      There are many other areas included in recruitment that the individual team may want to explore, but I think that covers the basics.

      I also believe that training should be mandatory for a STM. I’ve only been on one STM overseas and there was almost no prep. I felt very unprepared and had no clue what we were doing. We learned everything when we were there. Time wise, I think that was poor management because we could have done more there if we had prepared better. Also there was almost no spiritual encouragement prior to the trip. I think it’s important to get your team praying and reading God’s word before a trip. I ALWAYS find that when you get closer to where God wants you, the enemy attacks you and you need to be prepared. This of course is all simply from my experience, but that’s my opinion on some stuff.

    • #4481


      There is close parallel between training and recruiting. You cannot train a poorly recruited team, so recruitment becomes the most critical component in order to develop the necessary skills. A successful team will have a mix of skill sets, personality traits, ambition and big picture thinking. Any qualified recruiter would be looking for diversity within the team. The challenge with this with many team building efforts, church recruiting efforts and business recruiting efforts, is recruiters generally hire to their own profile looking for “mini me’s.” This does not allow for free thinking among the team.

      The single biggest qualification is to be a collaborative team member and have the ability to think and work in a team based environment. Another important criteria would be having high empathy in order to be accepting and understanding of the needs and suggestions of others, although having one or two individuals on the team willing to challenge the status status quo will encourage deeper strategy and keep the trainer consistently explaining the “why” behind the message they’re trying to deliver.

    • #4490


      I completely agree with Michaela’s comment about the importance of creating a diverse team. Diversity leaves room for the empowerment of specific giftings and personality types, as well as a more dynamic environment that emphasizes teamwork and relying on one another.

    • #4492


      I think that there definitely needs to be a criteria for sure when you are planning a STM in terms of recruitment. I think if i understand this correctly you are referring to qualifications of people in terms of their character. Specifically, character flaws that could cause some serious conflict before and during the course of a STM.

      I believe there definitely are some characteristics that you would want to look for in people to attend the trip. But I do not believe that the line is as clear cut in some circumstances. From a youth ministry perspective, say for example you have a student who has a poor attitude sometimes but can also be really great. I know a student that is somewhat like this and when I think about him I feel like maybe he just needs to be pushed to the next level. Maybe this opportunity to serve for him is the reason that he was pushed to grow in his relationship with God. He may have a poor attitude sometimes, does this disqualify him from being apart of the team?

      In terms of general qualifications I think that it would be a good idea to look for people that meet a basic list. Some of these qualifications might include:

      Positive attitude, Hardworking, Able to work decently in a team setting, Over a certain age(unless accompanied by a guardian), certain skills tailored to the specific context in which the team is going, etc.

    • #4497


      Personally I would say that the value of recruiting is dependent on the value of training. I don’t think you can value one without the other. You may be able to recruit a superstar team but without training, the team cannot perform at the level that it should. Teamwork and unity take team training. On the other hand, you cannot train a poorly recruited team into working well. While you can train them into being the best possible, if everyone on the team only holds the same skill the team will be left with gaps that are not filled. I believe that there is such value in both that one cannot be done without the other.

      As for necessary qualifications, I believe that the most important qualification is a heart and willingness to serve for the people that they are going to minister to. Depending on the country and the ministry, age is an important qualification. Lastly, I think the ability to work in a team is a very important qualification. Most other things a leader would want in their team members are able to be developed through discipleship.

      Aside from the unwillingness to work as a team member, I don’t feel that there are many other things that would disqualify a person from a team personality-wise. I think people deserve a chance to be part of the team.

      I think what is or isn’t okay depends on the type of team. The things that aren’t acceptable to join any team are things such as harmful or destructive behaviour to oneself or another person or an unwillingness to be a team member.

    • #4518


      I totally agree with Jaeden about willingness to work as a team, on page 58 of the workbook it says that learning to work together as a team is essential for an effective witness. I agree that besides unwillingness to work together, nobody should be disqualified from being a part of a stm trip. I think the particularly difficult people who you probably wish weren’t going are the kids who the trip is going to benefit the most, so it’s important that they do have that opportunity.

      That being said, I think once you recruit your diverse team like everyone agreed on, good training is so necessary. Even if you recruited a mediocre team (hopefully you chose well, but just saying), training is whats going to make the difference, it’s how your team is going to know how to work together, how to use each others strengths, and how to serve people the best that they are capable of. So although both are important to pay attention to, I have to say I think training is whats going to make the biggest difference in your teams success/effectiveness.

    • #4558


      I’ve taken part in STM trips before that have gone wrong in some sense because the people on the trip were not there for the right reason or did not have the right intentions / skill set for the ministry that was being done. When a team does not work together and there is not unity, the trip can derail pretty quickly.

      Dearborn suggests on page 58  of the Short-Term Missions Workbook that “the gospel is best communicated by the body of Christ – not by isolated individuals”. There will be a more effective witness when a team is presenting a well-thought out, clearly prepared and prayed-over Gospel, as opposed to different individuals coming together and saying different things. Because of this, recruitment and training are beyond critical. The weeks leading up to an STM are extremely important.

      Because each trip is different, it is up to the trip leader to create qualifications and recruitment requirements that are specific to the trip. This should include the aspects that have been discussed above, such as teamwork, hardworking people, and diversity, among many other admirable characteristics. Members should add to the overall team dynamic, and should be ready and willing to pull their weight. They should also be going for the right reasons, not solely for tourism intentions.

      Some of the above does come through training, so the perfect individuals should not be expected to walk through the door and apply. Teamwork will be grown in the weeks leading up to the trip. Thus, both recruitment and training must work together to create a team that will thrive in the STM setting.

    • #4614

      Mark Crocker

      Hey David, you started the conversation but didn’t give us your opinion … or answer anyone else thoughts … what are your hard and fast rules for building a team?

    • #4672


      My hard and fast rules. It’s difficult, because what i want/wish would happen and the reality of team building is often different.  I have certain leaders who have an incredibly high capacity and commitment, If i could recruit a team of people all like that it would be phenomenal. My hard and fast rules for joining my youth group leadership team is A. love Jesus, B. love students. past that it comes down to their gifting for the roles I put them in.  That’s for volunteers. When i am going out to recruit leader i typically look for skills in the role i need filled. Whether it’s a high energy leader to connect with certain kids, or finding leaders whose interest lines up with that of our kids.  to me there’s a balance to team building between training and recruitment.

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