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STM and age?

This topic contains 1 reply, has 11 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Ashley Ashley 1 year, 1 month ago.

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  • #4491
    Profile photo of Charissa
    Charissa
    Participant

    Do you think there should be an age limit for STM trips? How young is too young? Do you think STM can have a negative effect on the emotional and spiritual development of youth? Is it okay for STM teams to be made up of only kids? I’d appreciate your thoughts!

  • #4493
    Profile photo of Ashley
    Ashley
    Participant

    I think kids on STM’s is an awesome idea if done right! Parents should be involved and be super intentional about making sure they understand what’s happening. All of the STM’s I’ve done have had kids on them (as young as 3 or 4) and ten years later I know these kids and they have a good perspective on the world because of it. I was 13 on my first trip and it totally broadened my worldview and got rid of that annoying tendency that young teens have to be super selfish. My parents were an crucial part of it going well though, I’m sure for the wrong people it might not be the same. And obviously the location and intention of the trip changes whether or not kids should be involved.

    • #4612
      Profile photo of Mark Crocker
      Mark Crocker
      Keymaster

      i like your thoughts here Ashley – always good to hear a story and yours helps make sense of this question. I do know kids who went on trips who were positively affected, others were negatively influenced …

  • #4495
    Profile photo of Madi
    Madi
    Participant

    I definitely think that kids should be considered when going on an STM. I believe that there is so much value on a child experiencing missions at such an early age. However, I do believe that in some situations I think age needs to become a factor. For example, with a team focusing on construction, it can be hard to have a four year old in toe when trying to accomplish a house build. There is safety factors involved as well as expectations that need to be met in the build process. I think this is when this parent comes into factor deciding on what trip is appropriate for a child to attend. I love the idea of youth going on missions trips as they are at such a crucial age for passions to be developed. I believe that this can change their world view and broaden their perspective. Parents involvement is crucial in the support and preparation for an STM for their child. Parents who build up their children and are involved in the detail help process the experience for their child. I can see how STM’s can have a negative affect on a child/youth. If they are forced to go on a trip because their parents wants them to see “how good they have it”. This can distort their view, and provoke them to be resentful in regards to serving. I believe that instilling a passion for missions in a adolescences life can begin locally and expand internationally. It is hard to put an age cap on STM’s because I do believe it is situational to each trip.

  • #4498
    Profile photo of Jaeden
    Jaeden
    Participant

    When it comes to STM I don’t believe that there should be age limits. All people deserve opportunities to serve in this compacity if they feel called. Certain trips are more suited for different age groups but I think that there should be a team available for each different age group. A team of kids is an amazing way to start a heart and passion for missions in their lives and allowing older people to serve is important as well. Missions has no expiry age on it. Young kids can relate to other kids and older people can relate to an older crowd that youth/young adults may not be able to.  Missions is made for those who God has called and placed a passion for helping others. As for negative effects, I believe that there is that risk no matter where a youth ends up. The same negative effects they could see from a missions experience they could also experience in a youth group setting. The importance is on the leader to help the student process and make sense of what they are experiencing.

  • #4500
    Profile photo of Aryelle
    Aryelle
    Participant

    I’m just wondering, does anyone think there should be a limit in the range of ages on one team? For example, a 10 year range or something (age 20-30). Or should teams be scattered in ages, having a little bit of everything?

    • #4501
      Profile photo of Hilary
      Hilary
      Participant

      I think that a team could be scattered ages, there should not be an age range. I think it is great to have many different aged people. Intergenerational groups I believe can ad different insight into the trip. That being said, I agree with Jaeden, I do think there should be an age limit, especially for curtain trips.

    • #4557
      Profile photo of Alex
      Alex
      Participant

      I think that this sort of intergenerational ministry can be really powerful both for the team and for those that they are serving. Unity across different age groups is not only meaningful, but it is Biblical. However, I would be careful to consider what the work is that is being done. It’s important to understand that a 12 year old cannot do the same physical work as a 20 year old, and that a 12 year old may not be able to handle the same level of spiritual depth or experiences that a more matured believer can. Like Rolanda said, it would ultimately depend on the nature of the trip whether it would work at all, but I could see this being a really powerful form of bringing different groups together to serve Christ together.

  • #4514
    Profile photo of rolanda
    rolanda
    Participant

    I think it really depends on the trip. For safety reasons I believe that for certain missions trips there should be a minimum age requirement if the risks are high for endangerment of the volunteers safety.  But for the most part I believe that it’s great to expose children to missions trips at a young age, I actually gave my life to Christ on a missions trip as a teenager and I think its a good way to show kid’s how exciting serving Jesus can really be. Even those who are a lot older also bring a maturity to the group with different perspectives and experiences that can really help the team.

  • #4515
    Profile photo of rolanda
    rolanda
    Participant

    I think it really depends on the trip. For safety reasons I believe that for certain missions trips there should be a minimum age requirement if the risks are high for endangerment of the volunteers safety.  But for the most part I believe that it’s great to expose children to missions trips at a young age, I actually gave my life to Christ on a missions trip as a teenager and I think its a good way to show kid’s how exciting serving Jesus can really be. Even those who are a lot older also bring a maturity to the group with different perspectives and experiences that can really help the team.

  • #4562
    Profile photo of Justene
    Justene
    Participant

    I think it comes down to what is the purpose of STM.  I know from my  own personal experience going on a STM at the age of 12 definitely broadened my own worldview. It made me realize how much that I had and realize what is truly important in life.  The experience also allowed my family to become closer because we all shared a similar experience together.

    In the same sense God doesn’t children from going to him.  Sometimes children are the best witness to the gospel and they are able to bring a new perspective to STM.  God doesn’t see children as getting the way but as people being a part of His plan.  If STM purpose is to bring people to Christ and for us to learn from God’s global church then there shouldn’t be an age limit since we can learn at any age.  If STM is about completing projects in the most efficient way then children shouldn’t come along because it would take away from completing the project.

  • #4613
    Profile photo of Mark Crocker
    Mark Crocker
    Keymaster

    Charissa, i am curious about why you posted the question?

  • #4641
    Profile photo of Joshua
    Joshua
    Participant

    As many on here of previously stated it really depends on the purpose of the short term missions trip itself. I believe though that if they have a level of maturity to make their faith their own, to accept Christ into their lives and live as such I believe they are mature enough to do a short term missions trip.

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