Last week I spent some time in Medicine Hat and talked about the local church and short term missions. Many people love the personal involvement, but they ask, why STM training? Don’t we just need to go and help out?
It seems like more and more that the local church is really grabbing the whole STM movement back to itself, that is brilliant. We are seeing the missional aspect of what the church should be doing. The problem of course is, as always, when something becomes popularised and trendy. Then we see some shoddy work. This is why STM training in important, we respect the serious aspects of what we are trying to do. Take people into remote cross-cultural settings and ask them to get involved in the long-term solutions.
I have heard of STM teams who first meet one another at the airport, and away they go. Is this right? We tend to expect some level of professional preparation in almost any other area of life. A kid is not allowed to go to the tournament unless he has practiced with his pee-wee team all year. What should be expected of a team member who is trying to go change peoples lives?
Why STM should change is debated, but where are the standards in STM?
I was encouraged to be part of the STMNetwork meetings on Thursday, it really feels like we are creating a movement. Our lead team is energized and eager to take on roles and responsibilities. The new focus is going to be catchy. I agreed to chair the training role, it is where my heart is and I think that it will be great to help facilitate what training might look like. I think we can do better.