Saturday, April 16, 2016

Evangelo-tourism

I am hereby on April 16, 2016, coining this phrase and copyrighting it.  No one can use it without crediting me.

Well, I am kind of kidding, but not really.  I googled it and it doesn't exist.  If there is eco-tourism, now there is evangelo-tourism.  However, my word is derogatory, not something to advocate.

I have long been skeptical about short-term mission trips, and was pleased to hear the following last Saturday on Moody Radio.  Julie Roys had the courage to ask these questions and let her speakers have their say. 
 
http://www.moodyradio.org/Up-for-Debate/2016/2016-04-09-Are-Short-Term-Missions-Effective/ 

To be fair, I went on two mission trips in high school back in the early 1970s, but I would be quick to say that was when it was a rare thing to do, and we worked pretty hard on one of them.  It did enlighten me to missions and I have supported, studied, and written about missions ever since, but I am not on the mission field.

Now it seems like a boatload of money is spent on these trips, and frugal cheapskate that I am, I don't see much ROI.  The people who do the heavy duty research don't see it either.  It's bad for budgets, bad for the missionaries, and bad for the nationals.

However, I also don't think that the answer to a good idea gone bad is to throw out the idea.  It's sor of like lecturing in college teaching--bad lecturing is ineffective, good lecturing is effective, in certain ways, so calls to eschew all lecturing is fruitless.

The answer is to find out where it went wrong and redeem it.  What could be done to short-term missions to improve the ROI?  What are the best models and practices.  Who is doing it right in a way that empowers the church all over?  

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