Saturday, March 22, 2008

More on Short-Term Missions

"Robert J. Priest (MDiv '82), PhD, is professor of mission and intercultural studies and director of the Doctor of Philosophy/Intercultural Studies Program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he has served since 1999. Previously, he served as a professor at Columbia Biblical Seminary and School of Missions and as a pastor. Born to career missionaries, Dr. Priest was raised in Bolivia and eventually returned to South America to conduct anthropological field research."

Dr. Priest wrote this positive article in the Trinity Magazine on short-term missions, using as a case study two summer mission trips of North American Christians to Peru. (The biographical paragraph quoted above is from the magazine.)

He concludes his article as follows:

The center of Christianity today, in terms of both numbers and vitality, has shifted south into Africa and Latin America. But the center of material wealth and power remains in North America, Europe, and parts of Asia. Short-term mission groups play a key role in bringing Christians from resource-rich portions of the world into collaborative projects of ministry and service with Christians living faithfully under conditions of great economic and social constraint. When short-term mission trips are underpinned by humble service, sacrificial stewardship, and wise leadership, they potentially make important contributions to the global church.

(The Trinity website can get you to some scholarly studies on this subject. I read a reference to Dr. Priest elsewhere, and I did a search on the website with "short-term mission priest" and found a trove.)

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