United Methodist Volunteers in Mission

The New Handbook for Volunteers:The new UMVIM handbook is for team leaders, team members, & others involved in short-term mission journeys. Download a copy from UMV (Link) .

  • Trying to Find a Short Term Mission Project?– United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, SEJ is the short-term mission sending agency of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church. UMVIM exists to promote, encourage, and enable Christians to exemplify “Christian Love in Action” through short-term mission service at home and abroad. Visit the UMVIM SEJ (web site)
  • Mission Opportunity Lists (Link)
    • International Mission Opportunity List
    • USA Mission Opportunity List
    • Southeastern Jurisdiction Mission Opportunity List

A Critique of Short Term Mission Trips – It takes planning and cultural understanding to get it right

  • “When it comes to projects, the good we do is often outweighed by the warped impressions left on both sides. For example, sending students to do construction in front of poor, underemployed adults furthers the humiliation of the poor as they see wealthy North Americans casually doing jobs they would happily accept, while it reinforces the views of many American Christians that poor people cannot help themselves.” (from the first reference)

Here are three references to help plan your next mission project:

  • Should Churches Abandon Travel-Intensive Short-Term Missions in Favor of Local Projects? Christianity Today (June 2012)  (Link)
    • This article provides insight on when each is appropriate and discusses why each is important and how to make the choice.
  • When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself, by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert, April 20, 2012 (Link)
    • The authors share powerful principles and real-life examples of how and why some poverty alleviation strategies do more harm than good and also examine why some strategies fail. The book’s last few chapters deal with specific proven strategies we can implement to help people out of poverty.
  • Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help, And How to Reverse It, by Robert Lupton – October 2, 2012 (Link)
    • Veteran urban activist Robert Lupton reveals the shockingly toxic effects that modern charity has upon the very people meant to benefit from it. Toxic Charity provides proven new models for charitable groups who want to help—not sabotage—those whom they desire to serve.