Resource List

Each short-term mission is unique. Culture, personality, team size, leadership, and length of ministry are just a few factors affecting each experience. Despite the incredible variety, it's surprising how many of the feelings and events of returning home can be alike for every short-termer. Short-termers of all ages have revealed a myriad of issues that have to be processed during re-entry. Through an interactive polling process, it was possible to rank many topics and come up with "The Top 10."

Below you will find resources about each of these top 10 topics. Many of these resources come to you at no cost, while some referral resources may have fees associated.

DISCLAIMER: All resources contained on this website should not be construed to constitute a recommendation or endorsement of any product, service, site or organization. Any listing, name, content, material of any author or organization found on this site does not constitute any endorsement, recommendations or referral of such individuals or organizations.

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Planning

Operation World
Author: Jason Mandryke

(Book) The definitive world prayer handbook with concise information on every country from a Christian perspective.

Walk as He Walked
Author: Howard & Bonnie Lisech

(Book) 150-page spiral bound devotional/journal for short-termers. This devotionals focus is for personal spiritual growth (pre-field), followed by 14-day re-entry Bible studies (post-field). They were designed for short-term missionaries and will add an important dimension to any STM trip experience. Topics are sequenced for the culture shock curve and were designed with short-term missionaries in mind, but many other believers are using them for personal refreshment and time with God. We have received hundreds of comments on how helpful they were to individual team members. This book is designed specifically for teams that spend about 6-7 weeks overseas. Some have purchased these and use the first few devotions for pre-field preparation and the remainder for on-field Spiritual encouragement.

Sixteen:Fifteen

(Web Link) Sixteen:Fifteen exists to help churches sharpen their missions focus so that their impact among the nations will be lasting. Our mission: to help churches discover and use unique gifts in partnership with others to make Christ known among all nations.Through Sixteen:Fifteen local churches gain access to services, resources, and partners that will help them build and implement a focused, church-wide, God-centered approach to engaging in the Great Commission.

Mentoring

The Heart of Mentoring: Ten Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential
Author: David A. Stoddard and Robert J. Tamasy

(Book) Mentoring involves life-to-life exchanges that help others discover and pursue their passions, and sort out their priorities. By focusing on character, on what the authors call "the substance of mentoring", The Heart of Mentoring will help you help others.

Mentoring Future Missionaries
Author: Dual Reach

(Web Article)

MentorYouth.Com

(Website) A faith-based mentoring website seeking to recruit and refer Christian adults, and the community as a whole, to mentoring programs in their local communities, to encourage, educate and empower mentors of youth, to register Christian mentoring programs to join a national database to receive prospective mentors and to connect the ever-growing number of faith-based mentoring programs to share, support and spur one another on to serve their young people and volunteers with excellence.

Proverbs : A Mentor Commentary
Author: John Kitchen

(Book) You want wisdom to help run your life? Think you are running out of time? Then this is a priceless, timeless book that will reward your investment as you seek to gain wisdom, rather than knowledge.

Shock of Returning Home

Short-term missions for the long haul means that you take time to grow and learn through processing these feelings. Remember that no culture is perfect. Be careful that you don't become critical or cynical about either culture. Embrace the good about each one and learn from the mistakes that people make in both places. You may have little power to affect an entire culture or country, but you do have the power to make corrections in your own life.

Abide In The Vine
Author: Deepperroots

(Book) Enhance the spiritual impact of both the overseas portion and the re-entry portion of your short-term experience with a single inexpensive resource. These compact books take the materials for overseas trips and bind them together with the COMING HOME re-entry materials to make COMBINATION books. They provide devotional Bible studies to help with both culture shock (while on your ministry assignment) and also help people deal with re-entry stress as they return home and face the inevitable adjustments.

The Art of Coming Home
Author: Craig Storti

(Book) Expecting that home will be the way it was when you left? Are you instead shocked to discover that both you and home have changed? The Art of Coming Home offers the solid advice you need to reduce the stress of the transition experience.

Re-Entry
Author: Peter Jordan

(Book) Peter Jordan's vital, insightful teaching on the challenges and opportunities that await returning missionaries makes this essential reading for everyone involved in missions.

Debriefing & Re-Entry for an International Missions Experience (IMB)
Author: International Mission Board, SBC

(Web Link)

Home Again! Cross-Cultural Re-entry
Author: InterVarsity

(Web Link) How to survive and grow in your re-entry from a cross-cultural experience.

Debriefing the Missions Trip
Author: Mike Woodruff

(Web Link)

The Keys to a Quality Debriefing
Author: Steve Moore

(Web Link)

Spiritual Warfare

Short-term missions for the long haul means that you remain alert to the spiritual battle that rages at all times, and you claim God's promises and revel in his strength and protection. The Bible says, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings" (1 Peter 5:8 & 9).

Three Crucial Questions About Spiritual Warfare
Author: Clinton Arnold

(Book) Bringing his expository skill and extensive knowledge of early Christianity to bear on the contemporary understanding of the spiritual realm, Clinton Arnold develops a biblical understanding of spiritual warfare, defines the influence demons can have on believers, and sheds invaluable light on the controversial topic of territorial spirits and the extent of believers' authority over them.

Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul's Letters
Author: Clinton E. Arnold

(Book) Clinton Arnold... examines first-century Greek, Roman and Jewish beliefs as well as Jesus' teaching about magic, sorcery and divination. Arguing against many recent interpretations that have seen principalities and powers as impersonal social, economic and political structures, Arnold contends that the New Testament view is that such forces are organized, personal beings which Jesus defeated at the cross and will bring into full submission at his return. In his concluding section Arnold suggests practical ways in which Christians today can contend with the forces of evil.

The Bondage Breaker
Author: Neil T. Anderson

(Book) Through Jesus we can win the spiritual battles that confront us. We don't have to be trapped in frustration, bitterness, and discouragement. The Bondage Breaker (more than 900,000 copies sold) helps readers discover how to break negative thought patterns, control irrational feelings, and break out of sinful behavior. In this updated and expanded edition, Neil reveals the position and vulnerability of believers, then presents specific steps to help them achieve true freedom. Dr. Anderson has helped thousands of people--including anorexics, bulimics, and people caught in personal conflicts--overcome their problems through biblical perspectives, biblical answers, and active affirmation of their identity in Christ.

The Handbook for Spiritual Warfare: Revised & Updated Ed.
Author: Dr. Ed Murphy

(Book) Your guide to understanding all dimensions of spiritual warfare! The Handbook for Spiritual Warfare is the most thorough treatment available of biblical and theological foundations and practical concerns for spiritual warfare. Further revised and updated for the 21st century.

Spiritual Warfare for Every Christian with Study Guide
Author: Dean Sherman

(Book) God has called Christians to overcome the world and drive back the forces of evil and darkness at work within it. Spiritual warfare isn't just casting out demons; it's Spirit-controlled thinking and attitudes. Dean delivers a no-nonsense, both-feet-planted-on-the-ground approach to the unseen world.

Essentials of Spiritual Warfare: Equipped to Win the Battle
Author: A. Scott Moreau

(Book) This practical guide provides Christians with everything necessary to meet the challenge of spiritual warfare while avoiding both paranoia and blindness and maintaining a healthy balance. Moreau describes the various fronts of the battle and shows how one constantly moves from one front to another depending on life's circumstances. Moreau aims to help Christians prepare every day for the spiritual challenges they face. (Amazon.com review by "Ingram".)

I'm Done With Spiritual Stuff, Right?

Short-term missions for the long haul means choosing to remain in the Word and to be a person of prayer. This is truly a discipline because it takes a sheer act of the will to bring correction or regulation of oneself for the sake of improvement. Don't take the easy road. Be diligent to stay on this spiritual journey, and God will continue to teach and mold you. Instead of a "mountaintop experience" you will enjoy a new level in your spiritual growth and find yourself climbing to still greater heights in your relationship with God.

Celebration of Discipline
Author: Richard J. Foster

(Book) In the twenty years since its publication, Celebration of Discipline has helped over a million seekers discover a richer spiritual life infused with joy, peace, and a deeper understanding of God. For this special twentieth anniversary edition, Richard J. Foster has added an introduction, in which he shares the story of how this beloved and enduring spiritual guidebook came to be.

So, You Want To Be Like Christ
Author: Charles R. Swindoll

(Book) Practice makes perfect. And readers of So, You Want To Be Like Christ? learn how to cultivate spiritual discipline through projects, activities and exercises that lead to the essence of what it means to be a Christian.

Walk as He Walked
Author: Howard & Bonnie Lisech

(Book) 150-page spiral bound devotional/journal for short-termers. This devotionals focus is for personal spiritual growth (pre-field), followed by 14-day re-entry Bible studies (post-field). They were designed for short-term missionaries and will add an important dimension to any STM trip experience. Topics are sequenced for the culture shock curve and were designed with short-term missionaries in mind, but many other believers are using them for personal refreshment and time with God. We have received hundreds of comments on how helpful they were to individual team members. This book is designed specifically for teams that spend about 6-7 weeks overseas. Some have purchased these and use the first few devotions for pre-field preparation and the remainder for on-field Spiritual encouragement.

Kingdom Perspective

Short-term missions for the long haul means that, It's not the circumstances that matter; it's what you do with'em that does! Seek God in the midst of all your circumstances, behave the way Jesus would, and then wait to see what he does! How many times have you been caught up in the details that you can see instead of "riding the wave" and finding out what God has in store for you and other people?

The Church Is Bigger Than You Think
Author: Patrick Johnstone

(Book) Patrick Johnstone shares his passion for mission with us, showing us that the Church is bigger than we think in terms of Time, Size and Structure. The book has emerged from years of ministry to Christian workers and leaders and seminars. It comprehensively takes the reader through every aspect of the growth of the church, and is an excellent companion to 'Operation World'. It is rooted in scripture and will be an inspiration to us all.

Circumstances or Perspective?
Author: Randy Alcorn

(Article) Intro: One night a man heard a noise nearby and thought there was a burglar in his backyard. The stress was so great he died of a heart attack. Did the burglar cause his stress? No. There was no burglar. What caused his stress-and cost him his life-was not reality but his faulty perception of reality.

Go and Make Disciples
Author: Greenway

(Book) This fresh introduction to Christian missions vividly sets forth the task and challenges facing the church throughout the world. A clear help to all concerned about obeying Jesus' Great Commission.

Let the Nations Be Glad
Author: John Piper

(Book) Piper demonstrates that worship is the ultimate goal of the church and that proper worship drives missionary outreach. He describes prayer as the fuel of missions work because of its focus on a relationship with God rather than the needs of the world. He goes on to illustrate that while suffering is the price of missions, God is worthy of any sacrifice. He examines whether Jesus is the only way to salvation and discusses the extent of the missionary enterprise, seeking to define the scope of the task and the means to reaching "all nations."

God's Will For My Life

Short-term missions for the long haul means that you earnestly seek God in determining how he will use you here on earth, and that you obey Him and put your unwavering trust in Him. STM usually provides a platform for life-change that brings about a transformation in values and priorities. With that may come a sense that God has something different for you than the track you are currently on. Thus begins the journey to discover God's will.

Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing His Will
Author: Henry Blackaby

(Book) In just ten years, this phenomenal discipleship resource has helped millions of believers develop a more intimate relationship with God. Through personal and group study, you will learn how to recognize when God is speaking to you. What's more, this 12-session workbook helps Christians understand the importance of His timing and how to respond obediently. The result of this obedience is a fresh and exciting spiritual walk. Already translated into nearly 50 languages, this in-depth, small-group study has helped change countless lives around the world. Are you ready to begin Experiencing God at work through you?

The Purpose Driven Life
Author: Rick Warren

(Book) The book is a blueprint for Christians living in the 21st century--a lifestyle based on God's eternal purposes, not cultural values. Using over 1,200 scriptural quotes and references, it challenges the conventional definitions of worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism. In the tradition of Oswald Chambers, Rick Warren offers distilled wisdom on the essence of what life is about.

The Cure For the Common Life
Author: Max Lucado

(Book) "Sweet spot." Golfers understand the term. So do tennis players. Ever swung a baseball bat or paddled a Ping-Pong ball? If so, you know the oh-so-nice feel of the sweet spot. Life in the sweet spot rolls like the downhill side of a downwind bike ride. But you don't have to swing a bat or a club to know this. What engineers give sports equipment, God gave you. A zone, a region, a life precinct in which you were made to dwell. He tailored the curves of your life to fit an empty space in his jigsaw puzzle. And life makes sweet sense when you find your spot.

The Journey Deepens

(Web Link) The Journey Deepens web resources and weekend retreats began in 2003 and are organized by MissionsFocus International (successor to Heartland MissionsFests 1990-2001). The purpose of MissionsFocus International is to help missions-minded Christians expand, deepen, and strengthen their relationship with God, and to be a channel of information for those willing to explore steps towards becoming a missionary.

Gift Assessment

Short-term missions for the long haul means that you continue to explore all the ways God has gifted you. Apply those gifts in your church, your neighborhood, and the world. Your short-term mission experience can really challenge what you thought you knew about yourself. Having been asked to do things outside your comfort zone, you may have found that you have more gifts than you knew you had. Now is a good time to revisit your goals, abilities, and gifts. Are you where God wants you to be and doing the things He's gifted you to do?

Network Participants Guide
Author: Bruce L. Bugbee

(Book) Network is a dynamic program to help Christians understand who God has uniquely made them to be, and mobilize them to a place of meaningful service in the local church. It is designed for group presentation in several different formats.

Ministry Tool Resource Center

(Web Link) Help to discover your spiritual gifts, get equipped for serving God, and find useful ministry resources.

Marriage & Family

Whether you are single or married, a parent or a child, short-term missions for the long haul means integrating your experiences into life with those closest to you, and finding practical outlets for processing and reconnecting. Your STM experience will have an effect on those who are closest to you, and it can impact the way you feel about marriage and family.

When Two Walk Together
Author: Richard & Mary Strauss

(Web Link) Learning to Communicate Love & Acceptance in your Marriage by Richard and Mary Strauss.

Marriage Is For Love
Author: Richard Strauss

(Web Link)

Getting Along With Each Other
Author: Richard Strauss

(Web Link)

Hedges
Author: Jerry B. Jenkins

(Book) With the divorce rate steadily climbing and infidelity creeping into even the happiest marriages, in a society that trivializes adultery and its devastating effects, with temptation and opportunity coming at you from all directions--how can you keep your marriage from becoming a statistic? The advice from best-selling author Jerry B. Jenkins is this: plant preventative hedges around your marriage. These hedges are practical ways to avoid compromising situations and giving temptation a foothold in your life.

Parenting In The Pews
Author: Robbie Castleman

(Book) "Daddy, I'd like you to meet my children." That's Robbie Castleman's attitude about taking her children to church. She believes that Sunday morning isn't a success if she has only managed to keep the kids quiet. And she knows there's more to church for kids than trying out their new coloring books. Children are at church for the same reason as their parents: for the privilege of worshiping God.

Six Characteristics For A Potential Spouse
Author: Dennis Rainey

(Article) I am often asked, "What should a single person look for in a potential spouse?" Singles want to know...and parents want to know so they can pass the information on to the children. So I finally came up with the following list...

Family Life Today

(Website) In 1976, Campus Crusade began Family Ministry to provide pre-marriage seminars for its staff members. Following our success in meeting the needs of pre-marrieds, married staff couples began asking for encouragement through marriage seminars. Community leaders and pastors soon found out about the seminars and said they were exactly what couples needed--the blueprints on how to build strong homes. Family Ministry, now called FamilyLife, opened their marriage conferences to the public in 1978.

Focus on the Family

(Website) Focus on the Family's mission is to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in disseminating the Gospel of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible, and, specifically, to accomplish that objective by helping to preserve traditional values and the institution of the family.

Stewardship

Short-term missions for the long haul means that you examine your generosity and obedience, and make life-altering decisions about how you handle your finances and worldly possessions. God owns it all, and he wants you to manage your portion well. Venturing into another culture is always eye-opening whether it is inner-city Chicago or a foreign land. You find out how much you have compared to so many others, and you often witness true contentment even in the midst of poverty or other adverse conditions. As you re-evaluate how you spend money and on what things you place value, now is a good time to make significant stewardship decisions.

Giving: Unlocking The Heart of Good Stewardship
Author: John Ortberg

(Book) Jesus said more about money than just about any other topic. Clearly, it is an important issue--and a touchy one! Deep down, we know it is not a matter of what we earn but how we manage what we earn that shows our ultimate priorities. Giving demonstrates how good stewardship is more than a responsibility--it's an adventure. As you study the connection between your wallet and your heart, you'll learn how money management is a powerful tool for shaping your character.

God & Your Stuff
Author: Wesley K. Willmer and Martyn Smith

(Book) In God and Your Stuff, Wesley Willmer challenges the thinking that what we do with our stuff has no effect on the Christian life. An established authority on stewardship as a spiritual discipline, Willmer lays a biblical foundation for the crucial connection between our eternal souls and our earthly possessions. Learn how our use of possessions is a good barometer of our character, and how our giving practices develop our faith and shape us into the stewards God intended us to be. If you are ready to add a new dimension to your Christian walk, let God and Your Stuff show you how to build a vital link between your possessions and your soul.

The Treasure Principle
Author: Randy Alcorn

(Book) Randy Alcorn's The Treasure Principle (Discovering the Secret of Joyful Giving), the first book in the new LifeChange series, introduces readers to a revolution in material freedom and radical generosity that will change lives around the world.

Stewardship: Choosing Service Over Self-Interest
Author: Peter Block

(Book) In this revolutionary book, Peter Block shows how a far-reaching redistribution of power, privilege, and wealth will radically change all areas of organizational governance, and shows why this is our best hope to enable democracy to thrive, our spiritual and ethical values to be lived out, and economic success to be sustained.

Stewardship is More Than Time, Talent, & Things: A New Agenda
Author: C. Neil Strait

(Book) Explore a new level of giving of yourself for the Kingdom in areas such as talent, time, attitudes, relationships, leisure activities, and finances.

TheGoodSteward.com

(Website) It is a source of information on all areas of stewardship. It is a constantly growing collection of information and tools that will help you become a better steward of the time, energy and resources God has entrusted to you. It is an online magazine for stimulating ideas and discussion. It is a help for the "man-on-the-street." It is a broad community of Christians-interested in stewardship ideas and issues. And, most of all, thegoodsteward.com is a way of life.

GenerousGiving.org

(Website) Generous Giving is a privately funded ministry that seeks to encourage givers of all income levels--as well as pastors, church lay leaders and others--to experience the joy of giving and embrace a lifestyle of generosity, according to God's word and Christ's example. It was launched in 2000 by the Maclellan Foundation to stir a renewed, Spirit-led commitment to generosity among Christians. Generous Giving does not solicit donations.

Crown Financial Ministries

(Website) Equipping people worldwide to learn, apply, and teach God's financial principles so they may know Christ more intimately, be free to serve Him, and help fund the Great Commission.

Getting Sent: A Relational Approach to Support Raising
Author: Pete Sommer

(Book) Getting Sent is a clearly written, practical guide to raising financial support for ministry. It demystifies the deputation process, debunks myths about why people give and presents a step-by-step plan for building and maintaining a long-term support team. The book includes nine Bible studies that focus on the scriptural principles undergirding Sommer's approach.

Life's Unresolved Hurts & Pains

Short-term missions for the long haul means taking the high road and acting on these new convictions. You may feel convictions to repair broken relationships, or you may simply be reminded of how much something or someone has hurt you. It means restoring friendships and seeking forgiveness. God is glorified in reconciliation.

Changes That Heal
Author: Dr. Henry Cloud

(Book) This book focuses on four developmental tasks -- bonding to others, separating from others, integrating good and bad in our lives, and taking charge of our lives -- that all of us must accomplish to heal our inner pain and to enable us to function and grow emotionally and spiritually.

Where Is God When It Hurts?
Author: Philip Yancey

(Book) Philip Yancey's updating of his modern classic answers questions about how to come to terms with the tough times in your life.

Forgiveness: LifeGuide Topical Bible Studies
Author: Douglas Connelly

(Book) Forgiveness is a door. It's the way to peace and joy. But it's a small door, and it can't be entered without stooping--or kneeling. And sometimes it is very hard to find.  When we hurt the people we love, how do we go about restoring the relationship?  When we suffer the pain of betrayal or injury or rejection from someone else, how do we deal with the anger and resentment we feel? In eight studies, Douglas Connelly leads the way to help you discover, understand and practice what the Bible says about forgiveness.  This LifeGuide Bible Study features questions for starting group discussions and for meeting God in personal reflection, together with leader's notes and a "Now or Later" section in each study.

Misc Resources

thejourneydeepens.com

(Website) If you sense God is calling you into missions, but need help in discerning your direction, The Journey Deepens Retreat is a great next step for you! This retreat is a place where you can explore the next step with your life of service before God.

Sample Short-Term Team Covenant
Author: Em Griffin, InterVarsity Press

(Free Document) A sample team covenant that solidifies a Short-Term teams covenant to God and each other.

20 Mile Markers for Mission Team Leaders
Author: Brian Heerwagen

(Free Document) Here are 20 simple ideas to use to inspire and invigorate the team after returning from the mission field. These meetings and ministries can help to integrate your team members more effectively into the church body and to include them in the great commission on a more personal and meaningful level.

Praying Hands for Missions
Author: Unknown

(Article) Making your "concerts of prayer" effective: Praying for world evangelism's front-line workers Want to know how to pray for those working to fulfill Jesus' Great Commission among those yet unreached? You can use your fingers as memory aids when you pray for missions. Here's how...

John Jordan Article
Author: John Jordan

(Free Document) The short-term missions program of Village Baptist Church includes three crucial elements: an extensive goal, strategic long-term partnerships, and an intentional process. Each contributes to the success of the development of long-term missionaries.

Debriefing
Author: Seth Barnes

(Web Link) An article with 30 questions to ask.

Stop Check Go: A Practical Guide to Cross Cultural Teamwork
Author: Ditch Townsend

(Book) In his work for TEAR Fund Dr. 'Ditch' Townsend has interviewed many young people interested in short-term service overseas. In this book he offers help in facing important questions and advice about practical issues. The book will also assist sending agencies and hosts who need to ensure that opportunities are maximized and hazards avoided.