Why a “Short-Term Mission Connexion”?

By Bill MacLeod, Director, MissionConnexion with Tory Ruark, Director, MissionExcellence

Tory Ruark serves as the Chief Operations Officer of MissionWorks, the Director of MissionExcellence, and leads our annual Short-Term Mission Connexionevent, which was February 24-25, 2023. For the first time ever, it was held in Seattle, Washington, and took on the theme “Journey Together.”

Tory said: “Short-term mission trips shouldn’t be one sided or one directional. Mission trips are the expression of partners journeying together for a common purpose–God’s glory! By learning to live and work together as one church, we can learn to plan mission trips that honor God, honor our hosts, and honor those we’re serving!” 

With the theme, “Journey Together,” we put an emphasis on hearing from the global church and practiced journeying together during our conference. We did this in a few major ways:

  1. Hearing from the Global Church!This year we had 5 speakers in our plenary session and 3 of them were members of the Global Church from Costa Rica, Mexico, and Kenya, Africa! We also had a whole workshop track dedicated to partnering with the Global Church with presenters around the world.
  2. Streaming online! We made it possible for people to attend online–and were even able to invite all attendees to have an international partner attend with them online for free! We had people joining us online from a multitude of states plus Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and central America!
  3. Engaging in dialogue!Whether in-person or online, each plenary session ended with small group discussion. Our wonderful speakers provided discussion questions to help our attendees discuss how they can put what they just heard into practice. This was a first for us and was very well received!

Finally, I must share with you one final highlight. Ironically, the last highlight comes from the start of the conference. Each year we hold a special 10-hour pre-conference workshop that focuses on 7 key elements for mission trips that help ensure our trips are honoring God, our hosts, and those we serve. These also create a standard by which we can measure the effectiveness of our mission trips for all involved–not just our participants–which is key to journeying together!

This year we had one of our highest levels of attendance for this pre-conference workshop with more than 25 registering for the event! While some couldn’t participate due to the snow in the region, many of those have already transferred their registration to an upcoming online version of the workshop!

We encourage you to check out Short-Term Mission Connexion–and not just for 2023! You can actually purchase the recordings of all the plenary sessions, in-person workshops, and online workshops for as little as $10! We hope to see you at another MissionConnexion event soon!