Northwestern, in conjunction with the Reformed Church in America, will be hosting a short term missions workshop on Oct. 27 in the Fireside room in Ramaker. The RCA is hosting these workshops around the country. The goal of this event is to better prepare not only the student body for short term missions but also the public.
A short-term mission is any length of mission work done over the course of two years or less. This would include Spring Service Projects and Summer of Service.
NW uses the Standards of Excellence in short-term missions as a tool for successful mission trips. The standards for a short-term mission trip are: God-centeredness, empowering partnerships, mutual design, comprehensive administration, qualified leadership, appropriate training and thorough follow- through.
“I know for at NW, we are certified by these standards because we want the mission trip to be helpful and to be God-centered,” said Barb Dewald, Associate Dean of Christian Formation. “We are there to assist and to encourage the people who are doing long term mission.”
The main purpose of the workshop is to help those who will be attending to lead short-term mission trips.
“The idea of the workshop is to help equip those who are leading trips, or maybe those who are planning trips,” said Dewald. “There will be lots of discussion and lots of ideas coming out of this workshop.”
Dewald hopes the people attending will be more thorough with their short-term missions.
“We hope they will be more conscious of the Standards of Excellence principles so that when they are planning something they will take all of those into account,” Dewald said. “There are a lot of things that go into it and sometimes we only think of some of those items.”Dewald has seen progress at NW for equipping students to go on Spring Service Projects. In the past, service projects looked much different.
“Basically, you had your team, and you jumped in the van, and you went,” Dewald said.
NW has much more preparation for Spring Service Projects now including a weekly meeting starting at the beginning of the spring semester.
Church leaders, mission trip leaders, pastors or anyone who might work with short-term missions are invited to this workshop.
“At the college, it would be students who are learning about leading a spring service team or a faculty or staff member interested in short-term missions,” Dewald said.
Dewald knows that it will be hard to take the majority of the day off for the workshop, but it will be a fun time discussing short-term mission projects and how to equip people going on one.
The RCA short-term mission workshop will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Fireside Room in the Ramaker Center.