What is Disaster Relief?

Our world continues to experience devastation and destruction annually.  Man-made events as well as natural disasters continue to challenge our minds with “why.”  Why has this happened?  Why me?  Why my community?  As Believers, we cannot answer the “why,” but we can respond with love and compassion as we help those affected know that they are not forgotten by God.

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief is one of the three largest disaster response entities in the United States. Trained volunteers stand ready to respond when disaster hit across our globe.  Disaster Relief ministry provides an opportunity for believers to be the hands and feet of Christ to hurting people.

Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief began ministry in 1984 and is part of the larger Southern Baptist Send Relief network of 42 state conventions, the North American Mission Board, and Baptist Global Response.  Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief is supported by gifts of Kentucky Baptists through the Cooperative Program and the Eliza Broadus Offering for State Missions.  This ministry offers opportunities for believers to be on mission for Christ during times of crisis.

The Apostle John instructed us:

“Let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3

:18).

In times of crisis, people need more than empty words.  They need someone to come alongside them with genuine help and real hope.  Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief brings practical help, the healing grace of Christ, and the hope of the Gospel to those devastated by disaster.  More than 4500 Kentucky Baptists are trained as disaster relief volunteers.  Volunteers can staff mobile kitchens designed to provide thousands of hot meals, move in with a chainsaw after a tornado, assist homeowners in cleaning up a flooded home, offer spiritual care as a chaplain, and provide many other disaster services.

Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers are trained in:

    • Bulk Supply Distribution
    • Chainsaw Ministry
    • Chaplain Care
    • Emergency Childcare
    • Damage Assessment
    • Flood and Wildfire Clean up
    • Mass Feeding
    • Roof Tarping
    • Radio Operations
    • Shower and Laundry Ministry

Water Purification and Well Repair

 

Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief has a host of resources that can be mobilized during times of disaster.  Resources that can be deployed are:

  • 4 Mobile Kitchens with the capacity to prepare 68,000 meals a day for disaster su

    rvivors

  • 27 Chainsaw/Flood/Fire Recovery Trailers
  • 2 Mobile Communication and Command Units
  • 7 Mobile Shower trailers
  • 1 Mobile Laundry Trailer
  • 2 Mobile Childcare Trailers
  • 3 Mobile Water Purification Units
  • 1 Mobile Roof Tarping Trailer
  • 1 Kuboda Skid-Steer
  • 1 Mobile Lift
  • 2 Fork-lifts

You can get trained in 2019 on the following dates:

  • January 12 at Mount Washington First Baptist Church
  • February 2 at Rose Hill Baptist Church in Ashland
  • March 2 at Hillcrest Baptist Church in Hopkinsville
  • April 6 at High Street Baptist Church in Somerset
  • September 14 at Lifepoint Church in Franklin

To learn how you or your church can get involved in this Kingdom ministry go to http://www.kybaptist.org/dr, or call (502) 489-3527.

Chaplain Provides Hope for Inmates & Children

 

On April 17, 2009 Tom Grugel’s life changed forever.  Having lived his entire life in a very dysfunctional lifestyle, and searching for something he couldn’t put into words, Tom found a church and began to attend.  He was encouraged to go on an Emmaus Walk and during that weekend, at 10:00 AM on April 17, Tom surrendered his life to Christ.  “He had been calling for years and I had ignored Him up to that moment,” said Tom.  “He saved me and put a fire in me that has never gone away.  He created in me a desire to share the Gospel with others.”

Tom began giving out Gospel tracts and felt God was calling him to preach.  Once a week he would go to the Taylor County Detention Center and share with the inmates.  This led to a conversation with the Boyle County Detention Center jailer about doing the same at their facility.  But God had other plans.  Tom was asked not to come just once a week, or once a month, but to be the chaplain at the Boyle County Detention Center.

“Tom has many years of experience as an inmate,” said South District Baptist Association Director of Missions Jim Clontz.  “He knows the challenges of knowing what it is like to be alone and wonder what is going to happen!  He knows what it is like to be without Christ!  In his many years as an inmate, no one ever witnessed to him.  He has a love for the inmates, the staff and the administration.  He has the support of the Jailor and Chief Deputy, and works closely with the Detention Center Administration, local churches and with our association.”  Tom is making a difference in the lives of many of the “guests” of the jail, as he likes to refer to them.  They serve 3000 persons a year in the jail and he has seen over 500 professions of faith in Christ during his years as chaplain, with 319 of them being baptized.

“He offers follow-up when inmates are released,” says Bro. Jim, and “there is a very high correlation between follow-up and whether the inmate will return.”

One day Tom’s heart was broken over children he saw that had come to visit mom and dad in jail.  Some were antsy, some were sitting in chairs staring at the walls, and others sitting on the floor.  “I had to step into another room because I had begun to cry,” he said.  Soon after the jail started a Kid’s Corner to minister to these children.  A beautiful mural was painted on the wall and a child’s table and chairs were added where the children can watch television during their visit.  Each child is given a gift bag, which includes toys and, so far, about 500 “Bags of Smiles” has been given out, all of which is funded by local churches.

Click on the following link to view a recent news story that WKYT-TV in Lexington did on the Kids’ Corner – https://www.wkyt.com/content/news/Kids-corner-at-Boyle-Co-jail-motivates-incarcerated-parents-499202421.html.

Tom shared that the Bags of Smiles in no longer just a jail ministry.  They now work with those who do advocacy with children, and with child protective services, to provide the Bags of Smiles.

“There is so much that the Lord is doing,” says Tom.  And he is always quick to give the God the credit.

Tom works closely with the churches of the South District Baptist Association and, in February 2018, became a Kentucky Mission Service Corps Missionary with the Kentucky Baptist Convention in his role as chaplain.

There is a need for new or gently used toys for the Bags of Smiles.  If you would like to partner with Tom please email him at [email protected], or contact Dr. Jim Clontz, Director of Missions at the South District Baptist Association at 859-238-7624.

Short-term Mission Team Timeline

They say time is of the essence.  No time like the present, others say.  Planning your short-term mission takes preparation; it takes time.  While there may be occasions when a mission effort can be pulled together quickly, most often the preparation requires many months. No rigid timeline exists for short-term missions, but there are some general steps that allow a team to prepare well in advance in order to maximize the impact of the team with the strategy of the host missionary.  Here is a suggested timeline that can be used as a guide:

  1. 10 to 12 months prior—determine assignment
  2. 9 months prior—determine team leader(s)
  3. 9 months prior—publicize mission effort
  4. 6 to 9 months prior—recruit team/receive volunteers, deposit due
  5. 6 to 9 months prior—contact travel agent to begin searching ticket prices
  6. 6 to 9 months prior—schedule initial info meeting, collect bi-monthly or quarterly payments
  7. 6 months prior—apply for passport and check requirement for visas
  8. 6 months prior—plan team meetings and meet monthly to discuss general mission prep
  9. 3 to 4 months prior—purchase plane tickets
  10. 3 to 4 months prior—get immunizations (shots!) if necessary
  11. 3 to 4 months prior—team meetings should become more specialized according to what the team will be doing on the field
  12. 2 months prior—develop prayer team
  13. 4 weeks prior—plan commissioning service for team
  14. 1 week prior—hold commission service
  15. 1 week or month after—plan celebration time with team and/or church

Preparing well allows us to go with a plan and then once there to go with the flow.  We trust that God uses our planning, but we also go knowing that the Lord will direct our steps and guide our ways for gospel advancement.

Iconic Branding

Churches, pastors, and ministries seek to be heard in the massive expanse of one of the most competitive cultural influences in history… the influence and power of global media.  We daily compete to share the most important message of life in a culture that is bombarded with 24-hour, non-stop media clutter.

Marketers today constantly talk about the importance of branding and being relevant in the competitive arena of global media.   The fast food company McDonald’s has done this well through the years.  McDonald’s began by serving hamburgers and fries and not much else.  You can still get a hamburger at McDonald’s today, but you can also get salads, wraps, and a cappuccino.  It is a different world even for McDonald’s and they have continued to adapt their product to stay relevant and to attract customers.

As the church, we must continue to prayerfully communicate the message of Christ in a changing culture and to form mission strategies that are effective and relevant in this new day.  The Apostle Paul understood the need for cultural awareness and adaptability.  That is what he is teaching us in the 1 Corinthians 9 when he instructs us,

“I have become all things to all people, so that I may by every possible means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22).

The Apostle Paul understood the importance of sharing the Gospel in a way that communicates clearly in a sea of competing voices and that is culturally relevant to those whom you seek to reach.  As a church, it is important to develop missional strategies that are culturally relevant and that communicate clearly.  

McDonald’s has evolved from their beginnings in 1955 and continues to be relevant in a changing culture.  As a company, they have been able to adapt and make changes that help them compete in this time of huge cultural shifts.  They have remained relevant and continue to attract customers.

And yet, one thing has not changed, McDonald’s has never changed their iconic branding of the “golden arches“.  They may have changed their menu, but the company leaders have recognized that the “golden arches” sets them apart and makes them recognizable in a flooded market of competitors.  

I would encourage you to learn a second lesson from McDonald’s and the Apostle Paul.  We must continue to adapt to stay relevant but certain iconic branding that sets us apart in a sea of clamoring competitors should remain. Though we must be willing to adapt in practice to effectively reach our world for Christ, we must hang on to that which “brands” us as the church of our Lord.  As Paul shares clearly, “But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:23-24).  This message must never change and must always remain as that which clearly communicates who we are in a sea of clamoring noise and media clutter.  Christ crucified and resurrected is our unchanging message.

It is the iconic branding that sets us apart.

 

 

Steps to Engaging Your Community with the Gospel

Ministry in and to the community is the most critically important, but often overlooked activity of the local church. The church gets busy doing the “inward focused” activities that serve and even appear to strengthen the church.  But somewhere along the way, they fail to turn outward and engage the local community by meeting it’s needs and sharing the gospel. This inward focused mentality is killing many churches.

Community

Tom Rainer in his book The Autopsy of a Deceased Church shares that one of the common denominators among dying churches is their failure to engage the community around them.  We see it in every city, both urban and rural.  What used to be a thriving and community-involved church is now stagnant, unengaged and quietly dying.

Lifeway research shares that 78% of non-church attenders believe that the local church is more concerned with organized religion than with making a difference in their own community. Perhaps that’s why non-attenders aren’t coming anymore.  They question what the church does and its significance in the life of the community.

Churches must start asking the question, “How can we effectively engage our community in such a way that we meet real needs and open doors for sharing Christ?”

Before a church dives into unchartered waters and begins ministry to the community, there are important steps to take that will ensure it is relevant, needed and well executed.  Just because “ABC” church in another town is doing a ministry well is not reason enough for your church to invest and engage in the same ministry, unless it’s needed by your community, and God is leading your church to implement it.

Here are some suggested steps for engaging your community through meaningful and relevant, gospel-centered ministry.   

  1. Pray Seeking God’s Leadership – for direction, open doors, resources, powerful witness, laborers for the harvest, and receptive hearers. Prayer teams, elderly widows/physically handicapped, prayer walking areas of need.  Total dependence on God.
  2. Share Vision and Involve Others – with church staff, lay persons, community leaders and people of influence; Through book study, sermon series, testimonies, newsletter/web page or blog.
  3. Assess Community Needs – assessments like Community Assessment Tool.
  4. Determine Giftedness and Available Resources – church resources, passion of members, spiritual gift inventories, surveys; Eph 4 – God has equipped each believer for “works of service”. There are several different church assessments available.
  5. Find your “sweet spot” by matching discovered community needs with the church’s gifting and resources to determine which ministry to engage in.
  6. Plan the Ministry –
    1. Enlist Passionate Person and Leadership Team
    2. Decide on Ministry
    3. Determine Mission Statement –
    4. Prepare Goals and Objectives –
    5. Prepare and Implement Action Plans –
    6. Gather Resources and Enlist Volunteers –
    7. Provide Ministry Training – including evangelism (testimony, tracts, scripture, CWT, Share Jesus Without Fear, FAITH, 3 Circles, Tell Your Story or Most Important Thing, etc.).
  7. Set the Ministry in Motion –
  8. Evaluation –

The possibilities for community engagement through meaningful ministry are endless and only limited by you!

Here are some Community Ministry Ideas:

  •  Parents & Married Couples – parenting courses, marriage enrichment classes, money management 
  •  Women – wives of deployed soldiers, Mothers of Preschoolers, pregnancy care, shelter for abused women/children,  prostitution/human trafficking,  mentoring mothers
  •  Men – literacy, job skill training, computer use, jail/prison, mentoring for ex-offenders, homeless shelters
  •  Students – tutoring/homework assistance, backpack ministry, latchkey kids, sports ministry, foster parenting/adoption, college/university campus
  •  Health Care – clinics, preventive health workshops/screenings, taxi service to doctors, prescription assistance, nursing homes
  • Special Ministry- developmentally disabled, physically handicapped, internationals, refugee resettlement, raceways, truck stops, resorts & campgrounds
  •  Community – food/clothing, benevolence, money management classes, cooking classes on limited budget, rehab house trailers, multi-housing, laundromat, adopt a public school, car repair for low income families
  •  Support Groups – gambling, sexual addiction, substance abuse, grief recovery, divorce

Owsley County Food Place Celebrates 20-Year Anniversary

On the beautiful Fall Friday afternoon of October 12th, the Owsley County Food Place celebrated 20 years of ministry to families in and around Booneville.  The celebration took place outside at the Owsley County Senior Citizens shelter.  There was bluegrass gospel music, Bible reading, sharing about the ministry, prayer of thanksgiving for the ministry and of course, food.  Those that attended enjoyed grilled hotdogs and the trimmings.  Jerry and Susie Lacefield, founders of the ministry, cut the cake and everyone enjoyed a time of celebration.

Jerry and Susie came to Owsley County in November 1997 when Jerry was called as Pastor of Booneville FBC.  They dedicated their lives to the people of one of the poorest counties in the nation. Along with the food ministry, they also had a clothing ministry, hosted mission teams that did home repairs, conducted backyard Bible clubs, block parties and lots of outreach events in the area.

During the celebration Jerry shared some stats from the 16 years they served at the Food Place:

  • $71,997 was donated to buy food
  • 389 tons of food were given out
  • 572 volunteer mission groups and individuals served in the ministry
  • Volunteer mission groups and individuals came from 16 states and 2 countries (Canada & Africa)
  • Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, youth groups, inmates from the local jail and other local volunteers assisted in the ministry
  • 104 Bible Schools were held at assisted living facilities, apartment complexes, the ministry center and even one an individual’s yard
  • 3,414 children were given Christmas items by Valley View Baptist Church in Louisville
  • 1,350 children were given Easter baskets by Midway Church in Kentucky
  • 11 families were helped in 2003 following a flood in Booneville
  • 2 trucks were used for 8 years, then Harden Baptist Church in Benton, KY donated a trailer for their use

Jerry recalled a time in 2006 when funds were low, and they did not know if they would be able to continue the ministry.  They prayed for God to intervene and soon after received a donation of $14,000.

In 2008 they celebrated their 10-Year Anniversary, but also saw this as the biggest giving year, when $21,000 was given to support the ministry.

The biggest statistic that Jerry shared was that 290 persons professed faith in Christ during the 16 years they served at Owsley County Food Place.

Although the Lacefields have since retired and are now living in North Carolina, they still have a special love for the people of Owsley County.  This day was a Homecoming for them and it was also evident of how much the people loved them and were so happy to see them once again.

The Owsley County Food Place ministry continues, being led by Karen Jennings and retired pastor Bill Walton.  They currently serve around 300 families a month with food, mostly received from God’s Food Pantry in Lexington.  They have 7 freezers to store frozen food and are planning to build a cooler that will hold even more frozen food.

Thank God for ministries such as the Owsley County Food Place that continue year after year, month after month, to provide not only the physical needs of the people but show and share the love of Christ.  May they continue to see people fed and souls saved as a result of their labor.

Short-term missions and team devotions

Short-term missions is strategic for making disciples not only globally, but locally within of our own congregations.  Using short-term mission efforts for disciple-making among our own church members is one slice of the disciple-making pie.

No need to reinvent the wheel here.  Ample resources are available for mission teams to use for team devotions.  Teams might select a book of the Bible or a portion of Scripture to work through prior to departure as well as while on the mission field.  Questions related to the passage can be developed that generate team discussions when meeting together before and during the mission effort.

Teams might also select short, but pertinent books on specific topics to read prior to departure and to discuss while on the field.  Suggested topics include:

  • Evangelism
  • Missions
  • Church Membership
  • Theology (a specific doctrine or a summary of multiple doctrines—e.g. BF&M 2000)
  • Biographies of missionaries or Christian leaders
  • Selected sermons (manuscripts that can be read as well as listened to)
  • Spiritual disciplines (Christian growth)
  • Church health/revitalization
  • Church planting

If using a book study, prepare some questions related to each chapter or section of the book you plan to discuss.  Use mornings or evenings with the team to not only review the upcoming day or debrief the day, but to discuss the topic for intentional discipleship time.

The point in team devotions is to maximize the concentrated time with the team for Jesus’ model of Mark 3:14—being with and sending out.  Mark gives us the reason for Jesus choosing the twelve (apostles).  He spent time with them and sent them out to share the good news.  Jesus is modeling what it looks like to make disciples—it’s time together and it’s time serving.  In fact, Matthew gives us a similar paradigm for discipleship.  Jesus mentored (taught) (Matthew 5-7); modeled (served with) (Matthew 8-9); and multiplied (sent them out) (Matthew 10).

Short-term missions allows churches to build disciples in a similar way that Jesus and Paul modeled it for us.  We can mentor, model, and multiply our church members in a concentrated way unlike at other times throughout the year.  Capitalizing on your time with the team for teaching and serving is invaluable and will often transform the way they engage the church and others once back home.

 

Why Cultural Awareness is Important in Ministry?

Jesus commanded us in Matthew 28:18-20 to “go and make disciples of all nations.”  To do this effectively requires us to have some understanding of the community and the culture that God has called us to minister within.  Race, age, religious belief, economic status, language, educational background, unique community marks of identification, major social issues all have impact on our mission field and can be bridges or barriers to the Gospel.

Every church needs a cultural awareness of their mission field.

The Apostle Paul taught us about the need for cultural awareness in ministry in 1 Corinthians 9:22, “I have become all things to all people, so that I may by every possible means save some.”

We are called as believers to be Ambassadors for Christ.

A good ambassador:

  • Has knowledge of who he is and who he is representing.
  • Knows extensive knowledge of the place that he has been assigned…culturally, socially, politically, geographically, etc.
  • Shows respect for the people that he will serve among.
  • Seeks to identify and connect with the people that he will work with.

Do you know your community?

Strategic Cultural Demographics – Strategic Mapping for Ministry/Outreach

  • Ethnic Diversity/Make-up
  • Geographical Divisions
  • Income Levels – average income
  • Educational Levels
  • Employment/Unemployment – biggest employers
  • Percentage of Poverty and homelessness
  • Population Distribution by Age – fastest growing age segment
  • Languages Spoken
  • Major Social Issues that Impact community – drug usage, teenage pregnancy, etc.
  • Unique Community Markers of Identification – university, resort area, military base, etc.
  • Projected Community Growth Rate over Next Five Years – community stagnant, declining, or growing
  • Religious Beliefs in Community
  • What Percentage of Community Looks Like Your Church?

There are several ways to gather this information to help you to understand the culture of your community.  Information can be gathered from census and other community data resources on the internet.  Often real estate groups, local Chambers of Commerce, and schools will have good community information.

Church Leaders should also do personal observation in the community to verify or to discover additional community information.  Drive through the community.  Walk through neighborhoods.  Look for significant community markers or cultural markers (ethnic restaurants, non-Christian places of worship, community assistance or resource centers, colleges, military base, recreational areas). Identify local places where people congregate.  Observe and engage people in local gathering places.

The goal is to learn about people in your community and identify points where the church can build bridges to Christ.

The keys to developing a missional cross-cultural strategy in your church are:

  • Listen and observe
  • Be sensitive
  • Look to build bridges to Christ
  • Share the Gospel in the heart language of your community/target group
  • Make decisions when possible with those of your target group
  • Be inclusive when you reach people – allow them a place in the family of faith
  • Be willing to make changes that break down barriers to the Gospel
  • Do not sweat a few mistakes but seek to learn from them.

 

Construction Opportunities

Construction skills of all types are much needed on the mission field and open the door to sharing the Gospel with those you serve.

One Kentucky missionary shared the story of a man they had been ministering to through their ministry center.  The man had completed their 3-month budgeting course and was in need of some home repairs.  A mission team from Pennsylvania who had served in the area for the past 2 years worked on the man’s home, including a bathroom that was falling in and in total disrepair.  On the last day of the team’s mission trip, the missionary went by to see how things were going.  The home owner met him at the car, took him by the hand and led him to the newly renovated bathroom.  The missionary, thinking the man wanted to show him his new bathroom, was quite surprised when the man said, “Today I knelt in the floor by this brand-new bathtub and accepted Christ as my personal Savior.”

The missionary and mission team had met this man at his point of need, opening up the opportunity to share Christ with him.  The man’s life was changed that day for all eternity because of a mission team that used their construction skills, but also took time to share the Gospel.

This is just one of many stories of how construction teams have used their skills on mission.  Others include churches that were rebuilt after being destroyed by fire and a lady who financed the rebuilding a widow’s house that was beyond repair.

There are many elderly, single moms, needy families, churches and ministry centers that are in desperate need of teams with construction skills.  Teams are needed throughout the year for everything from minor repairs to major construction or rebuild jobs.  Consider putting together a construction team from your own church or association that can meet the building or repair needs of your local community, as well as state-wide, nationally, and internationally.

Some of the ways construction teams can serve on mission include:

  • Handyman services
  • Wheelchair ramps for the elderly and disabled
  • Home repairs
  • Roofing
  • Painting
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Winterization of homes
  • New home construction for a needy family
  • Church renovation
  • New church construction
  • Repairs/renovation/new construction at a ministry center
  • Disaster relief responses

Look for construction opportunities on the Kentucky Baptist Convention website at http://kybaptist.org/mission-opportunities/construction-maintenance/.

Or, consider joining a Baptist Builder Team, a Carpenters for Christ Team, or a Campers on Mission Team and use your construction skills on mission for Christ.

Enlisting Short-term Mission Teams

Jesus’s command to makes disciples of all nations is for all believers (Matt 28:19).  While we want every Christian to be a disciple-maker, not everyone in the local church will necessarily leave their home for gospel mission (Acts 13:1-3).  Some go; the rest send.  Some go long-term; others can go short-term.  Short-term mission teams can be a valuable asset to assist those making disciples in far places.  Enlisting proper short-term team members is an essential part of ensuring we have an effective and faithful long-term mission impact.  Here are some suggestions for enlisting your short-term mission team.

  • Communicate clearly to the church the mission. Pastors play a key role in communicating and giving “stage time” to the mission that the church will engage in.  Use as many (creative) communication platforms as necessary to inform the church of the upcoming mission opportunity.
  • Work closely with the pastor(s) in the process of recruiting or approving team members. As the shepherds of the church, pastors need to be involved in the decision process of those who participate in the mission effort.
  • Plan an informational meeting. Those who express interest need to know key details (as much as possible) in finalizing their decision. Schedule an informational group meeting with interested persons. Cover such details as:
    1. Location
    2. Purpose of the mission (as it aligns with the strategy of the host missionaries)
    3. Cost (travel, food, lodging, ministry expenses, travel insurance)
    4. Accommodations (lodging, travel, food, etc.)
    5. Expectations of team members (health abilities, type of work, behavior, etc.)
    6. Q&A time
  • Schedule interviews and/or an application process. Whether through an interview with those interested or by filling out an application, this step is important in making sure that those desiring to go are a right fit for the mission effort.  Issues covered in the interview and/or application include:
    1. Personal conversion story.
    2. Description of personal growth (e.g., prayer, Bible reading, church involvement, personal witnessing).
    3. Explanation of why the individual desires to go on this mission effort.
    4. Look for team players. There are no lone rangers in missions.
    5. Gain a feel for the personality of the person and ability to relate well with others.
    6. Willingness to be flexible and serve as needed.
    7. Physical and emotional stability.
  • Inform each interested person of the decision. In many cases, the answer for an interested mission team member will be “yes, welcome to the team.”  On occasion, the team leader, pastors and other decision makers will have to inform interested persons that the answer is “wait”.

Short-term teams provide valuable help to long-term missionaries when those teams are carefully selected and properly trained.  While not every Christian will be called to live far from “home,” every Christian is called to make disciples of all nations.  One way to faithfully live out this disciple-making call is by being part of carefully selected short-term mission teams.