Question about Guidance for missionaries:
"Should I go on a short-term missions trip just to try it out?"
Although I guidance to go into missions since my midteens, short-term trips changed my ideas concerning what tasks or roles I should be doing in missions. I actually changed my career direction completely: I did medical training but am doing surveys for future Bible translations.
If you're not sure, but are open to be shown with a heart to follow fully, then a short-term experience in an area of the world in which you have an interest, or to a ministry for which you have a heart is a good approach.
Better yet, rather than joining a short-term team with its own itinerary and agenda (and trying to follow your own agenda on the side), consider going by yourself or with your spouse or a good friend and visiting the actual field you'd like to join. If you aren't sure, try to set up visits to two or three likely ministries and locations so you can compare and get a sense of what the options and obstacles might be.
That kind of field visit will not hold you back or distract you from preparing to go long-term, but will instead serve as an important step in finding your fit and figuring out what it will take to get there. You'll have a much better idea of what you're getting into and can better share that vision with family members, friends, and supporters.
Many of the teams sent out by the agency I serve with require new applicants to make a field visit before they come long-term. I think it's a wise policy.
See also Mission Trips That Move You Forward: Stepping Stones to Long-term Service (published on our sister site, ShortTermMissions.com)
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