A quick Google search of “short term mission opportunity” will yield thousands of options and multiple organizations. Finding a place to go and an organization to sponsor a trip is not difficult. Locating the right organization for an effective partnership is more complicated – yet definitely possible.

Start with your denomination if your church belongs to one. Working with another organization has the advantage of connecting participants to someone who is capable of enabling them in missional participation long after their connection with you has faded. If this group is affiliated with your denomination, there is little risk of doctrinal conflicts. However, not all churches belong to a denomination. And not all denominations have short term mission opportunities.

As a next step, consider the organization(s) your missionaries affiliate with. As a church you have affirmed this organization along with your missionaries, making their short term opportunities a probable fit. Working with staff within these organizations can also help you to be of better support for your missionaries as you learn the culture and personnel who support your long term field workers.

If neither of these options works, there are several other avenues to explore. Which you choose depends significantly upon the nature and purpose of the trip you would like to take. Determine this before proceeding further. Without this information to guide you, the myriad of choices is likely to be overwhelming rather than enabling. There are three types of organizations to consider.

Faith based mission organizations often have a short term mission program. You may look for an organization which is like minded to yours in regard to doctrine and philosophy. Or, you may look for an organization which specializes in an area or type of ministry which you feel burdened toward. You can review a comprehensive list of most major mission organizations at The Mission Exchange.

Short term mission organizations can also be helpful in many cases. These are groups whose sole purpose is to enable short term mission for churches and individuals. An example of such an organization is DELTA International.

The last option is to organize a trip directly with a missionary on the field. You may find a contact through your church or other friends. Many planning a trip on their own will testify to the time consuming, yet rewarding aspects of this process. If you are note sure about the work required to organize the details of such a trip on your own, you may consider the assistance of a short term mission service organization. Service organizations do not sponsor your trip, but rather provide key coordinated services such as processing of funds, advising on visas and booking plane tickets. An example of this type of organization is STM Toolbox.

Whichever route you take to partnership, you will not regret careful research.