Short-term mission trips have become a staple of the American Christian experience with billions being spent every year traveling, working, and attempting to make a difference in the name of Jesus around the world. Many have begun to question the efficacy of these trips. Brian Fikkert, author of When Helping Hurts and founder of The Chalmers Center, has recently published Helping Without Hurting in Short-Term Missions to help leaders and participants detoxify the way these trips are practiced. Charity Detox interviewed Fikkert recently about this new book.
Brian Bollinger is the Executive Director of Friends of Refugees, a collective of people and organizations in Clarkston, GA empowering refugees through opportunities for their well-being, education, and empowerment. Since Clarkston is an epicenter of refugee resettlement in the Southeast, it has also become an epicenter for church outreach and mission teams. This has brought forth initiatives across the toxic-to-responsible spectrum. Brian shares with the Charity Detox community three things he would say to anyone that wants to participate in mission in his community.
Ian and Ruthie North, and their newborn son Jack, live on a stretch of road in Atlanta that is one of the most diverse contexts in the country. As neighbors in this context, they have developed relationships with refugees and immigrants from around the globe. As ministry leaders in this context, they have worked alongside mission teams - some toxic, some responsible - that come into their community with the sincere desire to serve Jesus by serving the poor. Ian shares three tips for helping short-term teams practice more responsible mission.