Andy Crouch Discusses Round Trip Short-Term Missions Documentary on Interfaith Voices National Radio
CAROL STREAM, Ill., July 6 /Christian Newswire
/ -- Andy Crouch, executive producer of Round Trip
, a documentary-style DVD and curriculum about short-term missions, appeared recently on the nationally syndicated public radio program Interfaith Voices to discuss the challenges that face both missions groups and their hosts in creating lasting change through these visits. The interview can be heard here. It's also featured on the Interfaith Voices Facebook Fan Page
Short-term missions trips are an "exploding phenomenon over the past decade or two," Crouch told interviewer Mike Leard. Almost 2 million Americans go on short-term missions trips each year, sponsored by the more than 40,000 American churches, schools, and other organizations.
Crouch discussed the gap in expectations between the Americans and their hosts--Americans tend to think in terms of what they will do on the trip, and apparently "really like to paint things"; while the host groups are more relational and friendship-oriented. "The host groups often simply want to meet Americans and build relationships with fellow Christians from other countries," Crouch said.
Often these trips are not as life-transforming as everyone involved would like them to be, Crouch said. To avoid the pitfall of short-term missions being little more than "Christian tourism," Crouch said, "it really comes down to seeing these trips as one piece of a larger story." He described the successful model pioneered by the two churches featured in Round Trip, Chapel Hill Bible Church in North Carolina and Mavuno Church in Nairobi, Kenya, which have built a deep and lasting relationship. As demonstrated in the DVD, "if the trip is part of a church or a community's long-term vision for changing the way we relate to our own wealth, power, and opportunity, then I think it can be, in a lasting way, transformational," Crouch said.
Crouch advised that people preparing for a short-term missions trip "step back from assumptions of control, power, and 'can-do spirit,'" and ask who their hosts are and what their expectations are. "You may be surprised," Crouch said, by the emphasis on relationship and connection. He added that Oscar Muriu, senior pastor of Nairobi Chapel, once told him that "Americans always want to paint walls, but we often repaint them after they leave."
Round Trip is produced by Christianity Today International, located in Carol Stream, Illinois, a not-for-profit communications ministry. Visit www.ChristianityToday.com
Andy Crouch, executive producer, is senior editor at Christianity Today International. He is the author of Culture Making, which was named one of the best religion books of 2008 by Publishers Weekly, and won a Christianity Today Book Award in the Christianity & Culture category. Crouch sits on the editorial board of Books & Culture and has been a columnist for Christianity Today. He was editor-in-chief of re:generation quarterly and for ten years served as a campus minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Harvard University. He is a coauthor of The Church in Emerging Culture and a contributor to the Worship Team Handbook. Andy and his wife Catherine live in Swarthmore, PA, with their two children.