Transforming missionaries as they seek to transform a hurting world with the love of Jesus

Transforming Missionaries: A Short-Term Mission Guide

A resource for training churches, groups and individuals who are seeking to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ around the corner and around the world through short term mission trips.

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The Transforming Missionaries Model

David Bosch wrote the truly inspired book “Transforming Mission” where he sought to explain the paradigm shifts in the theology of mission.  

The book title has a two-fold meaning.  The first is how Christian mission can be an enterprise that transforms reality.  The second meaning is that mission enterprises are themselves being tranformed as the postmodern age changes the world around us.  

Missionary models are in a constant state of ‘transformation’.  Most people no longer accept and embrace Christ through the traditional methods of evangelism.  Gone are the days of tent revivals, ‘door to door’ visits, telemarketing and ‘canned’ presentations of the Gospel.  

The Transforming Missionaries (TM) training manual revisits the conclusions drawn by Bosch for further update on the mission of the church.  We see that while missionaries are being deployed to transform the lives of others around the world, the missionaries are themselves being transformed into the image of Christ.

Biblical Foundations

Jesus said, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me. ” When his disciples replied that they had never seen Him hungry, thirsty or cold, He explained, “Whenever you did one of these things for someone overlooked or ignored, that was me-you did it for me.” —Matthew 25:35-40

“How can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them? And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”— Romans 10:14-15

“My friends, what good is it to say you have faith, when you don’t do anything to show that you really do have faith? Can that kind of faith save you? If you know someone who doesn’t have any clothes or food, you shouldn’t just say, “I hope all goes well for you. I hope you will be warm and have plenty to eat.” What good is it to say this, unless you do something to help? Faith that doesn’t lead us to do good deeds is all alone and dead.”— James 2:14-17

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”— Acts 1:8

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Transforming Missionaries: A Short-Term Mission Guide

Book Outline:

  • Introduction & Biblical Foundation
  • Teamwork & Team Building
  • Travel & Packing
  • Language Skills & Cultural Adaptation
  • Ministry Preparation
  • Final Details
  • Re-Entry Preparation
  • Leader Orientation
  • Team Leader Preparation
  • Appendix

Successful mission endeavors require adequate preparation in the following areas: Teamwork & Teambuilding, Travel & Packing, Language Skills & Cultural Adaptation, Ministry and Spiritual Preparation. In addition to this, individuals need to understand how the mission trip may affect them upon return home due to Reentry Shock (also known as reverse Culture Shock).

This guide provides structure for the team to learn and be spiritually prepared for their journey, rather than simply having team meetings to discuss logistics.


Emphasis is placed on unifying the team to represent the Kingdom of God, and developing the team member as an ambassador for Christ.

Training sessions can be organized in a variety of ways. One option would be conducting five sessions (1 ½ hours each) over 5 Sundays or another option would be to have an intensive weekend retreat. Training is highly interactive using video clips, PowerPoint slides, and personal testimonies.

Dave and Lorene Wilson have been involved in short-term mission trips since 1995, traveling to over 90 countries combined. Over the years they have researched many mission resources and training manuals, have led dozens of mission teams, and have conducted independent research to learn from previous mistakes commonly made on the mission field.  They are available to come alongside churches for full service mission trip planning and preparation.


"Every local church or mission organization that exists today needing encouragement on how to train both domestically and internationally should use ‘Transforming Missionaries’. The training material has been proven to prepare teams both spiritually and logistically for effectiveness in the field. ‘Transforming Missionaries’ was created with a desire to see churches use their full potential by serving others and promoting God’s glory. I have had the privilege of working with several churches that had little to no experience training and taking teams on mission trips. This material helped those churches that are now more active in their local communities and are sending teams to other countries on a regular basis. I have led over 21 teams on mission for God’s glory and ‘Transforming Missionaries’ helped facilitate that and provided the necessary training in the process of preparation.  It will be a blessing to your ministry in equipping saints for disciple making and advancing the gospel all around the world."

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Randall & Kelly Waller, Hamilton Hills Church, Fishers, IN

Randall and Kelly have been married for 18 years and have four kids. Randall has served the Lord as a youth pastor, associate pastor, lead planter, and teaching pastor over the past 18 years. He has a MAR in Church Planting and Evangelism from Liberty University. He currently serves on staff at Hamilton Hills Church in Fishers, IN.


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