Unlike short-term mission teams, the local church in any community is present year round. When we work through the local church, they are able to minister to the spiritual needs of the people. By including training on every short-term missions trip, the local church will be better prepared to care for both the physical and spiritual needs of their own people.
Training builds a local church’s capability to serve those in their community. It also builds up the local church by helping them gain dignity and credibility. Instead of us doing things for them for a short time, they can learn how do things for themselves and for others indefinitely.
Bill Griffin is the Vice President for Dental Ministries with the Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA).