A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Partnership in Short-Term Missions

by Richard Lotterhos, March 27, 2007

studentsmap_lEffectiveness in Short-Term Missions depends on vital partnerships with in-country ministry leaders. Rich Lotterhos offers a case study of the U.S. Campus Ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ from 1979 to 2004. He examines how international networking and partnership among Campus Ministry staff preceded and then sustained the development of a range of short-term student programs, including year-long STINT projects, International Summer Projects and Worldwide Student Network campus-to-campus partnerships designed to launch and strengthen indigenously led new campus ministries. He concludes this paper with seven principles for collaboration of multi-national partners in mission.

Personal Perspectives

In the fall of 1979 a group of Campus Crusade for Christ U. S. Campus Ministry leaders lead by Roger Randall, (now Vice-President for Europe and Russia) visited International cities to consider how US College students might play a greater role in assisting the International Ministries of Campus Crusade for Christ. This resulted in a commitment to challenge students at annual “Christmas Conferences” to go to the world. Even though there had been some smaller International Summer Projects, this was the beginning of a short-term missions movement from the US Campus Ministry to the world.

In 1979 my wife Brenda and I were Campus Directors at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. We volunteered to participate on a summer project to the Philippines in the summer of 1980. We recruited another staff member from our team and three students to go with us. We arrived in the Philippines in the morning with 120 other Americans from around the US.

Stop-Out: STINT Projects
We were later joined by 60 Americans who were part of a “Stop-out” project from Guam; this was the end of a year of ministry for students who were taking a year break from studies to do mission work. Together we formed one of the first “Jesus Film” projects. Our ministry assignment was to travel in teams, setup and show the “Jesus Film” throughout the island of Luzon. Personally for me this project was a defining experience both spiritually and in ministry.

In 1984, Steve Sellers who is now the Vice-President of the Americas for Campus Crusade for Christ challenged Brenda and I to move to Arrowhead Springs, the world headquarters to direct the International Summer Projects. Because of our experience in the Philippines we moved out family to San Bernardino, California and begin giving leadership to these short term mission projects. In 1986 about 1,600, the largest number of staff and students that had been in a single summer went on summer projects.

By this time the “Stop-out” for a year during your college years and serve in another country that was tested in Guam was ending. After two to three years the results of the strategy were not what had been hoped for both in the International Ministries or in the USCM. Bud Hinkson, who was at that time the Director of Affairs for Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, saw a need to restart the strategy in his Area of Affairs.

US Staff in Pioneer Ministry
Bud worked hard to recruit USCM staff and students to come and spend a year “pioneering” ministries behind the “Iron-curtain. “He and his leadership team first used the name “STINT” to describe the strategy. Under the able leadership of Terry Culbertson who was living in England, the European Resource Teams for summers and STINT teams for the year begin to attract experienced USCM leaders to the effort. As the US staff led teams they recruited students from their campuses to go together to pioneer ministry.

Worldwide Student Network

wsnlogo_mIn 1986 a group of USCM leaders who met to pray for and discuss how the USCM could make a greater contribution to helping fulfill the Great Commission. During that time we sensed the Lord gave us a vision – a great number of university students from around the world would surrender to Christ, would “link arms” together and volunteer to go to the world to help fulfill the Great Commission.

The focus of their efforts would be first to reach the university students around the world and enlist more volunteers from the universities who would reach the “unreached” nations. This vision we described as a worldwide student network. “Worldwide” because it was not just from one nation or from the west but it would be like spontaneous combustion. We believed that God was going to raise volunteers from many nations. “Student” because we believed in the importance of students owning the vision and leading mission movements. “Network” because the vision was to be fulfilled by a horizontal “flat” organization not by a “top-down” organization. Personal relationships would be key. Lastly we believed the Lord was going to do something new in the history of the Church not like anything He had done before. He was going to make new wineskins before pouring new wine. This was not to be another “Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions.

The combination of these events set the stage for a decade of great expansion of campus ministries to more than two hundred universities around the world. One of the key sources of manpower for that expansion were American students and CCC staff who would be willing to go on summer projects andgo for at least a year on a “Stint. “Most of those who were enlisting to go on for a year were recent university graduates. The key elements of the strategy were partnering with the national ministries, teams going together, pioneering new ministries, lasting ministry results in strategic university cities, and the commitment from the host nation to provide opportunity for the short-term participants to develop personally and spiritually and to receive ministry training on the field. One leader from East Asia would often say that he wanted to send the Americans back to the US “better” than they were before. Those participants who returned from a “great ministry” became the best recruiters for others to go.

The numbers going on International Summer Projects grew through the 1980’s, with the peak number of 1,600 in 1986. Once the “Partnership Strategy” was in place in the 90’s. The number of participants declined but the number of projects increased, as the project mission was more focused on launching new campus movements that would eventually be led indigenously.

The numbers of those going on Stint grew from a 30 to 40 in the beginning to 120 to 150 by 1996. But through a restructuring of the “sending” from a national to a regional base and through the “Millennial Pledge” the number of those going on Stint went to 400 to 450 per year from the USCM by 2004. The Millennial Pledge was a commitment to give at least one year of service to Christ wherever He may lead. The two principles at work were a greater sense of responsibility and involvement from the USCM Regional Leaders in the STINT strategy and a pervasive spirit of surrender to Christ and to His Great Commission among students involved with CCC on their campuses.


The Student Evangelism Index, 1987, by Jay Gary

The vision of a Worldwide Network of students to reach the world was spread in 1988 at a conference at “Horn Creek Ranch” in Colorado. A handful of campus ministry leaders from around the world heard the vision and meet together to pray for God to work through the movement of CCC to raise up a great army of volunteers from the university campuses of the world. Many of those leaders returned home to refocus their ministries on university students and “sending” students to the world. When the Soviet power dissipated many nations begin to send student teams. Singapore had teams in East Asia, The UK sent teams to Russia, Poland sent teams to the Ukraine; Australia had teams in Turkey; the momentum was building.

I was part of the leadership team for “New Life 2000: Manila.” One of the most incredible events of that summer was the outreach of more than 3,000 from Korea CCC. It was a privilege to watch the Korean Campus leaders organize and plan for that summer project. Some Korean leaders who I talked with several years later believed that the Lord used that summer of 1990 to expand the vision for world evangelization through the experience of the thousands of Korean students who participated.

I believe that we have barely begun to see the impact of the many national ministries of CCC, International on the cause of Christ. One of our national ministries has a “20/20” vision. They are praying that by the year 2020 they will send from their universities the greatest missionary force the world has ever known.

The seeds of this worldwide movement were planted through the short-term mission efforts of Americans going as a part of a long-term strategy to partner with national leaders to launch, build and sustain local “mission sending” movements from strategic universities around the world. Before the short term efforts were started there was an agreed expectation of what it would take to see long-term results.

Partnership Principles
“Lessons Learned Through Multinational Partnering”

To begin a partnership with another ministry leader is to understand what level of partnership we expect to have. Here are four levels with each one needing a deeper level of commitment:
–Associate – Connect
–Coordinate – Schedule or Activities
–Cooperate – Work together because we “choose to.”
–Collaborate – We work together because we “have to.”

If we choose collaboration we can expect that this will create “synergy” in which the sum of our working together is greater than the parts. Of course it is at times easier to work alone because of “friction.” Mickey Connolly of Conversant, a communication consulting firm writes, “High performance collaboration is simple people working together to accelerate the creation of value.”

There are seven principles or guidelines that I have observed that when followed created a greater degree of collaboration and long term ministry success. Sometimes there was fruitfulness but it was in spite of the friction that existed between ministry leaders that were involved together. In those situations a greater number of resources and manpower were expended with fewer results.

1. A Commitment to Make Our Relationship the First Priority
–Accept One Another
–Value One Another
–Depend on One Another
“We will not depend on organizations or structures.”

2. We envision a shared future – We are in this together. The source of team work is a common future, but the future needs to be so compelling that it makes it worth our time and effort.
–Clear Statements of Purpose
–Strategic Intentions
–Shared principles of ministry but flexible in practices of ministry
This assumes a shared view of current reality and an understanding of the consequence of not collaborating. This includes a desire to “work to win and a call to adventure.”

3. A Commitment to be a Learner
We have a passion for the subject not the teacher. We expect to learn from one another and from the Lord as we work together. This includes a sense of discovery.
–Open to new possibilities
–Seek knowledge
–Gain Understanding
“We know we don’t know it all.”

4. We agree to Valuable Conversation
“Con – Verse” from Latin – “Turning with”
–Honest communication creates value
–Active Listening – Listen to “Learn” not just to “Hear”
–Avoid Blocking Words – “yes, but” versus “yes, and.”

5. Establish Decision Making Protocols
–How will decisions be made? What is open for decision and what is closed?
–The problem of consensus – gives one person veto rights
“Decisions always lead to actions that include goals and responsibility.”

6. Establish a Process to Overcome Conflicts
–Law of physics when there is motion there will be friction
–Not the absence of conflicts or disagreements but a willingness to work through conflicts.
“When there is resistance we agree to do research.”

7. Shared Appraisal
We agree on successful outcomes and we recognize our failures
“Our judgments are based on our perceptions.”

Burgin, P. (1991). The powerful percent: Students at the heart of the Great Commission. Orlando, FL: Worldwide Student NetWork.

Butler, P. (2006). Well connected: Releasing power and restoring hope through kingdom partnerships. Waynesboro, GA: Authentic Media.

Martin, T., & Cozzens, M. (2002). Principles of leadership: What we can learn from the life and ministry of Bill Bright. Orlando, FL: New Life.

About the Author:

richRich Lotterhos (blog) is an executive coach and international consultant in Leadership, Organizational and Career Development. He has served with Campus Crusade for Christ for 32 years, and now serves as executive director of Global Service Associates, who focusing on both international and city-wide leadership alliances and partnerships.

Rich is a certified consultant in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the Birkman Method, and by Tucker International’s Overseas Assignment Inventory. He and his family live in Boulder, Colo. His website is:

Share Button

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.