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Episode 070: How to do Short-Term Missions with Excellence - Part 3

Tory Ruark

Jan 24, 2018

Tory Ruark unpacks how comprehensive administration and qualified leadership are of high importance in a short-term mission initiative. This episode is filled with practical ideas and resources to help you with logistics, risk management, communications, and developing leaders for your short-term mission.

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Tory Ruark has been a Short-term Missions Coach with DELTA Ministries since 2004, and COO of Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Mission (SOE) since 2016. He has experience in short-term missions in a number of roles including being a team leader, mobilizer, trainer, and pastor. Among other responsibilities, he coordinated DELTA’s response to the earthquake in Haiti that mobilized hundreds of short-term workers.

In this Episode:

  • “Comprehensive Administration” means covering the administrative details of a short-term mission.
  • We need to be truthful in the promotion, finances, and reporting of a short-term mission initiative.
  • Be truthful by being mindful of the motivations that you are tugging at in people to ask them to participate.
  • Be truthful by being above board and accountable in finances.
  • Be truthful by reporting the results of a short-term mission in a way that is consistent with long-term impact and with the process of the short-term mission.
  • Appropriate risk management means identifying and communicating the risks, mitigating them when we can, and being prepared.
  • Ahead of a short-term mission there needs to be agreement about the amount of acceptable risk.
  • Have an objective way of assessing how much risk there is. Make plans to address the risk.
  • Be careful to have medical insurance on a short-term mission.
  • The SOE webinar “Is it Worth the Risk?”  can help you in developing appropriate risk management.
  • The SOE has a newsletter called “The Hub”. In the March 2017 Issue there is an article “Is it Worth the Risk?” by Tory Roark.
  • Crisis Consulting International offers great training, resources, and policies.
  • To evaluate how effectively you are addressing logistics, survey the participants and hosts about their logistical and administrative preparation and comfort level.
  • An excellent short-term mission has “Qualified Leadership”.
  • A qualified leader has the right character, skills, and values.
  • A qualified leader has Christ-like character, is committed to God’s word and prayer, is a humble servant, and is marked by love.
  • A qualified leader is skilled at time-management, administration, interpersonal communication, and conflict resolution.
  • A qualified leader values the contributions of others.
  • A short-term mission is an excellent opportunity to develop leaders.
  • ”Episode 006: Creating Leaders for Short-Term Missions” with Mark Crocker has ideas for developing leaders.
  • SOE has a Developing Short-Term Mission Team Leaders Webinar.
  • The SOE has an article Choosing Short-Term Mission Team Leader in an Early 2017 edition of “The Hub”.
  • Find a resource that helps you understand what you need a leader to do and be like to be successful. Find resources to help them in that.
  • Ask people to attend missions conferences such as SOE Approved Conferences, to learn, network, build relationships and find resources.
  • Get specific team leadership training such as those offered at Standards of Excellence and some member organizations like SEND USA offer team leader training.
  • Visit Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Mission, access The 7 Standards Detailed Booklet, contact Tory at, and consider joining SOE.

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