I don’t fancy being part of a team

That’s alright, not everybody does. We’re all different, and some of us work better alone. And although teams grab the bulk of the publicity for short-term mission, it’s not the only way to do it. Most of the agencies offering teams also arrange individual placements, although they might be reluctant to do it for as little as 2 weeks since the effort required in one-to-one training and orientation may make it less attractive for them. But if you’re up for several weeks, this might be a better option for soloists.

The challenge of going on an individual placement is that there is less organised activity for you, less supervision, and less support to help you cope with the challenges of a new culture. If that’s not a problem for you, then fine, but people going by themselves can often feel lonely, having nothing to do in the evenings, or feeling a bit isolated from the long-term mission workers who have their own lives and ministry to be getting on with. When you go as part of a team, you have others to share the experience with, leaders who will be adept at supporting you when you’re struggling, and many special activities planned by local hosts.

The price you will pay for going with a team will be a lack of solitude, a structure and regimen to the day which may not appeal to you, and a loss of authority as your activities are planned out for you. For many introverts, or people with a ruggedly independent spirit, this does not really appeal. But before completely rejecting it, maybe you should consider whether it presents an opportunity for you to learn and grow. We particularly recommend going as part of a team for your first missions experience, and then going solo once you’ve learned a bit about how things work.

 

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