SA & NT Branch

Short-term mission

More and more Christians are interested in going short-term to be actively involved in God’s mission around the world. CMS has many short-term opportunities around the world to help you learn more about global mission. You could teach English, use your professional skills in hospitals, schools, churches, theological programs or relief programs, or be involved in the ministries of local organisations which are in partnership with CMS Australia.


What do you need to do to be a short-term worker (STW) with CMS?

Firstly, you must be a committed Christian who agrees with the vision of CMS. You must also have been a member of CMS for at least 12 months and be able to fund all your costs.

As an STW, you need to be professionally qualified in your area of service and preferably have experience in your field. You will also have to meet all our requirements throughout the application process, including cross-cultural training for short-term mission. More information about the process is available below. While we expect you to have some theological foundation, you are not usually required to have formal theological training unless you are going to a church-based situation.

In terms of language learning, most STWs go to locations where they can work in English. However, if you already have another language, we will try to make use of that.


What will CMS do?

After prayerfully considering your application, CMS will work with you to determine your location and the type of work you will do, and help you with visa applications and medical checks. Usually we look to place our short-term workers (STWs) alongside and under the direction of one of our long-term missionaries for a period of three months to two years. This will give you a valuable opportunity to learn from them whilst making an important contribution to their work.

STWs also enjoy the prayer and pastoral support of CMS. We can help to arrange a commissioning service at your church and if you plan to be away longer than 12 months, we will produce a prayer card for you.  While you are away, we will also include your prayer points in our monthly prayer updates. This will allow thousands of CMS members around Australia to be praying for you.

STWs do not receive any funding from CMS but you may seek the financial support of their church, family and friends to facilitate the costs incurred as a short-term worker. CMS can provide information about hosting a fundraising/information event before you leave.


What about when I come back?

Your view of the world will be very different and it might take some time to readjust. This is called reverse culture shock. When you return you will have a debrief meeting and the opportunity to speak with others about your experience.

Short-term mission may also be the first step for you in applying to become a long-term missionary. Testing out whether long-term mission is God’s plan for you is an important part of your mission experience. Whether your short-term service leads to long-term mission or you become one of our sending partners in Australia, our prayer is that this might be the start of a lifetime’s involvement in mission—to see a world that knows Jesus!


Application process

1. Talk to your branch

Talk to your local CMS branch about short-term mission. They will ask you to fill out an inquirer’s form that will provide us with information about yourself and what you want to do. This will help us to assess the feasibility of a short-term placement with us.

2. Initiate your application

Organise a meeting with your local CMS branch, either in person or online, to confirm your suitability as a CMS short-term worker. If this is confirmed, then you can fill out the application form. Another meeting will be arranged with a staff member from the CMS Australia office. During this step, we will be able to begin clarifying where you might go and what you might do.

3. Complete your application

You will need to complete a medical assessment and meet other requirements, including referee forms and mandatory checks. This is also the stage where you will need to register with an appropriate short-term worker cross-cultural training program. CMS works in conjunction with Missions Interlink to provide quality training which is necessary for STWs.

4. Interview with your CMS branch candidates committee

You will need to have a least one structured, face-to-face interview with a member from your CMS branch candidates committee. This is to assess your personal readiness to serve as a short-term worker in a cross-cultural setting.

5. Final acceptance

Your application will then be reviewed by your CMS branch candidates committee and the CMS Australia Federal Candidates Committee. Approval is granted by the International Director/CEO of CMS Australia.

6. Pre-departure requirements

Once you are accepted as a short-term worker with CMS, there will be additional preparations required, such as a risk management plan, signed agreements, pastoral can plans and travel arrangements. These are designed to prepare and equip you for your service.