At Adventures in Missions, we exist to mobilize a generation of radical Christ followers, discipling and training them to establish the Kingdom of God. We use the vehicle of short-term missions and other discipleship programs to accomplish this.
By sharing the stories of what Jesus is doing, we can further triumph over the enemy and bring freedom to others. Below is an overview of our guidelines to help you tell stories in a way that brings dignity and honor to the communities and people that you will serve all over the world.
Download the entire resource here.
Ministry Interaction Guidelines
As a participant, you’ll have a unique opportunity to become advocates for people, places, and ministries. Sometimes it can feel confusing knowing what is culturally appropriate in each country. We designed the following guidelines to help you create a safe and honoring environment wherever you are serving – whether the camera is out or not.
- Be attentive to the perception and appearance of the relationships you establish with the children and adults you serve. For everyone’s protection, it is important to avoid even the appearance of inappropriate conduct.
- Be aware of the various cultural sensitivities of the country you’re visiting and avoid behavior which could potentially be interpreted as flirtatious, unwelcome, or sexual in any manner. For example: in some countries, it is considered flirtatious to point a certain way, to hug, or to show your ankles in public.
- Respect the parents’/guardians’ relationship with their children, and do not interfere with parenting matters without expressed consent from your ministry host.
- Adhere to your mission trip dress code. Dress codes are set based on cultural relevance, not to limit you, but to honor the ministries we serve and for the safety of all we serve.
- Do not give cash directly to any children, families, ministries, or church members. If you feel led to give financially, consult your ministry host for the proper way to do so. Our goal is to avoid creating patterns of dependency and ensure we are truly aiding sustainable ministry opportunities in the future.
- Do not hire men, women, or children for any purpose without express consent of local host.
- You must not exchange personal information with children. This age range includes from birth-18 years old. This includes email, social media, addresses, phone numbers, etc.
In today’s highly advancing digital world, social media and blogs are used to process our experiences, to show our friends, family, and supporters what we’re up to in real time. However, for the safety and dignity of those you meet, it’s important to consider whether the story or image you are sharing is safe, dignifying, and honoring to the people involved.
- When you arrive at a new ministry location, do not capture any form of media before your cultural briefing.’
- Please develop relationships and know the names of the people you are photographing.
- Ensure your goal is God’s glory, not building a name for yourself.
- Do not post the personal information of any child you meet. This includes, but is not limited to, their last name, identification numbers, specific medical conditions, child measurements, home address, school name, community and village landmarks, or parental place of employment.
- Refrain from posting pictures of children without the parent’s consent.
- Refrain from sharing personal information about any adult you meet. This includes, but is not limited to, their last name, identification numbers, specific medical conditions, size measurements, home address, school name, community and village landmarks, or place of employment.
- If you do not have consent from someone to take their picture, don’t post it. If you are unsure if you should post a photo, ask a ministry leader first. It’s always better to create a personal photo album to remember your mission experience off-line and not post images publicly if safety is a concern.
- Please do not take pictures of people’s homes/huts/etc. to show the severity of poverty.
- Show respect and compassion for culture and the people you are serving. Portray people with dignity. They are partners and brothers and sisters. Ask questions: Does this photo show this person/place in a positive light?
- Show people their picture! (And try to give them a copy. Polaroids are great!)
Download the entire resource here.