Commendation through MSC, in the formal sense, with a letter from the local church and an account set up with us is NOT done for short-term missions.
However, the local church should, in the minutes of a leadership meeting, indicate that this person is being sent out with the blessing of the church. This allows the local church as a Registered Charity to direct funds to its “agent” who is carrying out the mission of that church on this trip. Donations may be made to the church, which is then able to dispense funds to the worker for any expenses related to that trip. The short term worker should keep a record of what is spent of the money received through the local church for airfare, food, transportation, living expenses, literature, ministry supplies and projects.
It is a very good practice to announce that this worker is going with the blessing of the believers, and to mark the occasion, and pray publicly with and for the worker before they go. This is what we mean by “local church driven missions”, and involves the whole body of believers in the sending of the worker. This event conveys some of the weight of what is happening. What is happening? As the Scriptures say, “the believers had put them into God’s care and had sent them out to do this work.” (Acts 14:26 NCV) Someone is dedicating time, energy and money crossing cultures for God’s glory, bringing the Gospel message to men and women who are lost and without hope!
Formally marking the occasion of them being sent out on this short term mission communicates to the worker that they have a team of supporters rallied behind them, ready to meet their needs as they give of themselves. It communicates to the local church that this person being sent is an extension of our body – one who represents our God and represents us. It reminds us that those who stay share in the same calling as those who go – to fulfill the Great Commission wherever we are, wherever God has placed us. It says to the worker “we’re behind you”, it demonstrates to the worker that the local church affirms the Lord’s call.
Even though there is no formal ‘commendation’ for short term missions through MSC, send them off in a way that is equal parts celebration and charge, gravity and grace. Workers need to know that God’s people are behind them, that they’re not in this alone, that it is a serious and Godward thing they have begun.
It will be so encouraging and helpful for them to be sent off prayerfully by their local church.