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Serving with Eyes Wide Open: Doing Short-Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  407 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
If God is calling you to short-term missions this book will show you how to effectively share the Gospel with people of other cultures. Serving with Eyes Wide Open helps Christians see what the church is doing on the mission field, understand the assumptions people make about Christianity, and learn what it takes to adapt God's message effectively to new cultures.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 1st 2006 by Baker Books
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Feb 22, 2010 Tara rated it it was amazing
p. 36 - the importance of partnerships, not just "self-supporting" ministries

p. 61 - errors in short term missions - "it's as if you were invited to dinner at someone's house and during your brief visit you insisted on re-arranging all the furniture in the house to suit your tastes"

Need to read White Man's Grave
Michael Henebry
Serving with Eyes Wide Open: Doing Short-Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence (2013), is written by David Livermore and is about the author’s experience as a short-term missionary for over 30 years. During the author’s time, he has conducted much research concerning how short-term missions engage, impact, and effect target cultures. Much of the data compiled by Livermore suggests that American missionaries are ignorant of how to conduct themselves among different cultures and insensitive to ...more
Nov 06, 2012 Russ rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: pastors, mission leaders, mission volunteers, missionaries, cross-cultural Christian workers
Good book. Helpful discussions, raises important (albeit uncomfortable) questions. Readers who give up on the book before making it to the end may think that the author is trying to discourage short-term missions, but if you muscle past those challenging issues introduced in the beginning, you realize that he is merely pushing us to do it better. No mission group will be worse off for reading it, but may be worse off in the long run for not reading it (or something like it). There is a helpful w ...more
Nathan Little
David Livermore outlines many of the problems that come with short-term missions trips - many of them based on ignorance, wrong motivations, and arrogance on the part of those going. These attitudes, coupled with a short-term mission trip can and too often are destructive.

I resonated with his examples and agreed with his diagnosis(though I disagree with his assertion that we need to return study focus to the historical context of Jesus' life in order to best determine method - This approach see
Debra Wills
Feb 11, 2017 Debra Wills rated it it was amazing
For anyone leading or involved with mission work this is a must read. It help you take a hard look at assumptions made, the importance of understanding cultural Q's, and learning to identify what motivates you into mission work.
Aug 03, 2016 Joel rated it really liked it
Shelves: missions
This book is a must read for anyone interested in or involved with short term missions. David Livermore does an excellent job highlighting the issues that are all too common in this area, and giving some recommendations to avoid and combat those issues.

The one problem I have with the book is that if you don't read through to the end it is very easy to become jaded with the entire idea of short term missions, which is actually antithetical to Livermore's point. The concluding chapter does a grea
Adam Tomlinson
Livermore does a good job discussing the current problems associated with Short-term Missions, especially noting the tendency of North American churches to underprepare in necessary ways and over describe the impact we are having on those we serve with (if we serve *with* them at all). In this way, Livermore offers a solution: Cultural Intelligence (CQ). This CQ, is described through a mixture of research, anecdotal evidence, and philosophical approaches which makes the book an easy read. It did ...more
Jan 07, 2008 Kristin rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone preparing for a short-term missions trip
I have had this book for awhile and my motivation to finally dive in and read it was David Livermore coming to speak at my church during the missions conference. I really enjoyed the session! I did enjoy the book and I learned a lot about what kinds of things can improve the way that we do short-term missions. Having participated in many of these types of trips, I read many things that I knew and already applied, and many things that I wish I had known. I do wish that the author had used more re ...more
Josiah Chin-A-Young
I found this book to be very practical and accessible in terms of content. I learned a lot from David's experiences, and I hope to apply them to future travels of my own. I left a star out of the rating because I think he asks the question, "Why should we do short term missions (STMs) trips?" In the first third of the book. Then he spends the last two thirds of the book answering the question, "How can we do STMs better?" If you're looking for the answer to the first question, he provides some g ...more
Jul 27, 2014 Olivia rated it it was ok
I was required to read this in preparation for my upcoming missions trip to Guatemala. The author comes off somewhat pretentious despite his preface stating he's NOT pretentious. I agreed with many of his points and he did give insightful tips on cultural intelligence but I often felt like he was pressing his ideas a little far. I totally did not understand his point when saying that being efficient is a problem in America. We are only given a small amount of time on this earth so why not spend ...more
Jill Geyer
Dec 22, 2015 Jill Geyer rated it liked it
I did not agree with everything he said from personal experience with short term missions.
I think before going on a short term mission everyone should read this book.

The trouble is I felt discouraged reading this because I saw it implausible to go on an effective short term missions trip. In the last chapter he says "I hope this book didn't discourage you from going on a short term mission trip." or something along those lines. It did. Thank you. If he has that fear he should have addressed it e
Noel Burke
Apr 08, 2016 Noel Burke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in preparation for a small term missions trip that I had the privilege to lead. The book was very eye opening and caused me to be very cautious with jumping into something or saying something before thinking about it. I asked my team to read the book before we left. If you are preparing for a short term trip I am close to recommending this be a requirement for the team to read.
Jan 13, 2009 Nancy rated it really liked it
I put off reading this book since the last mission book I read was so dry and like taking a theology course so what a surprise that Serving with Eyes Wide Open was so informative but easy to read. Such good info on using cross cultural intelligence whether doing mission work overseas or here at home!
Oct 09, 2007 Jeff rated it really liked it
An excellent guide to the problems with short-term missions, and to the hope for their improvement. David Livermore provides a helpful guide to Cultural Intelligence as a
measuring stick for Christians who see the potential for Christ's kingdom to be expanded through meaningful, reciprocal cultural learning experiences.
Stephanie Jones
Feb 09, 2013 Stephanie Jones rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel, faith
Great read - I sped read some parts because I needed to read it before reaching South Africa, but it was great. The last third of the book applied the intercultural communication theories that I learned in university to serving and understanding cultures. I think this is a great must-read for anyone who wants to serve in another culture - whether through Peace Corps., missions, whatever.
Nathan Garth
Jul 13, 2013 Nathan Garth rated it really liked it
The best book I have read to date on health short- term missions. This books looks at the positives and the negatives of short-terms work. The author provides a balanced view. Also, I loved the chapters on CQ.
Murph Hutson
Mar 15, 2016 Murph Hutson rated it really liked it
Livermore outlines the problems with short-term missions as it relates to cross-cultural understanding. Excellent job in shedding light on the pitfalls; however, the book could use more solution-based sections.
Nick Woodall
Jan 22, 2016 Nick Woodall rated it really liked it
A great book that all churches directly involved with missions should read. I shuddered many times reading this book when a foreign national would give their impressions of Americans. We have a lot to learn, especially in the area of humility.
Apr 16, 2013 Pgchuis rated it it was amazing
I thought this was an excellent book - humorous and easy to read and very practical. I was especially interested in the chapter on the bible and the impossibility of interpreting it without being influenced by our culture.
Feb 01, 2013 Jonah rated it it was ok
This book is a good reminder to be culturally sensitive while spreading the Gospel, although Livermore does not mention the mission of the church as such. Also, be wary of his hints toward salvation outside of Christianity.
Aug 20, 2010 Reno rated it it was amazing
Must read if you are thinking of going anywhere to serve in any mission capacity!
Nov 02, 2007 Kathi rated it really liked it
its a GOOD thing to think about why you are going on a mission trip.
Robert Evans
Oct 04, 2015 Robert Evans rated it it was amazing
Essential reading for all mission teams and leaders!
Autumn Meier
Jul 06, 2015 Autumn Meier rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
It's not a positive book, but it is a necessary one. Don't let your team leave the country without it.
Oct 24, 2013 Samantha rated it really liked it
A helpful, quick read.
Well written, succinct, practical - highly suggested for anyone who does short-term missions in any capacity!
Oct 15, 2015 Justine rated it it was amazing
offers practical steps for increasing our cultural intelligence (CQ) before and during cross-cultural missions experiences. very valuable
Kathleen Wells
Dec 05, 2012 Kathleen Wells rated it really liked it
This is one of the best books about short term mission that I have ever read. Helpful on many levels - not just the ranting negativity that one sometimes finds.
Dec 25, 2009 Shane rated it it was amazing
Excellent insight for anyone interested in learning more about the world they live in. I really appreciate the practical (small?) steps to learning other cultures.
Jun 24, 2015 Shawna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Everyone traveling to serve would benefit by reading this. And certainly those who are being "served" would appreciate that we have.
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“Perspective. Perspective on “need.” Perspective on “hunger.” Perspective on “money.” Do you feel as if you’re living paycheck to paycheck? You may well be, and my point is not to diminish the financial challenges facing many North Americans. But it’s all about perspective. It’s all about serving with eyes wide open.” 0 likes
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