Carnival Cruise Lines is concerned about its new “Fathom” cruise ship that merges a cruise ship with social service and cultural exchange in nations such as Cuba and Dominican Republic. The cruise line has seen a lack of interest and is seeking to forge partnerships with churches and schools in order to make the Fathom ship profitable.
Why this story matters for church leaders:
Scholars believe that most short term mission trips can cause harm among the people they aim to serve, so a cruise ship dedicated to “voluntourism” could be very problematic.
- Short Term Missions? Sometimes short term mission trips can take away work from local laborers and lead to attachment problems for children being served. Are there ways to mitigate this?
- Missions or Cruise Ship? Should churches seek to partner with a luxury cruise line in order to serve others?
- Healthy Missions: Mission trips often thrive when there are longer term relationships developed over time, could this opportunity support that or hurt that approach?
Would you take your church on a service cruise ship?
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