Keeping mission vision alive and growing A quarterly publication of Mission Data International

Archive for the ‘Mission trips’ Category

Seeking Excellence in Short-Term Missions

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

Since the beginnings of the short-term mission movement, ministry leaders have been meeting to share notes and think through issues and problems with a goal of doing what they do better. We all want those going out on mission trips to truly benefit spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually from their time overseas, and for those they serve and work with on the field to benefit in the same ways.

Over the years several networks have helped promote these purposes. The Fellowship of Short-Term Mission Leaders began in the early 1980’s; I attended their first conference in 1984. That group eventually gave birth to Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Mission.

For more than 30 years, the all-volunteer SOE leadership team brought lots of energy and passion, as perhaps only volunteers can. As the network matured, however, it reached a size that required more time and consistency that a group of leaders also busy with their own ministries could provide.

Last summer we announced a formal partnership between several ministries supporting the short-term missions movement, and now, as a member of the SOE Board for the last ten years, I’m happy to announce a recently completed merger between Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Missions and a larger, more developed entity, Delta Ministries, which carries a similar vision with complementary programs and staffing.

Last month the two ministries’ Boards of Directors met together to finish the formal part of the merger. The two days we spent together in Portland were very beneficial. I knew some of their Board members previously but appreciated the chance to share ideas and get a feel for each other’s work styles. I was so encouraged!

We who have carried the SOE banner for so long are delighted to see it given a more solid and broader platform. Together, we continue to push for excellence in short-term missions programs.

» Learn more about Delta Ministries and Standards of Excellence or check out some of their great resources:

Short-Term Missions webinars

Standards Introductory Workshops

Short-Term Missions 101 online course

The Next Mile training resources

 

Survey of Services Used by Mission Trip Providers

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

Need a travel agent, or have a question about insurance or screening for a mission team? A recent survey of ministries listing mission trips with ShortTermMissions.com asked about their use of travel agencies, insurance providers, and background check services. Fifty-one ministries responded to the survey.

» See full results with links.

Help Others Discover Their Place to Serve

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

Spreading the Word about M-DAT Services

By M-DAT Staff

Do you know someone thinking about a mission trip? January is the peak month for locating mission trips at ShortTermMissions.com. If you know people who may be looking for opportunities, help spread the word!

See our website for sample text and graphics. The ShortTermMissions.com website also includes a variety of articles about choosing a trip, preparing to go, debriefing, and more which you may want to use as a resource and pass along to others.

You can also help those you know discover ShortTermMissions.com and other M-DAT services by following us on social media and sharing our posts (see below).

Like our web services, our social media streams help people move into missions.

Find ShortTermMissions.com on Facebook

Find AskaMissionary.com on Facebook

Find ShortTermMissions.com on Twitter

Find AskaMissionary.com on Twitter

…PreparingToGo.com and M-DAT both have social media accounts on both those services as well. Look for them, too!

Extending Our Reach on Facebook

You might have noticed that even if you have “liked” an organization’s Facebook page, you may seldom see posts from that group. You can always pull up their page and catch up that way. But to regularly see posts in your feed from an organization you care about (such as your church or our ministry) you have to take a few extra steps to be sure Facebook knows you’re interested. Here’s how it works.STM FB screenshot

1. Go to the page on Facebook and scroll over the “following” button.

2. Set your preferences to “see first” and confirm that your “notifications” are on.

We would be thrilled if you would take the time to do this for ShortTermMissions.com and AskaMissionary.com. This will allow you to see more of our posts when you log onto Facebook so you can react, comment, and share them with friends. Thanks!

 

Trends in Short-term Mission

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

More Interest in Longer Mission Trips?

We recently made a study of search and inquiry patterns related to mission trip information on the ShortTermMissions.com website. It suggests a greater interest in longer mission trips than we have previously seen. As in the past, most searchers seem to be looking for mission trips that are a few weeks long. During a recent 18-month period, however, we saw the number of those searching for trips at least three months long has doubled to 24 percent.

Longer mission trips offer more cross-cultural experience. They often include a stronger focus on mentoring and discipling participants and preparing them for long-term service. In the last four years we have observed a number of short-term sending agencies refocusing their efforts to provide more opportunities of this type.

Please pray with us (and the mission organizations sponsoring trips). Pray that these longer trips will continue to attract interest and accomplish much in the lives of those who go as well as those among whom they serve.

» Read ShortTermMissions.com Search Summary Reports.

Beyond Experience

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Aiming for Lasting Change

“This trip has changed my life forever!” says many a mission-tripper on the way to the airport, bus, or train. Such “exit interviews” suggest that short-term missions are a great investment. And doesn’t just about everybody who goes long-term point to a short-term experience as a turning point or stepping stone on their way to the field?

Unfortunately, such data doesn’t tell the whole story. Six months later, that short-termer may find she’s forgotten the names of those she promised to pray for; another has left by the side of the road his resolutions to live differently. And most of those who go short-term never end up going long-term. So, even big fans of short-term missions like us recognize the difficulty in assessing the short-term mission movement, particularly in light of the diversity of sending groups, stated goals, and actual practices.

» See also: Research and Statistics: Where can I find data and statistics about short-term missions and their impact?

The good news is that any mission trip, missionary presentation, mission course, or mobilization effort can draw on the power of something much less ephemeral than providing an emotional experience, powerful as experiences can be. When we talk about missions, let’s point people beyond missions to a whole life mission mindset. What would that look like?

  • Build your training or presentation on a foundation of scripture and prayer.
  • Don’t neglect debrief, next steps, and follow-though.
  • Call people to make their whole lives (not just two weeks or two months) available to God and his global purposes, according to the ways he has shaped them and wherever and however he may lead them.

» See also: Secrets to a Life-Changing Short-Term Mission Trip: Have You Prepared Your Heart?

M-DAT helps people make it to the mission field. Explore our websites:

About M-DAT | Help People Make it to the Mission Field | Donate