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

Archive for October, 2013

Mentoring for Missions: Andy’s Story

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Coaching helped Andy prepare for ministry in East Asia – and wherever God may take him next.

Andy is a few years out of college. He’s spent six months in East Asia, though now he’s back home. Recently Propel interviewed Andy about influential people in his life who mentored him for missions. “I had two great coaches on the way to the field,” he explained. “They did life with me. They made me do ministry with them before I went, not top down but side by side.”

“Also, they didn’t remove the obstacles, they helped me overcome them. If they had removed barriers I wouldn’t have been ready for the field.”

To discover some ways you can profit from mission coaching or be effective coaching people like Andy, read on.

Getting Started

Propel: How would you describe your journey into missions?

Andy: I started taking my faith seriously when I was in high school and was growing like crazy. My youth pastor had just emerged as a mission leader. That was a new passion for him. Since he was discipling me, it carried over. This was right in the middle of that season when “take your youth group to Mexico” was the thing. As I observed the missionaries we were working with there, I felt as if God was saying to me, “What you see them doing, I want you to do that.”


How Do You Find a Mission Mentor?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

mentoringMany of those we serve through went on mission trips this summer! After they return, then what? Anyone whose purpose in going was to explore long-term direction – or who came back thinking that way – needs some extra help.

Mission mobilization and service groups like ours provide encouragement and virtual coaching. Another very helpful resource for anyone charting a course from short-term to long-term is a mission mentor who can walk alongside them on a journey of months or years. Yet how do you find such a mission mentor?

Many of the sending agencies we work with have mission coaches and mentors on their staff. These servants like nothing better than to talk to people interested in going, hear their stories, and encourage them along the way.

Mission agency staff have experience and expertise to offer, but they aren’t the only option, as Elizabeth Givens, of SEND International, points out. “Does your church have a mentoring program for those interested in missions? Ask your pastor. Are there retired missionaries in your circle of friends or your church? Look around for a man or woman you admire and with whom you feel you could connect. Then ask them if you can meet with them regularly and learn from them in a mentoring relationship.”

“Mentoring does not have to be face-to-face,” she adds. “You may have an experienced missionary in your life who would be willing to connect with you regularly on email, Skype, or Facetime. You can each brew your OWN cup of coffee and plunge into the conversation.”

» Want to find a mentor – or be one? Read the rest of Elizabeth’s answer and others at How do I find a mentor to help me prepare for missions? (

E-Zine Goes the Next Mile with Mission Trip Participants

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Almost two years ago, M-DAT collaborated with The Next Mile partnership to help launch The Next Mile E-Zine, a collection of articles carefully crafted for recently returned mission trip participants. It covers topics like reentry, growing closer to God, developing a missional worldview, staying the course, and exploring career missions. Content is delivered in a series of a dozen emails. This approach makes follow-through material freely accessible to anyone with an email address!

The campaign launched in January 2012. We’re pleased to report that it has already been used to follow up 1,200 short-term mission participants. Some of them would have had nobody to walk with them in the weeks and months after their trips if it were not for The Next Mile.

» Learn more or sign up for The Next Mile E-Zine.

You might be also interested in other resources from The Next Mile, including a mission team training curriculum and a free guide for mission trip mentors.

Prayer and Gratitude

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013


  • Praise God for the successful launch of the e-Newsletter. About 3,500 people are signed up for the newsletter. The first issue highlighted upcoming mission trips and challenged readers to get to know their global neighbors.
  • We’re also grateful for two out-of-the-ordinary mentions of our services. WBGL is a network of Christian radio stations heard from St. Louis to Chicago. On August 8 they interviewed us for a radio show on the topic of short-term missions. Later in the month, MissioNexus recommended our service on their blog and Facebook page. MissioNexus is an associative body representative of 35,000 evangelical missionaries deployed in every country by more than 200 agencies and churches.


  • M-DAT is in the middle of a leadership team transition. Two years ago one of our key staff members announced plans to transition from work at M-DAT and make a move overseas. Since then we’ve been busy planning, training, handing off tasks and getting the team in place to continue our services that help people make it to the mission field. While we are pleased with progress on the transition, we continue to seek the Lord to carry the ministry forward and fill the gaps.


Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

“Here I am, Lord, send me; send me to the ends of the earth; send me to the rough, the savage pagans of the wilderness; send me from all that is called comfort in earth, or earthly comfort: send me to death itself, if it be but in Thy service and to promote Thy kingdom.” – Frances Xavier

» Looking for quotations? Check out this list from Howard Culbertson and many more in Marvin Newell’s new book, Expect Great Things: Mission Quotes that Inform and Inspire.

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