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

Archive for January, 2016

Mobilizing through Mentoring: How Relationships Are Our Most Powerful Tools

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

By Marti Wade

Consider the Power of Personal Connection

The recent Launch Survey conducted by our friend and colleague John McVay asked hundreds of long-term workers about key factors that helped them get to the field. High on the list were:

  • The support of friends and family
  • A positive relationship with the agency or team they would join
  • Personal interaction with long-term workers

These were topped only by a sense of calling or guidance into ministry that came from God and a passion for sharing the gospel.

This suggests that effective mobilization depends more on relationships than it does on conferences, classes, books, sermons, or most anything else, on its own. Relationships are “what works.” Let’s do our part to build relationships with tomorrow’s global workers!

Three Avenues

Would God use YOU to come alongside tomorrow’s mission force today? Consider these three avenues for mobilization and ask the Lord if He’d have you intentionally pursue one or more in 2016.

1. Be a resource.

Remember that people aren’t led on the basis of information that do not have. Serve your church or group by becoming a conduit for global prayer requests, kingdom-focused world news, or resources that could open people’s eyes to current mission issues and strategies.

2. Fan the flames.

Make sure people in your church who are interested in missions know that you are, too, and that you’re willing to talk to those who want to learn more or take some steps to pursue global ministry. Listen for those who indicate an interest and be intentional about following up to hear more and encourage them.

3. Mentor millenials.

Especially if you are serving cross-culturally, make room in your schedule to connect with those who show interest in finding their own fit in mission (even if they are young enough to be your children or grandchildren!) Resist the expectation that you focus your communication efforts on talking about what you’re doing and how to support it. Rather, seek ways to invest in and equip those who might follow in your footsteps or who need someone else to be excited for them as they take steps on a journey of their own.

» Learn more about the Launch Survey.

Learn about being a mobilizer, and check out 6 Ways to Reach God’s World (OMF).

Mission Data International: Bringing People and Missions Together Using Internet Technology

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

By David Armstrong

Making connections: that’s the job of a bridge, or a bottle of glue, or the Internet, and it’s also what M-DAT does by providing services and resources people need to take themselves to their next step in mission involvement.

Our best contribution is in serving those in their twenties and thirties who are somewhere on the journey from hearing God’s call to missions and buying their plane ticket to head overseas. Normally this is a period of 4-6 years, years during which they move from interest to commitment, from desire to departure, from thinking about it to actually doing it.

During this time of preparation, God’s global servants are answering questions like:

  • What kind of ministry focus is God leading me to? Church planting? Bible translation? Starting a relationship-building business overseas? Training pastors and leaders? Friendship evangelism through meeting practical needs?
  • Where in the world should I go? To what kind of people? With what organization?
  • How will this work be funded? How much do I need? How can I raise support? and are designed to help a person answer those questions and encourage them to persevere. points people toward transformational mission trips. Articles, resource lists, and newsletters connected to these services point tomorrow’s missionaries to life-changing experiences like the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course.

We are humbled and honored that God has used three couples, a dozen volunteers, and 200 friends and partnering churches to make these services possible through their work and sacrifice. And we appreciate your tracking with us and praying for us over the years.

2015 in Review: A Year of Growth

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016


As we start 2016 and look back on 2015, we realize we owe a huge debt of gratitude to those whose support and encouragement has enabled us to serve those God is raising up for mission service.

Will you take a minute and reflect with us on what God has done? Despite a number of changes and challenges, we saw growth in several key areas.

Mission Trip Search Engine saw a 10% increase in traffic in 2015 and received just short of 300,000 visits. Each year about 90% of the partnering organizations decide to continue. In 2015, more than 100 organizations posted information about more than 2,000 trips and received more than 20,000 inquiries. The site also has a very low rate of bounces (those who find the site but leave within the first 10 seconds).

The quarterly newsletter, launched in 2013, now has more than 13,000 subscribers. Remarkable! Along with a growing social media presence, it continues to connect with those who use the service and invite them back to the site.

Missionary Q&A

In the last year and a half, has seen a significant increase in traffic, with a 56% increase during 2015 alone. Traffic grew steadily throughout the year for a total of more than 130,000 visits. Page views were also up 38%, to reach 248,000.

Unfortunately, the bounce rate for the site was high; many come to the site but do not stay to view additional pages. The length of time people spend on the site and the number of pages they view has decreased slowly over the last three years, despite measures taken to make the site engaging.

Less surprising is a slight decrease in visits to, a web service with a similar purpose. It’s designed to provide video excerpts of missionaries showing their journey to the field. Traffic to the site, which is maintained but not being further developed, was down 7%. Yet it still reached more than 11,000 visits and 24,000 page views in 2015.

We’re grateful for the ways the Lord has used these resources.


Gratitude and Prayer

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

Please pray…

  • For the 30,000 people expected to use service this month to search for a mission trip that fits them or their group. That’s a lot of folks looking! January sees more traffic to this site than any other month.
  • For a good response to a January mailing to 740 mission agencies. We hit some snags setting up a new bulk mail account that delayed the mailing.
  • For the 9300 users who access each month for help in answering their questions about getting involved in missions. Some know nothing and are starting from scratch. Others are knowledgeable and have very specific questions.

Thank you for praying!

  • Join us in praising God for a new arrangement with a programming service company which will be able to help us make the small, regular changes needed to keep M-DAT websites operating well and up to date.
  • Thank God for the increased traffic to, up 10%, and, up more than 50% in the past year. Continue praying for those using these web services as they look for new ways to be involved in God’s global purposes.

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