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

Archive for July, 2016

Partnering for Excellence in Short-Term Mission

Monday, July 18th, 2016

New Levels of Collaboration

Far too often in ministry and in business, everyone works on their own in a separate “silo” without the benefits of partnering and cross-pollination. So we are delighted to share with you that M-DAT has entered into a unique partnering relationship with three other short-term mission entities.

DELTA Ministries, Mission Data International, Standards of Excellence in Short-term Mission, and STM Toolbox have agreed to work more closely together to blend our strengths, resources, services, and reputations in order to benefit those involved in short-term missions. Several of us have been informally working together to improve the quality of mission trips over the last ten years, but now that partnering has been extended and formalized.

Our desire is that goers, senders, and receivers would each genuinely benefit from the many mission trips that take place each year.

» Read the official press release.

When Is Less More? When Is More More?

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Questions about Cutting Back

Four years ago we advertised that the website had 400 answers online. Although we don’t publish everything that is submitted, steady growth has brought the site to nearly 700 answers to almost 200 questions.

On one hand, the additional material helps us connect with searchers who have different concerns or ways of expressing themselves. But is the site getting too unwieldy to be as useful as it once was? We’re considering deleting or combining some of the older or less helpful material to streamline the site.

If you have any input about this process, let us know. Thanks!

Meanwhile, enjoy some recent discussions from the AskaMissionary site:

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?

Training Workshops in Louisville

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Connecting with Mission Leaders

In a few months, for the fourth year in a row, David will put on his Standards of Excellence in Short-term Missions (SOE) “hat” to help provide a short-term missions track and pre-conference training workshop designed to help and facilitate conversations about effective short-term missions with those who attend an annual conference of mission leaders. This year’s Missio Nexus event will be held in Louisville, Kentucky, September 29 to October 1. Last year’s Orlando conference attracted nearly 1000 mission agency leaders and other participants.

A pre-conference workshop will introduce the Seven Standards of Excellence in Short-term Mission and the SOE membership process. Last year this was completely full, and reviews of the workshop were very positive. Please pray for those planning to attend this year. May the relationships begun or nurtured in this context bear fruit for the Kingdom.

Prayer and Gratitude

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Rejoice with us, and please be praying…

  • Praise the Lord for the growing partnership between organizations serving the short-term mission movement. May God be lifted up as we work together!
  • Praise God for the opportunity to participate in the upcoming Mission Leaders Conference. Please pray for good connections.
  • Pray for the continuing work on behind-the-scenes changes for as well as decisions about how best to handle the abundance of content at

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