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

Archive for the ‘Mission trips’ Category

Mission Trip Outcomes for Mobilizing Students

Monday, November 20th, 2017

What can we expect from a mission trip?

“I know a guy who took a short-term trip to Senegal. He is now a high school math teacher in Seattle. Though he never went back overseas after that summer trip, he is different.

“He prays for the world and if he hears any news about that part of Africa, he listens a little more closely. If he meets someone from anywhere in West Africa, he strikes up a conversation.”

Writing for Campus Ministry Today, The Traveling Team’s Todd Ahrend suggests a number of ways to improve the impact of our mission teams, including five outcomes to shoot for in the lives of those who go:

  1. Considering long-term service
  2. Being informed about the needs of the global Church and the unreached
  3. Gaining insights from poverty, pain, and injustice
  4. Change in lifestyle back home
  5. Development of personal ministry

“What if we started off designing our trips with these outcomes in mind?” asks Ahrend. “What if we worked with our host teams overseas not only to further their mission, but also to cultivate these goals?”

Ahrend’s article reminds us that while much of the pre-field training offered for long-term missionaries is shaped by desired competencies and outcomes, short-term mission team training and debriefing may fall short in these areas. A Shift in Short Term Missions includes analysis, action points, resource links, and reflection questions you may find helpful in maximizing mission teams.

Striving for Excellence in Short-Term Mission

Monday, November 20th, 2017

Standard #6: Appropriate Training. An excellent short-term mission prepares and equips all participants for the mutually designed outreach, and is expressed by biblical, appropriate, and timely training, on-going training and equipping (pre-field, on-field, post-field), and qualified trainers.

» Listen to Don Johnson describe the Standards for the Global Missions Podcast.

Not the Standards of Mediocrity…

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

You have heard the stories that make you cringe. We have, too. All of us who have been around for a while have our own stories of a mission trip that didn’t go well.

That’s why we love the Standards of Excellence for Short-term Mission. We want to encourage and help churches, mission agencies, and Christian schools to carry out trips that truly benefit both goers and receivers, equipping each to become more like Christ, and stretching each of us to more deeply know our need for him and his amazing sufficiency. For a mission trip to do all that takes intentionality and work.

Each page of includes the following:

We are enthusiastic members of the Standards of Excellence. We gladly partner with the Standards of Excellence in providing the training and tools needed to create mission trips worthy of the name. An an SOE leader, David also helps provide a short-term missions track at the annual North American Mission Leaders Conference sponsored by Missio Nexus.

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 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.

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