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

Archive for the ‘Mission trips’ Category

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 If you know people who may be looking for opportunities, help spread the word!

See our website for sample text and graphics. The 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 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 on Facebook

Find on Facebook

Find on Twitter

Find on Twitter

… 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 and 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 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 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?

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.

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.


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