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Anderson, Duane "Chip." "The Role of Short Term Mission Trips in the Discipleship of a Congregation in
World Missions." MA project,Columbia Biblical Seminary, 1992.
Summary: The author uses a survey and 3 case studies to examine how STMs could be used to increase churchgoers' mission interest and involvement. He concluded that although there is a danger of creating "STM junkies" more interested in visiting another part of the world than in becoming truly invested in missions, STMs; benefits far outweigh this danger.
Methodology: The author sent surveys to 160 US churches that donated money to or had a relationship with the Latin America Mission, then picked 3 churches out of the 80 that responded to the survey and did case studies with them. The 80 churches that returned surveys represent about 5% of all LAM-related churches.
- The churches surveyed rated STMs as a method of motivating members to get involved in missions that was equallyl appealing and effective as inviting missionaries to speak, and more so than sponsoring mission conferences.
- The most common methods and resources churches used to motivate their members to get involved with or support missions were the following (starting with most frequently reported): inviting a missionary to talk, sending mission teams [STMs], publications, sermons about missions, mission conferences, classes on missions, sister church, other.
- In response to "why do people go [on STMs]?", respondents said personal involvement in missions was the biggest motivator, followed by "help the missionary," "experience culture," "reach the lost," "getting to interact with a missionary," and "travel."
- 85% of the mission trip leaders claimed to have mission experience, but only 12% had more than one year of mission experience.