Cecil, James W. (dissertation) A Critical Analysis of the Foreign Mission Board's
Procedures for the Involvement of Short Term Volunteers in Personal Presence Overseas Ministries. Fort Worth, Tex.: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1981.
Very in-depth analysis of how the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention recruits and encourages short-term missionaries, the administrative aspects of the Convention's STM and missionary program, motivations of STMers, and the impact of STMers on mission ministry, mission awareness, financial contribution to missions, and future missions involvement.
Finds that volunteers and missionaries both perceive STMs as increasing mission awareness, increasing financial giving; volunteers reported being motivated to long-term service, although most ruled themselves out from such service as unqualified; volunteers reported high motivation for further STM participation.
- Questionnaires sent to 300 volunteers and 50 missionaries (out of 8,611 volunteers and 1,168 missionaries that served the SBC in 1979-1980).
- Of these, 242 volunteers (80.7%) and 44 missionaries (88.0%) gave valid responses.
- Also conducted 34 phone interviews and 6 structured interviews, mainly with volunteers.
- Short-Term defined as 1 week to 4 ½ months
- 29.9% of volunteers were involved mainly in evangelism
- 33.4% mainly with construction
- Around 10% each for music/arts and medical
- 6.2% church development
- 1.2% disaster response
- 8.3% other
o Missionaries: in response to "What effect do you feel short term volunteer ministries have on ministry awareness?" 81.8% indicated that short term volunteers have "much positive effect" on missions awareness.
o Volunteers: in response to "How has your overseas ministry affected your knowledge of missions?" 79.8% said it "increased their knowledge greatly."
- Future Financial Support of Missions:
o Missionaries: 68.2% felt STMs would positively effect financial support of world missions "much," 29.5% thought there would be a "moderate" positive effect.
o Volunteers: more than 70% said they had increased mission giving due to volunteer experience.
- Incentive Toward a Career in Foreign Mission
- Volunteers were asked "As a result of your having participated in an overseas volunteer ministry, how do you feel about a career of missionary service for yourself?"
- 77.6% responded that they were not qualified for such service; (however, 54.8% of all respondents said that while they were not qualified, they would encourage others to go, and the rest who said they were not qualified said they would go if they were.)
- 8.2% were planning to apply for career missionary service.
- 13.8% said they would investigate the possibility of a career in foreign missions.
- Future Short Term Volunteer Service
- 63.4% had only been involved in one STM previously
- 95% said they would go on another one
- 4.2% said it was "a good one-time experience"
- Only 0.4% (one respondent) said they had a bad experience
· Primary Influences to Go on Short Term Service
-on a scale of "much-moderate-little-no", following percentages ranked following categories as "much":
- 82.2% Holy Spirit
- 69.8% Great Commission
- 55.5% Witness to Lost
- 50.0% Bold Mission Thrust (a Southern Baptist Convention campaign)
- 46.9% Help Missionaries
- 39.7% Learn About Missions
On same scale as above:
- 24.4% Meet Missionaries
- 23.2% Unique Skill
- 18.2% A Volunteer's Testimony
- Less that 15%: A Missionary's Testimony, Desire to Travel, Missionary Invitation, Pastor's Influence, Friend's Influence, Different Vacation Experience
- Gender: 87.4% of the missionary and volunteer respondents were male.
- Marital Status: 87.7% of respondents were married.
- Education: 75% of respondents had a college degree or higher
- Age: of volunteers, 59.1% were between 31 and 50; only 1.2% were under 18
- Religion: over 50% had been Christians more than 30 yrs.; almost 80% said they were "very active" in their local church.