McDonough, Daniel P. The Role of Short-Term Missions in the Great Commission: A Study of the Effects of STEM Ministries' Short-Term
Survey of 432 participants in STEM Ministries two-week mission trips found that participants doubled giving and increased prayer for missions. Builds off of Peterson and Peterson's 1991 STEM Ministries survey.
Printed survey mailed to 900 people. 635 had participated in one two-week STEM
mission, 265 had participated in more than one two-week STEM mission. (This second group consisted of all people who had ever gone on two or more STEM two-week trips; the total number of people who had gone one or more STEM two-week trips was around 2035). It was determined that a 50% response rate or better would guarantee a 95% confidence interval of + or - 5%.
Over 121 out of the 900 addresses supplied were incorrect and thus returned, several of the proposed respondents had died, and one refused to answer because he/she was offended. A limited but unknown number of the survey recipients had not participated in a STEM trip. Most importantly, the study does not show whether changes since the STEM trip(s) were directly caused by those trips or by other events in respondents' lives.
Table 2 contains the responses which showed a median monthly giving before
their trip of $1-$10, compared to the median of their present giving of $11-$25.
Probably the most encouraging change which can be noted in Table 2 is the shift
away from the giving at the $0 level. The number of people in that range dropped by
105 individuals, a 60.3% reduction." --p. 49.
".it can be concluded that there was on the average a doubling in the giving of those
who had participated from before their trip to the present. [.] An important
qualification, however, is that several of the respondents commented that their change
in giving (both positive and negative) reflects more a change in life stage than a
change in mission perspective." [i.e. retiring, moving from college to full-time work]
"The median reported for the amount of mission-focused prayer each week
before the STEM trip was 1-5 minutes whereas at present, the median has shifted
up to 6-10 minutes." --p. 53
Missions-related activities (i.e. reading books and magazines, getting to know
missionaries, attending conferences, etc.):
"While most of the sample did not alter their patterns of behavior, those who did
change primarily did so by increasing their activity." -p. 54
".those who participate in short term mission trips are much more likely to return
for another short-term mission than they are to commit to serving full-time. This
implies that two-week short-term missions such as those that STEM offers do not
motivate a majority of the participants to consider full-time work." --p. 57
Multiple trip participants' prayer increased more than that of single trip participants,
but giving and other factors were the same for both groups. -pp. 59-60
Demographics: see following page