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Moen, Thomas F. (MA Thesis) Short-term Missions. Johnson City, Tenn.: Emmanuel

School of Religion, 1992.


Author analyzes a survey he did himself and STEM Ministries' 1991 survey. Concludes that "the short-term experience is a valid means for the church to impact its member and its missions ministry" (p. 1).

According to the author, the benefits of STMs include practical missions experience for participants, enthusiasm for personally being involved with missions, forming links with people involved in missions, and gaining a new perspective on the world.

Findings from Author's Survey:


o       43 (95.5%) of those who went through colleges/orgs said they felt they were adequately trained; 2 (4.4%) said they were not.

o       Of those who went through a local church, 17 (100%) said they were adequately trained.

o       Respondents were asked to describe what their training had involved and covered. 3 themes emerged repeatedly:

         Personal spirituality

         Group building/identity

         Learning about host cultures

        Strengthened Commitment to World Missions

o       Overall, 0 reported negative change in their commitment to world missions

o       13 (20.9%) reported little or no change

o       49 (79.0%) reported positive change

        Prayer for Missions/Evangelism

o       Overall, 6 (11.5%) said that since the STM the amount of their prayer for missions or evangelism changed little or not at all

o       31 (59.6%) said the amount they prayed for this area "could be better"

o       15 (28.8%) said the amount they prayed was "ideal."

        Missions Giving

o       Overall, 4 (7.6%) rated their giving of time, money, and/or energy to missions at "little or no."

o       19 (36.5%) rated it "could be better."

o       29 (55.7%) rated it "ideal."

        Increased Involvement in Community Ministries

o       3 (5.7%) reported little or no involvement with community ministries since returning from an STM.

o       17 (32.6%) said they participated in such ministries "as need arises."

o       32 (61.5%) said they "seek out" such opportunities.

        Activities Influenced by STM Participation

o       Respondents expressed the most positive change in the areas of compassion and spirituality.

o       Some of the activities respondents most frequently cited as being influenced to do by their STM participation:

         Speaking about missions

         Seeking their own place in missions

         Fund-raising for missions

         Local evangelism

         Writing to missionaries

         Outreach to internationals


         Housing missionaries

         Being on a church mission council

         Leading a missions Bible study

Methodology of Author's Survey:

o       Countries visited: Antigua, Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Caribbean, Chile, Dominican Republic, England, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Russia, United States.

o       Purpose/Activities: everything from food distribution to evangelism to medical missions to construction.

o       Length of stay:

         College/organization: 7 to 44 days

         Local church: 7 to 14 days.