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Peterson, Roger P. Is Short-Term Mission Really Worth the Time and Money? (Advancing God's Kingdom Through Short-Term Mission). Minneapolis: STEM Ministries, 1991.


STEM Ministries study finds that STMs cause significant change in terms of prayer, financial giving, commitment to world mission, etc. in participants.

a)      Methodology:

Mailed survey sent to all 945 people who had served on STEM 2 week projects from March 1985 to August 1989. 366 responses returned (38.7%). Although the survey asked questions about aspects of respondents before their trips, the surveys were sent out after people had been on the trips, and thus their responses were all made in hindsight.

b)      Results:

1)      Prayer (p.7):

        Amount of time spent praying for missions/world evangelization doubled: pre-trip avg. was 6-10 minutes/week, post-trip avg. 11-30 minutes/week.

        Pre-trip 225 (63.2%) reported 0-5 minutes/week of prayer for missions. Post trip, 252 (71.8%) reported 6 to >60 minutes/week/

2)      Giving (p.11):

        Amount of financial giving also doubled. Pre-trip, avg. missions giving was $11-$25/month. Post-, avg. $26-$50/month.

        Pre-trip, 220 (74.8%) reported giving $0-$25/month; Post-trip 162 (58.1%) reported giving $26->$100/month.

3)      Commitment to World Mission (p.15):

        Women perceived themselves to be more committed than men: 63/200 women (31.5%) compared to 37/163 men (22.7%) said their STM caused a "radically life changing" degree of world missions commitment.

        97% of those surveyed reported that the STM had some degree of positive impact on their world missions commitment.

4)      Mission-related activities (i.e. writing, housing missionaries; participating on church mission board; fund raising for missions)(p.16):

        Increased 69%.

5)      Mission-related education (i.e. reading missions books, magazines; attending missions conferences; meeting missionaries)(p.16):

        Increased 32.4%.

6)      Return to Mission Field (p.18):

        76.5% (274 people) said a return to the mission field was likely, very likely, or that they were already serving in the field or had confirmed plans to do so.