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In 1970 there were very few youth groups doing short-term missions in the United States. However, during the 1980s and '90s it has been observed that missiologically progressive local churches began to take a project approach to missions, capitalizing on directing present energy into short-term missions trips, vacations with a purpose, designated projects and offerings, and ministry teams. Whereas more missiologically conservative local churches tended to take a process approach to missions, which draws upon over 200 years of Protestant missions history worldwide.
The project approach has matured in the modern Short-term Missions (STM) movement and become a standard annual feature for thousands of Christian youth groups, church groups, and individuals across the United States.
However, there is a limit to what short-term missionaries can accomplish on a given project. There is also debate as to how effective short-term missions are in actually recruiting candidates for the long term.
Therefore, many Short-term Missions Organizations or sending agencies are addressing these issues and others through the adoption of Standards of Excellence in Short-term Missions.
- Standards of Excellence in Short-term Missions - official Web Site
- "Ten Emerging Trends in Short-Term Missions." January 2000. Mission Frontiers. By Seth Barnes, Executive Director of Adventures In Missions
- "Short Termers and the Future of American Missions." January 2000. Mission Frontiers. By Monroe Brewer, Global Ministries Pastor at Crystal Evangelical Free Church in New Hope, Minnesota.
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