Sunday, January 22, 2017

Missionary Goals, Roland Allen, Saint Paul and Eutychus

Measurable Objectives, St. Paul’s or Ours:
Roland Allen & The Church Growth Movement  

James E. Plueddemann  
Evangelical Missiological Society - Midwest Regional Meeting
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School 
April 21, 2012  Revised January 2014

It seems that the old "church growth" philosophy of missions is no longer at the forefront of missionary consideration. Yet I often hear admonitions from sending churches and mission agencies to set predictable, numerical goals. Looking back 100 years to the writings of Roland Allen may help us regain a more biblical perspective. 

Setting measurable and predictable objectives is appropriate if one is measuring activities  But activities are not the same as the outcomes that result from the activities. For example a legitimate  measurable objective might be to show the Jesus film 100 times.  This admirable objective is both quantifiable and predicted. But it isn't an outcome goal. The real "faith goal" is to see people make a genuine heart commitment to Christ or to see local believers passionate about evangelism. The important outcomes are inner qualities not external quantities. 

It's interesting that the Pharisees in Jesus' day attempted to quantify the Ten Commandments. For example, "Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy." is an internal heart-related command, but the Pharisees wanted to make it behavioral and quantifiable. Thus they debated how many steps one could take on the Sabbath, how to avoid lighting fires etc.  By attempting to set quantifiable behavioral objectives they became hopelessly legalistic. Jesus invested much of his teaching to combat quantitive measurements with inner heart change. 

Rereading Roland Allen[1] almost 50 years later brings back pleasant memories. As a missionary candidate with the Sudan Interior Mission in the 1960s I desired to be a cutting-edge missionary, and reading a book that was then 50 years old unexpectedly shaped much of my missionary thinking over the next 50 years. 

The purpose of this paper is to compare missionary objectives implicit in Roland Allen’s Missionary Methods, St. Paul’s or Ours, with more recent Church Growth contributions to the discussion of missionary objectives. This discussion will be framed with Scripture. 

1) Missionary Objectives

An objective describes what the mission seeks to accomplish, desired outcomes, purposes, goals.  Methods are means of accomplishing objectives.  Missionary outcomes are referred to in passing by Allen.  His primary purpose was to investigate methods, while assuming outcomes.  St. Paul sought to plant reproducing churches in key centers in the provinces of Galatia, Macedonia, Achaia and Asia.  At the end of ten years the Apostle Paul could say that his work was finished and it was time to move on to a new area of service.[2] The objective of St. Paul was to plant churches in strategic centers in provinces. These churches would then reach out to influence the whole province.  There is no indication that St. Paul had a ten year plan to reach certain provinces or cities.  Paul was not motivated by precise outcomes, but by vision filled with ambiguity.  

In his vision on the road to Damascus Paul received a mandate to go to the Gentiles, “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified.” (Acts 26:18)  Paul was given a general task to all non-Jews. He wasn’t told where to go, the number of converts, how many churches to plant, or in what time frame. 

Roland Allen makes the case that St. Paul didn’t plan his missionary journeys. “It is quite impossible to maintain that St. Paul deliberately planned his journeys beforehand, selected certain strategic points at which to establish his Churches and then actually carried out his designs.”[3]   Allen continues: “St. Paul did not deliberately plan his missionary tours, but I find it equally difficult to believe that he was not guided by some very definite principles in his selection of his mission stations.”[4]  Allen suggests that St. Paul operated from principles rather than precise goals.  His objective was to establish two or three centers of Christian life in a province that would be equipped to spread the gospel throughout the province. Paul could later claim that the whole province had been evangelized.[5]

The Bible never mentions planning for the first missionary journey described in Acts 13. After fasting and prayer the church in Antioch placed hands Paul and Barnabas and sent them off.  They were also sent on their way by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:3-4).  It seems that the early missionaries used their common sense and implicit guiding principles and then preached the word until they were expelled, stoned or run out of town.  While St. Paul was motivated by a vision for planting and establishing three or four missionary-minded churches in each province, it is unclear that he even knew which particular provinces he should reach.  After preaching in Galatia, the Holy Spirit kept him from moving into the province of Asia, and then led him in a vision to the province of Macedonia (Acts 16:7-10). 

Planning seemed to take place in the midst of the activity. While there are no hints that Paul planned for precise quantifiable objectives by certain dates, we cannot say that St. Paul was inefficient. After ten years Paul could claim that “by the power of the Holy Spirit of God. . . from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:19).  This is an amazing accomplishment in a relatively short time frame.

2) Church Growth Objectives

The Church Growth movement was helpful to the missionary enterprise in many ways, but was harmful in others. While there are many similarities between the Church Growth Movement and the Pauline movement described by Roland Allen, the most stark differences arise from a passion for precise planning and outcomes. In contrast to St. Paul’s vision-driven, principle-centered objectives, the Church Growth Movement was driven by planned measurable objectives.  C. Peter Wagner writes:

“Efforts without measurable objectives can easily be construed as cop outs. Failure becomes an impossibility. Reporting becomes hopelessly subjective. This is why goals, carefully designated specifically articulated and constantly evaluated are stressed by church growth men.”[6]

According to this definition, the ministry of St. Paul as described by Roland Allen was a failure. Paul didn’t begin with measurable objectives, his reporting back to the church in Antioch was “hopelessly subjective” and his goals were not “carefully predicted, designated, specifically articulated and constantly evaluated.” 

In 1970 Donald McGavran produced a highly influential book, Understanding Church Growth, in which he writes:

Setting membership goals is in accordance with God’s eternal purpose. Goal setting in the service of the Great Commission is pleasing to God. . . . Scripture is solidly on the side of careful planning for church growth. . . . Goal setting should start by teaching that measurable church growth is biblically required.[7] 

McGavran suggests that decadal growth be measured as a percentage of growth, not the growth of raw numbers. He mentions that Ralph Winter proposed a formula for calculating growth from the concept of compound interest.[8]  

Again we note the glaring contrast between Allen’s description of St. Paul and the Church Growth strategy.  One movement was guided by principled, visionary and ambiguous outcomes and the other by mathematical formulas and objective membership goals.

I participated in a major church growth seminar in Jos, Nigeria in the 1970s. A team of missiologists came from the United States and taught a group of Hausa-speaking pastors through translation. First the seminar leaders handed out graph-paper and asked each pastor to plot the growth of his church in the last ten years.  Then they asked the pastors to set yearly goals for the next ten years.  For example, if last year the church grew by 50 members, they would aim for adding 50 members per year for the next ten years. Then the seminar leaders handed out logarithmic graph paper that showed that if they only increased by 50 members a year, the percentage of growth would over time move downward on the graph. As I visited with the Hausa-speaking pastors during break times, I realized that most of them were puzzled by these mathematical projections.  Many of them pastored some of the fastest growing churches in the world and yet none of them had dreamed of setting membership goals and graph paper.  For the next ten years the ECWA churches in Nigeria grew by 370%.  They grew not by setting measurable objectives, but by what Roland Allen described as the spontaneous expansion of healthy churches reaching out to their neighbors.[9]

There is a growing backlash in the non-Western world, against the quantitative planning theories of church growth.  However the fundamental world-view of a behavioristic, objective quantifiable reality persists in many Western mission governing boards are often composed of members with a behavior objective mindset. I suspect that the measurable objectives movement was more influenced by the business world than by the biblical world described by Roland Allen. 

3) Management by Objectives in Business

One year before Roland Allen wrote Missionary Methods, Fredrick W. Taylor produced a highly influential monograph called, The Principles of Scientific Management.[10]  Taylor called for a radical increase in efficiency though the us use of time-motion studies. In 1954 Peter Drucker, influenced by Taylor, wrote The Practice of Management, and introduced the concept of management by objectives.[11]

A planning model that grew out of the Drucker philosophy included the acronym SMART or specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. [12] None of these five characteristics fit the Allen model or that of St. Paul. It seems that the Church Growth model was more influenced by principles of scientific management than by Scripture.

In 1995 I wrote an article for the Evangelical Missions Quarterly entitled, “Measurable Objectives, No! Faith Goals, Yes!”[13] The article received so many negative letters to the editor that they had to run them in the next two issues.  The editor, Jim Reapsome, told me that my article won a prize for the most negative letters to the editor.  Several of my criticizers pointed to the use of quantities in the book of Acts.  So I did a study of outcomes and results in the book of Acts. 

4) Outcomes in the book of Acts

First I copied and pasted the whole text of Acts into a Word document with a wide margin. As I read through the text I underlined every text that made mention of a result. As I began to analyze the various kinds of results, I noticed that most of the results fell into a limited number of categories. I recopied the text of Acts into a table format with the text on the left and possible categories of results on the right.  I then analyzed each verse in the book of Acts that referred to an outcome and summarized the categories into major groupings. 

Here are my findings:

Results are an important feature in the book of Acts. It is appears that Luke made at least 111 statements in Acts that refer to outcomes or results. Luke reported on outcomes that grew out of the work of the Holy Spirit, the apostles and the early church.  But none of the outcomes were planed advance.  

Here are the major groupings of resultant statements:

·   Twenty seven times Luke reported evangelistic growth. Three times approximate numerical results were given such as “about three thousand were baptized,” (1:14) and “the number of men grew to about 5,000” (4:4) and “about twelve men in all” (19:5).  Each time numbers were used they were given as estimates. Growth in size was reported 24 times without using numbers, such as “the number of disciples was increasing” (6:1), “the Lord added to their number those who were being saved” (2:47), and “all those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord” (9:35). Most often Luke merely reported that “a great number of people believed.” It seems that Luke was highly interested in the growth of the church but he was not overly concerned with reporting numbers. At no point do we find predictions of numerical converts.

·   Thirteen times Luke reported results in terms of discipleship, nurture or the strengthening of believers. Evangelistic results, while important, also required the continual inner growth of believers. Sometimes Luke recorded spiritual growth in terms of the church.  “Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria . . . was strengthened and encouraged by the Holy Spirit” (9:31).  Other times Luke reported the strengthening of disciples (14:22). 

·   Human need results were important to Luke. Twelve times results were reported in terms of physical healing, economic sharing or casting out of evil spirits. Early believers shared possessions (4:32), the lame were healed (3:8), demons were cast out (7:7), and the dead were raised (9:40).

·   Often the results were negative. Twelve times Luke reported painful outcomes of ministry. After one sermon, Paul was dragged out and stoned (7:57), persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem (8:1), Jews poisoned the minds of the Gentiles (14:2) and Paul was accused of being out of his mind because of his great learning (26:24).  It is important to note that a high percentage of the reported results were negative.  Luke never blamed the sermon or the preacher for negative results.  Not all ministries should be expected to produce positive outcomes. 

·   Eleven times the result was the direct intervention of the Holy Spirit or of angels. Luke described that “disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit:” (2:4), “all were filled with the Holy Spirit” (4:31), and the Holy Spirit came to Gentiles who heard the message (10:44). Twice angels produced unexpected results when the disciples and Peter broke out of jail (5:19 & 12:11).  Often the reported results were not outcomes of the disciples’ actions, but God used supernatural means to produce results.

·   Five times the result was a theological shift in the mind of Peter and of the church or a theological challenge to the Pharisees and Sadducees. Peter finally realized that God “accepts people from every nation who fear him and do what is right” (10:34).  The Jerusalem Council agreed that they should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who were turning to God (15:19).  The correcting or developing of theology was an important result in Luke’s reporting.

·   Four times Luke reports that the word of the Lord spread, widely and in power (12:24, 13:49, 19:10 & 20).  The result was not described in terms of the action of people, but of the word of God. We are not told how the people responded but nevertheless it seemed important to Luke to report the outcome of the spreading of the word.   

The prediction of results in Acts does not fit the Church Growth concept of planned or predicted objectives. Only three times out of 111 examples are quantitative results reported and they are reported in round numbers after the fact. No reported result in the book of Acts were planned or predicted. Results in the book of Acts were important, describable and evaluatable, but were not predictable.  

5) Reaction Against Management by Objectives.

The secular management guru Tom Peters has written about the problems of specific plans and goals.

Plans? Goals? Yes, I admit that I plan and set goals. After I’ve accomplished something, I declare it to have been my goal all along. One must keep up appearances: In our society “having goals” and “making plans” are two of the most important pretenses. Unfortunately, they are dangerous pretenses – which 
repeatedly cause us to delay immersion in the real world of happy surprises, unhappy detours, and unexpected byways. Meanwhile, the laurels keep going to those mildly purposeful stumblers who hang out, try stuff with reckless abandon—and occasionally bump into something big and bountiful, often barely related to the initial pursuit.[14]

Could it be that having precise goals and making quantifiable goals are also a dangerous pretense in missions?  I think so.

Even Peter Drucker seems to agree that management by objectives would be unhelpful for mission agencies. He writes: “the non-profit organization exists to bring about a change in individuals and in society.”[15] These changes are not predictably quantifiable.  Missionaries seek to be used of God to bring about change in the hearts of individuals, the church and society. Such an objective does not fit the SMART criteria, it is not specific, measureable, easily achievable, humanly realistic or time-bound.

The Korean missiologist Bong Ho Son, has written that “church growth theology has done more harm than good in Korean churches in general.”[16]

Samuel Escobar has also criticized what he identified as the Western Management Model with it’s passion for statistics.
Every characteristic of missiology becomes understandable when perceived within the frame of that avowed quantifying intention. Concepts such as ‘people groups,’ ‘unreached peoples,’ ‘10/40 window,’ ‘adopt a people,’ and ‘territorial spirits’ express both a strong sense of urgency and an effort to use every available instrument to make the task possible.[17]

Escobar also refers to the hundreds of strategies near the turn of the century, called AD 2000, and Lausanne II with the vast array of “arresting but mystifying statistics.”[18]  Most of these strategies would fit the SMART paradigm of being specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. 

6) A Clash of Cultural Values

Could it be that the debate about missionary objectives is rooted in a clash of personality differences or cultural values?  Geert Hofstede spent a lifetime gathering data from around the world on cultural values in the work place. One critical value was what he identified as uncertainty avoidance, defined as “the extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations.”[19] Individuals and cultures with high uncertainty avoidance seek to control the future through planning, statistics and measurable outcomes.   

 Maybe the difference between Roland Allen and the Church Growth Movement is more related to a tolerance for ambiguity than to theological differences. Winter was first an engineer, a job that required low tolerance for ambiguity. He felt very comfortable with formulas and statistics.  Allen was a pastor more in touch with the more ambiguous disciplines.  The Apostle Paul was motivated by a life-long vision and a general sense of direction, but he could endure the uncertainties of a missionary work. 

In a world where many more countries are sending missionaries around the world, we need to be be cautions of missionary strategies that merely reflect Western cultural values, which will not only seem strange, but hinder the missionary world of the new missionaries.  

7) Conclusion

Many good things have come out of the Church Growth Movement.  Both McGavran and Allen promoted the spontaneous expansion of the church through the use of family connections as “bridges to God.”  Ralph Winter pointed out vast areas of the world needing more missionary involvement.  Church Growth theology has permeated the Perspectives Course movement which as been a challenge and a blessing to thousands.  Church mission committees have benefited from the emphasis on strategic planning. But the movement also has some serious downsides. Mission committees, mission administrators  and missiologists take note. The movement of measurable objectives isn't dead yet.  Too bad. 

Here are a few of the serious problems. Measurable objectives:

  1. Tend to aim for what is easily measurable rather than heart change in people and churches.  What is easily measurable is often insignificant.
  2. Tempt us to count activities rather than eternal outcomes. Since we can count how many times we do things, it is tempting to think we are successful merely by being active.
  3. Assume that quantity is an accurate reflection of quality, when in fact, often the opposite may be true. Could it be that the faster the growth of the church, the shallower the quality of discipleship? 
  4. May lead to a missionary becoming incorrectly encouraged when only external goals are met, or becoming wrongly discouraged by ignoring the subtle hints of blessing. 
  5. Lead to insignificant or even trivial goals. Since measurable objectives must be achievable, we aim at what we know we can achieve rather than true faith vision. We aim too low when we aim at what can be predicted and quantified. 

Even though I believe that quantifiable, predictable or behavioral objectives are a hinderance to the task of world missions, I believe in evaluation. I am convinced that we can keep our eyes open to indications of the effectiveness of the activity or program.
Evaluation that comes after-the-fact can be most helpful in improving programs.  I'm convinced that the the best evaluation considers not just outcomes, but programs and cultural awareness of the situation, and how the three fit together. But this is the subject of another blog. 

[1] Roland Allen, Missionary Methods St Paul’s or Ours? (London: Robert Scott, 1912).
[2] Ibid., p. 3.
[3] Ibid., p. 15.
[4] Ibid., p. 17.
[5] Ibid., p. 18-19.
[6] , C. Peter Wagner, “The Church Growth Workshop or Seminar.” Church Growth Bulletin. vol. viii, no. 6, July 1972, p 235.
[7] McGavran, Donald A., Understanding Church Growth. 3rd edition C. Peter Wagner ed. 1990. Grand Rapids, Eerdmans.  P . 279 (First published in 1970, revised in 1980 and edited by Wager in 1990)
[8] Ibid., p. 283.
[9] See, Roland Allen. The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church: And the Causes Which Hinder It. (Kindle edition, 1927).
[10] Fredrick W. Taylor. The Principles of Scientific Management. New York: Harper, 1911.
[11] Peter Drucker. The Practice of Management. New York: Harper, 1954.
[12] Doran, G. T. (1981). There's a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management's goals and objectives. Management Review, Volume 70, Issue 11(AMA FORUM), pp. 35-36.
[13] James E. Plueddemann, “Measurable Objectives, No! Faith Goals, Yes!” Evangelical Missions Quarterly 31, no. 2 (April 1995): 184-187.
[14] Tom Peters. The Bookstore Journal. Feb. 1991.
[15] Peter F. Drucker.  Managing the Non-Profit Organization. NY: HarperCollins. 1990
[16] Bong Ho Son. “Some Dangers of Rapid Church Growth.” Korean Church Growth Explosion. Bong Rin Ro, and Martin L. Nelson eds. Seoul: Word of Life Press. P. 283.
[17] Samuel Escobar. “Evangelical Missiology: Peering Into the Future at the Turn of the Century.” In William D. Taylor, ed. Global Missiology for the 21st Century: The Iguuassu Dialogue. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000.  p. 109.
[18] Ibid., p. 109.
[19] Geert Hofstede, Gert Jan Hofstede and Michael Minkov. Cultures and Organziations: Software of the Mind. Chicago: McGraw Hill, 2010, p. 191.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Short Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence

Serving With Eyes Wide Open

Serving with Eyes Wide Open: Doing Short-Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence. 
David A. Livermore. Baker Books, P.O. Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287. 2006, 188 pages, $12.99.

Reviewed for EMQ by James E. Plueddemann, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL.

“The world is crawling with foreigners,” exclaimed a student in one of my cross-cultural communication classes. Cultural intelligence is often missing in the 4 million Americans who travel abroad each year to do short-term mission work. While there are several good resources to help short-term missionaries know how to apply for a passport and where to get yellow-fever shots, Serving with Eyes Wide Open is based on solid research and fills an important gap in the literature. It is a most readable book with many examples to help short-termers understand cultural pitfalls and gain cultural intelligence.

David Livermore begins with a succinct overview of the world and the global Church. It is important for short-term missionaries to realize that the Church outside of the United States is growing rapidly, often faces persecution, recognizes spiritual warfare and is becoming a major sending force. Such an overview may help overcome the “here I am you lucky people” complex.

The next section looks at the motivation for short-term missions. I am impressed with the balance in this section. From his own experience, Livermore points out the shallow motivation that drives many short-term missionaries. He gives sad but humorous examples of what pastors from the United States thought they were teaching and compares it to what the national pastors actually thought of the teaching. He describes misunderstandings between short-termers and host people in the use of time, the urgency of the task and oversimplification of complex situations. He is concerned that too often short-termers parachute into what they perceive as a backward culture, distribute goods and then retreat.

“Open your eyes!” is the continual challenge of this book. Readers will find practical steps for gaining cultural understanding in four areas. Short-term missionaries need to gain knowledge of basic cultural differences. Then using this knowledge they can interpret cues about what is really going on in the other culture. Livermore encourages perseverance as short-termers deal with confusing situations, and gives practical advice on how to behave while applying the above three principles in another culture.

Livermore concludes with a powerful chapter on “The Heart of the Matter,” doing missions out of a genuine love for people and for God. If short-term missionaries can love the people to whom they minister they will treat them with dignity and respect. If they serve because of their love for the Lord, they will avoid a self-serving motivation and focus on genuine service.

Finally I have an accessible book on short-term missions that I can use as a textbook and also give to our youth director as she prepares a group from our church to spend two weeks in Brazil. The book is grounded in research by respected theorists such as Geert Hofstede, Robert Levine, Edward T. Hall and Robert Kohls, yet the book is written for the layperson with compelling examples and insights from practical experience. Many books on short-term missions are either descriptions of the “nuts and bolts” of how to lead a team, or are naïf propaganda extolling the virtues of the so called “next paradigm in world missions.” Serving with Eyes Wide Open is written with a perceptive understanding of the dangers and problems of short-term missions. It also gives a sense of hope by encouraging godly motivation and cultural intelligence.

Other valuable resources for short-term missions:

David Mays of ACMC has put together a valuable CD called, Trip Stuff: Stuff You Need To Know About Doing Mission Trips In Your Church. (April 2006) Contact him at
Elmer, Duane. 2006. Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility. IVP Books.
Judge, Cindy, 2000. Before You Pack Your Bag, Prepare Your Heart: 12 Bible Studies for Short-Term Mission Preparation. Wheaton: Campfire Resources.

Short Term Missions - Doing Good - Avoiding Harm

How to Avoid Doing More Harm Than Good in Short-Term Missions
Seven Standards of Excellence

Jim Plueddemann

Every year I ask my M.Div students at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School about their view of short term missions. Almost all of them have had experience either as a team leader, or have received short-term teams.  I ask them about the effectiveness of short-term missions from the perspective of the receiving people.  Invariably about a third of my students feel the trips are worthwhile, a third say they were OK and didn't do much good or harm, and a third feel strongly that short-term missions do more harm than good.  Short-term missions is not intended to be therapy for the missionary. Providing experiences for short-termers isn't bad. Maybe call it "short-term experiences" but just don't call it missions. 

1. God-Centered – Is God honored through this experience? Is love for God and love for people the chief motivation? It is quite possible that seemingly "successful" projects of short-term missionaries actually bring shame to Christ. Most short-term teams are blissfully unaware of unintended consequences of their projects. 

2. Gospel-Centered – Will the trip contribute directly or indirectly to evangelism and developing committed followers of Christ?  Many people travel around the world doing good deeds that contribute to causes other than Christ and his Kingdom. While the service projects are commendable, unless there is a Gospel component, is not truly missions. 

3. People-Sensitive – Do short-termers appreciate and build on the cultures and giftedness of those they go to serve? Are short-termers humbly willing to listen and learn from local people? Toxic charity is doing good things for people that in fact, make them feel less than human. Treating people as objects or recipients of aid is dehumanizing.  

4. Field-Focused – Will the experience strengthen the ministry on the field? It the trip actually strategic for the field? Short-term mission trips may broaden the horizons of the short-term missionary, and at the same time be a hindrance to the ministry of local pastors and long-term missionaries. At times churches fund short-term missions often drain precious resources from the support of long-term missionaries and field ministries. 

5. Long-term Outcomes – Does the trip promote the a commitment to long-term missions or more fervent prayer or sacrificial giving? Does it empower local people to be more self-supporting and self-sufficient? There is quite a bit of  evidence that the work of short-term missions facilitates dependency and hinders local initiatives for those being served, and has little long-term missional impact on the short-termers.   

6. Appropriate Preparation – Does preparation make short-termers aware of God’s plan for the nations, and an appreciation of cultural values of the local people? At times short-termers are coerced into going on trips resulting in resentment from those receiving the missionaries.  Some short termers go in order to discover themselves and experience the broader world. Such a motivation is not bad, but neither is it missions. Maybe such trips should be called "self-awareness experiences" rather than missions. 

7. Through Follow-Up – Does the trip lead to greater understanding and long-term missions commitment by the short term missionary and the sending church?  Does the short-term trip encourage some to be long-term missionaries, to pray for fervently for missions or to give sacrificially to missions? Some research shows that the effects of the short-term experience wear off after six months, and may immunizing them against serious long-term involvement in missions.  There is little evidence that, on the average, short term experiences contribute to increased prayer or financial support for world missions.