Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
The face of missions is changing. While regular mission service (long-term) is still very much needed and extant, it no longer dominates the missions landscape. Fewer people are being sent to third-world or developing countries from North America to serve long term for positive reasons. There has been, however, an explosion in the number of people traveling to other countries for short terms and very short terms. While focus has shown that teens and young adults are positively impacted, no study has shown the impact on people of all age groups who go for this type of service.
An anonymous questionaire was sent to persons who participated in short-term mission trips with the Berkshire Mission Group (BMG), a group organized by the Berkshire Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church in Lanesboro, Massachusetts. This investigator has traveled with the BMG on five of its overseas projects to date. The results from this instrument along with research from published and unpublished material was used to determine if short-term mission trips have a negative, neutral, or positive impact on the participants in the areas of spiritual development, commitment to God, and possible mission service.
Short-term mission trips have been shown to make a positive impact on people of all ages who go on them. This impact is both perceived by the participants in all age groups over eighteen, as well as visible in the empirical data available from the Seventh- day Adventist Church and agencies affiliated with it.
Short-term mission trips should continue to be taken by people in all age groups. Their impact on the church at every level should be monitored to develop strategies to improve the impact on sending churches, those who go, churches or people in receiving locations, and communities in receiving locations. The organized church should encourage and facilitate these trips, while maintaining them as primarily lay-driven activities.
Short-term missions; Berkshire Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church (Lanesboro, Mass.); Seventh-day Adventists--Missions
Wagner, Garold Ray, "The Impact of Short-Term Missions on the Participants of the Berkshire Mission Group" (2008). Professional Dissertations DMin. 647.
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