September 2016—A recent study of search and inquiry patterns related to mission trip information on the ShortTermMissions.com website suggests a greater interest in longer mission trips than we have previously seen.
As in the past, most searchers seem to be looking for mission trips that are a few weeks long. Generally we have seen fewer than 10% of searches focus on mission trips that are one or two months long, while another 12% of searches focus on trips of three months or longer. These longer trips offer more cross-cultural experience as well as a stronger focus on mentoring and discipleship. As such, they may do more to prepare participants for long-term service. In the last four years we have observed a number of short-term sending agencies refocusing their efforts to provide more opportunities of this type.
During a recent 18-month period (January 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016), mission trip descriptions on ShortTermMissions.com had 639,280 page views and generated 24,700 inquiries. This time, however, 24% of page views and 27% of inquiries generated were connected to trips of three months or more. In addition, 31% of page views and 33% of inquiries were for trips of one month or more.
Please pray with us (and the mission organizations sponsoring trips!) that these longer trips will continue to attract interest and accomplish much in the lives of participants as well as those among whom they serve.
Image: YWAM San Diego/Baja.