Since the 1960's there has been a rapidly growing movement to mobilize and energize new generations of world-aware Christians to pray, send, and go into the field on short-term missions outreach programs.
In the late 50's groups like Operation Mobilization and Youth With A Mission began to develop outreach missions for young people with as little as a few weeks of time to spare.
How Many Is Enough?
It is estimated that by the mid-60's fewer than a thousand people from North America were involved in short-term missions work. However, by the late-80's that number had risen to around 120,000, and in just a few short years after that had more than doubled to an astounding 250,000 people.
In fact, as late as 1998, the EFMA (Evangelical Foreign Missions Association) put the figure at around 450,000 or more. Numbers like these demonstrate the explosive nature of the growth in short-term missions since their humble beginnings 50 years ago.
Planting The Seeds
Many of the people training and working in the mission field today got their start and inspiration from their experiences with short-term missions.