Definitions and Terms

Accredited Members — organizations which advance from Associate Member status to fully accredited member status. Accredited Members factually demonstrate that they are regularly complying with the Standards of Excellence as determined by their Peer Review and completion of all membership requirements.

Associate Members — organizations which adopt the Standards of Excellence by submitting a new Member Application and Follow-Up materials. Associate Member status is the initial entry status for every church, agency, school or other organization. Members must attend a Standards Introductory Workshop (SIW), attend an STM Training Conference every three years and submit annual renewal forms and membership fees. We encourage Associate Members to advance to full Accredited Member status when able, but there is no absolute requirement or time frame to do so.

Field Facilitators — field missionaries or national host leaders who serve as on-field liaisons for the on-field STM arrangements. Field Facilitators have management and communication responsibility for the STM receiving-side (field administration, field set-up, field program support, field logistical support and field follow-up). Field Facilitators mutually design every short-term outreach in conjunction with the Sending Entity(s).

Goer-Guests — those who go to the field to serve; specifically includes two subsets: all of the Goer-Guest Leaders and all of the Goer-Guest Followers (i.e., all of the individuals or team members who are being sent)

Goer-Guest Followers — individual short-term missionaries or team members who do not have major leadership responsibilities.

Goer-Guest Leaders — any short-term mission leaders sent to the field by the Sending Entity(s). They go to the field like Goer-Guests Followers, but have certain leadership responsibilities with respect to the STM project. Note that almost all Goer-Guest Leaders will often need to submit to other leadership — either other Goer-Guest Leaders or Field Facilitators.

Host Receivers — the on-field persons who receive short-term missionaries; specifically includes two subsets: Field Facilitators and Intended Receptors (i.e., everyone at the on-field location: full-time missionaries, other expatriates, national pastors and local leaders, local nationals and any local organizations which they represent such as churches, civic organizations, NGOs, etc.)

Intended Receptors — the people on the field who will receive the Goer-Guests’ service or mission activity. Intended receptors can also be other aspects of God’s creation (animals, natural resources, etc.) as well as aspects of human creation (civic or corporate structures, oppressive systems, etc.)

MISTM-Grid — a visual tool providing an overview for virtually all STMs. The MISTM-Grid (Maximum Impact Short Term Mission) combines the three sets of STM participants (Participant Trilogy) on a Y-axis and the three STM time periods (Process Trilogy) on an X-axis. The result is a 9-cell matrix or ‘grid’ which shows certain ethical responsibility all participants may have with other participants throughout the entire STM process.© 1999 R. Wayne Sneed / Roger P. Peterson. Revised 2001, 2002, 2003. Used by permission.

On-Field — time period when Goer-Guests are on-site with the Host Receivers for their intended mission outreach. It exists from the moment of arrival to the moment of departure.

Participant — anyone involved in the STM outreach; does not mean Goer-Guests only! When used on this website, it refers to Senders, Goer-Guests and Host Receivers (see Participant Trilogy).

Participant Trilogy — the three sets of people always involved in any STM endeavor: Senders, Goer-Guests and Host Receivers. (Based on 3 John 5-8 and Matt. 10:40-42, Senders, Goer-Guests and Host Receivers are assumed to be equal participants in any short-term mission endeavor.)

Peer Review (PR) — a process in which an adoptive member’s STM program is reviewed by other SOE members as a step toward reaching or maintaining Accredited Member status. The purpose is to encourage, motivate, and challenge the reviewee toward excellence in all their short-term mission efforts.

Peer Review Team (PRT) — a team of key STM personnel from at least three different SOE organizations who agree to review an adoptive member’s short-term mission program. The team must include an experienced facilitator (recommended/approved by the SOE office) and two or more additional reviewers who are associate or accredited SOE members. PRTs can be formed locally (within a given city or region) or nationally. PRTs meet at the location of the reviewee’s choosing and help provide constructive feedback, peer mentoring, relationships and accountability.

Post-Field — time period after the on-field portion of the outreach ends. Post-field continues indefinitely for all participants, with perhaps the greatest impact in Goer-Guests and Intended Receptors.

Practitioners (STM Practitioners) — Sending Entities, Field Facilitators and other associate support groups which intentionally perform some aspect of short-term mission.

Pre-Field — time period before the on-field portion of the outreach begins. Pre-field begins at the moment of outreach conception, regardless of who, where or how the outreach was conceived.

Process Trilogy — three consecutive time periods through which a short-term mission outreach progresses: Pre-Field, On-Field and Post-Field.

Resource Providers — groups and organizations that provide training, networking, products or other support services to STM efforts.

Senders — those who send short-term missionaries; specifically includes two subsets: all of the Sending Supporters and the Sending Entity(s).

Sending Entities — organizations which provide the Pre-Field and Post-Field administrative structure for Goer-Guests. Sending Entities have management and communication responsibility on the STM sending-side. Sending Entities mutually design every short-term outreach in conjunction with the Field Facilitators. Sending entities include churches, mission agencies, schools and other Christian organizations that send short-term missionaries anywhere in the world.

Sending Supporters — individuals, families, organizations or others who voluntarily support a short-term missionary in one or more of the following ways:

  1. Prayer support
  2. Financial support
  3. Logistical support
  4. Emotional support
  5. Communication support
  6. Re-entry support

(adapted from Serving as Senders by Neal Pirolo, San Diego CA: Emmaus Road, International, 1991, ISBN 1-880185-00-8)

Standards Introductory Workshop (SIW) — an SOE-sponsored 8-10 hour seminar for the key STM personnel of member organizations to help them understand how to achieve all seven Standards and how to form and manage their own Peer Review process. Workshops are interactive, use case studies, small group discussions, lectures, and provide training in MISTM-grid theory. All SOE members must have at least one key personnel on staff who has attended an SIW (preferably all key staff). SIWs will often be offered as pre- or post-conference options at other STM Training Conferences (see below) to reduce time and travel expenses. That way you can fulfill both training requirements at just one venue.

STM — Short-Term Mission

STM Training Conference — a national SOE approved, on-going conference where an entire track or the entire conference is devoted to STM training. Attendance and participation in at least one STM Training Conference every three years is required. Some of these STM Training Conferences will also host the Standards Introductory Workshop to reduce time and travel expenses and so that you can fulfill both training requirements in a single conference.