I am right in the middle of two weeks of back to back mission trips with our student ministry. Week one was our high school trip to serve in New Orleans and this week I am taking a team of middle school students to Chattanooga. Our “serve” mission trips have been a cornerstone of our student ministry for years because every group we take never comes back the same. God works in ways while we are serving that are simply unexplainable. There are several factors that make a mission trip…great. Sure every experience is good but there are some things that make a trip absolutely great
- The right size team >> This number varies but effective teams strive to maintain the right number for the team. Too many people and you will have people with nothing to do. Too few and your team will be stressed all week. The number is different for every trip but we work hard to find the right number for every trip and work toward that goal.
- The right leaders on the team >> Great mission trips are staffed with great volunteer leaders. Make sure you have strong leaders on your team to set the pace, tone, and direction of the trip. Team leadership makes a mission experience go from good to great.
- Time to rest during the trip >> This is so overlooked. Your team needs time to rest. If you are on a mission trip and you are working hard then you need time every day to stop and catch your breath. A rested team can lead with effectiveness when the pressure is on.
- Time to process >> Every day your team needs time to celebrate, learn, and share. Powerful moments happen when you take time to let your team process together every night on a mission trip.
- Challenge and hardship >> Yes every great mission trip has hardship and plenty of challenge. When you are sharing the message of Jesus, Satan will bring opposition to your team. Challenge drives us to humbly depend on God as we serve and unites our team.
- Real responsibility for every person on the team >> Everyone needs responsibility on a mission trip. Every team member needs to feel that others need them there and others are depending on them. When everyone has real responsibility suddenly everyone starts asking God for help. That is right where we need to be!