Mission trips are wonderful opportunities with many benefits. They build communities, help those in need, and positively spread the word of God. They also provide a better understanding of what it is like to live in other countries and of different people and their universal needs. Mission trips can teach individuals to gain a better appreciation of what they have at home; they can also inspire the individuals to return home and assist their home community. Individuals can build team work skills, empathy, and a greater vision from mission trips. This positive vision can assist to expand the missionary force and allow individuals to want to continue participating in mission trips. Below you will find some guidelines and tips that will help make your mission trip a success:
Be a team player
Mission trips build communities and neighborhoods, but the positive changes do not happen overnight; they take time and energy from multiple people. One person cannot build an entire community on a mission trip. Be sure to help everyone get along, and try to get everyone excited about being involved. Before embarking on a mission trip, be sure all team members have the same goals and are committed to serving.
Mission trips are designed to help participants model their Christian beliefs. This modeling behavior takes team work and cooperation, however, so be sure to help one another with different tasks and responsibilities. A mission trip is designed to improve teamwork, cooperation, and community, so all members of the mission trip must be a team player from the start in order to have a successful experience.
Leave the agenda behind
While a tentative schedule and plan are certainly needed for a mission trip, it is important to keep your group’s options open and to leave the agenda at home. The mission trip coordinator or supervisor should set the goals of the group. Individually, everyone should have an idea of what they wish to accomplish, but it is important to follow the agenda of the team. No one wants to be the person that is too centered and focused on themselves that they forget to help the ones in need.
The only agenda one needs for a mission trip is to be a servant of God. Mission trips are designed to open communication and see an example of God’s work on Earth. Be sure to take the time to respect and appreciate that fact. A mission trip is a group and community effort, so unity should be the goal of everyone participating.
Preparation is needed for paperwork, travel documents, transportation tickets, insurance information, maps, keys, and medical information. Learn as much as possible about the culture, language, and people in the area of the mission trip before departing, and always travel with a first-aid kit in case of an emergency. Take medications and snacks from home, as different cultures may not have foods or medications to meet your specific circumstances (dietary restrictions, medical conditions, etc.). Finally, be sure to wear appropriate clothing for the work and the culture of the area. Whether you agree with it or not, it is important to respect the culture (including clothing restrictions, behavior standards, etc.) of the area in which you’re serving.