Prepare Your Youth For Their Mission Trip

Serving on a youth mission trip is a major part of many youth ministries' annual calendar. We all know the impact that can be had on the students and those they will be serving. As the summer approaches and youth ministries across the country embark on a mission trip, we wanted to share 4 ways you can prepare your group for the trip in an effort to have everyone experience a life-changing trip.

1). Prayer

Where would we be if prayer was not the focal point of all we do! As Christians we all know the value of prayer, but how can we use prayer to effectively prepare students for their trip? Start by praying for their experience, encourage them to pray that they would experience the Lord move in their life during their week of serving. Also, have them pray for those you will serve. This trip will be an amazing opportunity for the students to serve in ways they don’t normally. Having them pray beforehand will soften their hearts to those they will serve and will help them see the Lord moving through their service.

2). Fasting

What else could follow prayer but fasting! Encourage your students to engage in this spiritual discipline. Not always revolving around food but fasting from their phones or tv could serve the purpose of having them spend more time with God as they prepare for the trip. Fasting usually gives students (and adults!) "new eyes" to see God around them and ways to serve others because fasting makes us more receptive and aware of our surroundings and environment.

3). Fellowship

As your group prepares for their youth mission trip, have the mission team fellowship together outside of normal youth group gatherings. Promoting and creating a team identity will help your group jump into the experience of the trip more quickly! It will also allow them to work together better as a team when doing God's work. Youth will bond with one another as the Body of Christ in love (Ephesians 4:16). Hey, we call it a TEAMeffort for a reason! On a different level, having fellowship may assist youth leaders with noticing youth group cliques so that on the mission site, you can partner youth with other students they typically do not spend time with. The great thing about missions is that working on a common project breaks down barriers. Youth talk with one another when they paint or build something together. They open up to one another. They share life together. And, they serve Jesus as one.

4). Open Eyes

A mission trip can be an amazing experience. It can be a time for students to serve in a way they never have before and see things they would not in their normal context. This can be an amazing opportunity for you as a youth leader to help your students grow and deepen their faith. Helping the students understand how this week will be different beforehand will allow them to respond to what they experience in the best way possible.

As you prepare your group for the youth mission trip, more important than any of these points is to know that the Lord is alongside you. He will move in spite of what happens on the trip, the best way you can prepare your group as a leader is to trust the Lord and be patient as He moves in your student’s lives. We at TEAMeffort are praying for each of you this summer.

You may want to check out two other blogs before your trip. The first is a list of Bible verses on missions we compiled that will be great to share with your youth group beforehand. Second, discipleship is important for the growth of youth and the church. Check out ways this summer's trip can assist in discipleship.