Partnering with Parents: Mission Trips as a Team Sport

For the past two summers our youth group has enjoyed working with TEAMeffort mission trips. In 2018, our group assisted the Jacksonville TEAMeffort site primarily working on hurricane relief projects. The youth built a roofing structure (tarring and tiling) and helped with painting and other home repair projects. In 2019, the youth group visited the Lumberton, NC site, primarily replacing insulation on homes damaged by flood waters from hurricanes. At each location, the TEAMeffort staff was extremely friendly, enthusiastic and helpful throughout the week!

These trips were positive experiences for youth because they were able to have hands-on experiences helping others in great need! TEAMeffort mssions also provides delicious meals, nightly worship and fun fellowship opportunities with other visiting youth groups. Both of our groups were able to wrap up the week with a day at local beaches before heading home. Our high school age son participated in both trips and our twin middle school daughters, my husband and I served this past summer as well. I think these mission trips are a perfect way to help our youth realize the many needs of others who have experienced natural disasters or some other hardship and help youth to live outside of their own circles of influence and develop compassion for others while giving them amazing opportunities to serve. Thanks TEAMeffort!
CFUMC Parent
As a parent of three boys, it seems apparent to me that there is no better way for children to experience Jesus and begin understanding their purpose in His plan than to experience a mission trip and navigate another culture.  My wife and I have watched our sons leap outside of their comfort zones, process those experiences, and begin to apply God’s love for the nations in their own lives and the lives of those around them.
Ben Annis
Global Mission Director
We all know mission trips can be some of the most valuable experiences in the spiritual journey of a teenager. The practical act of putting their faith into action allows them to see their walk with Christ as more than just their everyday cycles of life. We see trip after trip, the impact such an experience can make, and our hope it always to ride that wave of growth, passion, and excitement for Christ; but we also know how quickly those feelings can fade away. So how can we make those experiences last? The answer is of course more complicated than one factor, but partnering with students’ parents for these trips is a great starting point. When we partner with parents the growth students experienced is experienced along with people they spend so much time with. The hope for growth to continue is not isolated to the youth leader but shared with the parents of that student as well. Partnering with parents can take place in a number of ways, parents joining for the trip is great, but can also be daunting! Small steps of including them in meetings and resourcing them on how to help their child prepare and process the trip can be just as effective as the big step of a parent being a chaperone for the trip. No matter what step is best for your situation and ministry, the value of engaging parents in the mission trip process cannot be understated.