Going on a mission trip can be life-altering. Oftentimes God works strongly in your life, the lives of your teammates, and the locals you are helping. This creates an opportunity to significantly impact other people.
- Encourage and pour into the local leaders – Perhaps your mission trip is focused on children or on building homes. If so, that’s great! God will use you. However, remember that your greatest impact may be to the missionaries or church leaders you are helping. Spend time with them, pray with them, listen, and serve them. The missionaries and leaders may be stressed, discouraged, ill, burnt out or overcome with self-doubt. When you encourage them, your ministry continues long after you leave.
- Pray for the families – You will encounter many families throughout your time. Perhaps you will have the privilege of visiting their homes and hearing their hearts. Take time to pray for these families, not just during your trip, but long-after you’ve returned. Bring them hope.
- Serve your teammates – The relationships cultivated on your trip may result in lifelong friendships. You and your teammates may see God move in incredible ways and those experiences often result in great bonds of friendship. Be authentic and vulnerable with each other. Be open to change and available to learn from one other.
Shane shares some insight:
Mission trips create a special bond between a team of people. It may be the hours of traveling together or the excitement of experiencing a new culture with one another. I think it’s also the joy of seeing God work in each other’s lives.
Time after time, I’ve seen a tight bond develop between people when they serve together—putting aside pride and oneself to see God work. It’s not only a friendship, but also accountability to continue serving once we return home. I encourage you to take time to invest in the lives of your teammates. Encourage each one. Pray for each one. Let God work through your team to create a bond that will last.
God, we want our team to be strong. Remind me to encourage each one. I know that each person handles culture shock differently, so give me grace to help and kind words to uplift those who are down. Prepare each of us to serve you with all of our hearts, souls, mind, and strength. Amen.
Think It Through:
- Do I have an apprehension about how my team will interact? What concerns me?
- What can I do to make myself more supportive of others?
- Who can I befriend on this trip?
- How can I pray for my teammates and leader?
- In what ways can I pray for the missionaries or church leaders we will be serving?