Practical 101 for planning your next Mission Trip!
First of all, let’s look at a verse that expresses our Great Commission.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
We’re called to reach into all the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Of course, it is important to mention that missions is wherever there is a lost soul. So reach the people around you! Your mission field begins at home and then stretches beyond, just like the disciples.
When I was in Bible School, one major I studied was Missions. I always had a desire to be involved in missions, but I didn’t know how to practically go about that. So after research and now experience, I’ve put together a practical list that hopefully will help you prepare for your next trip!
#1. Speak to your Pastor and Pastor’s wife about your burden for missions.
This is key and to this day I always refer to my Pastor and Pastor’s wife for guidance and leadership. Before I even planned a trip, I arrange a time to speak to them to talk about it, seek counsel but most of all so they can pray about it. Your pastor is there to be a guiding hand to you. They are responsible for you.
Many times I didn’t understand the importance of this, but when we submit to our leaders, then God will reveal to us and to them what we should do and when. This allows you to express your burden and also makes them aware of things to get you involved in. They know what they are doing! So get your Pastor involved!
#2. Set aside time to study and pray. Don’t do anything unless you’ve prayed.
This is one of the most important, if not the most! The only way you’re going to be able to hear the voice of God, is through daily prayer and devotion. For your trip, you have no idea what you will be facing spiritually, so it’s important to be equipped naturally yes, but this prepares you spiritually! People will be praying for you but it doesn’t take away from your own prayer life. This will direct you into knowing where to go and for how long.
PRAYER WILL TEACH YOU MORE ABOUT YOUR FIELD AND YOURSELF, THAN ANY BOOK OR WEB SEARCH.
#3. Study the culture before you go.
This is one that people tend to forget. Whether you are from Great Britain, China or Russia, you have to realise that not everyone thinks like you! When you’re going to another location, it would be wonderful if you could study the culture. This would include foods, languages, local dress and traditions.
People love to see that you care about them, so make the effort to show them you do care. You will see that people will be willing to listen to the Gospel message.
#4. Be FAT: Faithful, Available and Teachable.
Yes you read it right, BE FAT! It’s so important to be faithful in what you do. When on the field, short or long-term, make sure your focus is on your task at hand. You’ve committed your time, finances and energy to this, so stick to it! Be faithful in all that you do.
Be available! Where you are going may operate differently to what you are used to. Be ready in and out of season. Don’t say no to new experiences in ministry. You do whatever is needed, remember we’re all servants first!
Be teachable. There’s never a point in our lives where we’ve learned everything. It doesn’t quite work like that! We need to constantly be learning, and to do that… we need to be willing to be taught. We can always learn something from someone, especially experienced Missionaries on the field.
#5. Establish a mission statement.
From experience, this will give you a vision that you are working towards. If you get discouraged, this will help to motivate and remind you of your calling.
#6. Apply for passports and visas, if needed.
Sounds obvious, but you would be surprised how many forget this tip! Often passports can be processed in 4-6 weeks but there can be delays. Be prepared and have all the correct paperwork in order.
#7. Pack minimally
Often we pack TOO MUCH… You’ll find you can’t carry it all.. and who wants to pay extra baggage fees at the airport?
CHECK THE DRESS CODE OF THE TEAM, or ask the missionaries on field!
- 1 pair of shoes that can be interchanged for church or casual, or if needed 2 pairs one church and one casual.
- Skirts (ladies) or Trousers (men), that can interchange with other shirts or tops. This applies to both church and casual events.
- Plain t-shirts that I can wear various ways and church blouses or cardigans.
- Travel size toiletries, in all fairness this should last a short trip. If it’s longer you could always get when you’re there.
- Backpack that I can use when there.
When packing your bag, roll your clothes. This will help them fit in tighter but also stop wrinkles.
#8. Budget, budget, budget!
Things to budget for are:
- Transport (Bus, Train, Tram)
- Church events
- Inland trips
Speak to the missionaries that are on the field, work with them to help plan a budget. This will make you aware of how much money you should have before you go, or how much you need to raise in order to go!
Hopefully these tips help you plan your next trip! Don’t forget to capture the memories but most importantly sharing the love of Jesus with everyone you meet!
Bon Voyage! Drum Bun! Have a great trip!