You can’t just take students on a mission trip and hope they figure it out as they go. We must take time to prepare them individually and as a team for what they will be doing for God’s kingdom. Here are some practical ways to start preparing students now for your summer mission trips.
Team Meetings. Not just a quick meeting a week before the trip, but regular meetings as a team leading up to the trip. If your trip is in July, start monthly meetings in February. These give the students opportunities to build community with each other, you to share important trip details, and everyone to plan together for what you hope to accomplish on the trip.
Team-Building Activities. Team-building activities are a great way to get your students working together and growing in their leadership skills even before the trip. These activities also build closeness among your students as they listen to each other and are forced to work together as a team.
Fundraising. Do at least one fundraiser together as a team, like a car wash. But be careful not to do too many team fundraisers. Students should also learn to raise money on their own—they’ll get more out of the trip if they work to get there. Provide them with the tools and tips they’ll need to send out support letters.
God’s Word. Of course, the most important way to prepare students for a mission trip is teaching them and getting them into God’s Word. First, study God’s Word together during team meetings—consider going through the book of Nehemiah. Second, provide them with devotional journals they can use leading up to the trip.