As you plan your summer mission trip, it’s easy to get stuck checking off logistical boxes. What will you be doing for the week? Have you secured lodging? Have you communicated details with all of the parents? These questions are big and important, but there are more important things you can do to prepare your students then just taking care of these details.
The team at Experience Mission has learned a few things along the way that can make or break it for youth pastors as you prepare students for a life-changing experience. The first key to success is to equip your students with flexible expectations.
Don’t get us wrong—we’re big on the details. We spend months making sure all of our mission trips are well-organized and the logistical details are in place when you show up to serve. But as you probably know from past experiences, even the best-laid plans can change on the mission field.
Over the years, we’ve learned to plan well, adjust when necessary, and hold our expectations a little more loosely. Because it’s often in the unplanned or unstructured moments of a mission trip when God shows up.
When we come on a mission trip with flexible expectations about how or where we’ll best be used, it sets an important tone for the week. It’s as if we’re saying, “It’s not about us, but rather how God wants to use us.” By letting go of our expectations, we can roll with the inevitable changes and jump in wherever we are needed most. And that’s a great place to start.
Interested in learning more tips for planning a successful mission trip? Download Experience Mission’s free PDF “5 Keys to a Successful Mission Trip.”
About EM: Experience Mission exists to spread the love of Jesus by mobilizing volunteers, developing leaders, and empowering communities. Every year, volunteers disperse around the country and across the world on Experience Mission trips, and you could join them! Fill out an interest form for a mission trip at experiencemission.org to begin planning your youth group’s next missions experience.