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10 Tips for Your Mission Trip

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

Here are our top 10 tips to help you prepare for your mission trip!

1. Pray

Pray for God to open your heart for what He will do on your trip. Ask friends and family to pray for you and your team. Pray for the people you are about to meet and that God would prepare their hearts to hear the gospel. Commit the work you are about to do to Him; it is for His glory alone, not our own (Psalm 115:1)!

2. Study God's Word

Study the Bible before, during, and after your trip. There are many people in the Bible who dedicated their lives to spreading the gospel. Consider reading about Paul’s missionary journeys in Acts or the way that Jesus interacts with people (“full of grace and truth,” John 1:14). Plant yourself in the Word, so you have a strong foundation when it’s time for you to share it with others. (Servant Life offers 4-week mission trip devotionals to guide you before, during, and after the trip.)

3. Prepare to Share the Gospel

As you study God’s Word, make sure you understand the basic truths of the gospel so you can articulate those truths to others. Find clear ways to tell people about Christ and the salvation He freely offers to sinners (including specific Bible verses) and practice sharing the good news with people at home before you go. How has the gospel changed your life? What would be your story apart from the good news of the gospel? Consider learning different gospel-sharing techniques such as the Romans Road, Three Circles, Threads, or others.

4. Maintain Reasonable Expectations

Your job is to faithfully plant and water seeds of faith, but ultimately it is God who gives the growth (1 Cor. 3:6). Therefore, don’t become discouraged if you don’t see immediate results from your labor. Help your team trust that God is responsible for bringing fruit, and His plans are far better than yours could ever be (Is. 55:8-9). Be grateful that God allows you to be part of what He is doing, even when you don’t see the results you had hoped for. Your job is not to be a hero, but to be faithful. Setting reasonable expectations can help prevent discouragement among your team members.

5. Pack Effectively

Check the season and weather conditions of where you are traveling so you will be prepared to pack the right clothing. Consider packing a light jacket in case mornings or evenings are chilly. Start packing a week or so before your trip so you have plenty of time to secure any last-minute items. To save space in your suitcase, wear your bulky clothes (and shoes) to the airport and roll your clothes.

6. Research Where You will be Traveling

Research the culture of where you are traveling so you are well prepared to talk to people and build relationships with them. If they come from a different faith background, spend some time learning more about what they believe. Prepare to try new foods and stay in a place that may not be as comfortable as home. You might experience culture shock if you've never been somewhere like there before, and that's ok!

7. Prepare for Your Specific Ministry Opportunities

Be prepared for the specific type of ministry you’ll be involved in. If you're expected to teach Bible lessons or lead games and crafts, begin your preparation well before you leave for your trip. Good preparation will help make it an easier transition into a new ministry context. Some ministry activities, such as evangelism, will require much different training than construction ministry, for example.

8. Be Flexible

Not everything will go according to plan. Be prepared for things to change along the way, especially if you're in a culture that doesn't prioritize timeliness like we do! Keep a positive attitude as changes come up. Model a Christlike humility and patience both to your team members as well as locals. Nothing will ruin your trip as fast as a bad attitude that spreads throughout your team. The way you respond to trials and changes might be part of your witness to others!

9. Bring a Journal and a Pen

Journaling can help you remember all that God does while you are on your mission trip. It can also be a way for you to pray to God and pour out your heart to Him as you are processing so many things. Recording all the special and difficult moments from your trip will be something you might want to look back on one day. Journaling provides a space for you to savor all that God is doing during your week of ministry.

10. Share Your Story During and After

Be willing to share your testimony with people you meet on your mission trip. Just remember that God should be the focus of your story, not you! God molded your story for a purpose, and He can use it to impact others for His glory. Once you get back home, take the time to tell people about your trip and how it impacted you. Testify to people about how you saw God at work on your trip, and allow God to use you as an ambassador to share with people the importance of global missions. When you share your story, remember to give God the glory. Your trip is not ultimately about what you did, but about what God did through you and your team!


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