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Beyond the Trip

By Doug Franklin March 20, 2013

One of the hardest things about short term mission trips, is debriefing them well with our students and helping them transfer that mission experience into a mission lifestyle.  At LeaderTreks, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking through how we can help students debrief and continue their pursuit of Christ (which often times seems easier when they are away).  So we’ve added a follow-up journal to our mission trip resources called “Beyond The Trip.”  It’s a 4 week debriefing tool that has Bible studies, challenges, thought provoking experiences, and a lot of hard questions.  Here’s a little taste from the intro:

Welcome Home!

One of the easiest things to do when you first get back from a mission trip is to look forward.  There’s nothing like your own bed, your cell phone, or a shower that doesn’t require waiting in line.  You really start to appreciate all the little things you took for granted before the trip.  Even your little brother doesn’t seem that annoying.  Home cooked meals and frappuccinos fill you stomach while time with your missed friends and family fill your days.  And it doesn’t take long before the daily grind of your life has returned back to normal.  The worries you used to have creep back, your cell phone seems outdated, and your little brother was just as annoying as you remember.

But wait!

Didn’t something amazing just happen to you?  Didn’t you go to bed exhausted every night after a day filled with hard work and endless piggy back rides, thinking that life couldn’t possibly get any sweeter than this?  Didn’t you become close to a team of people you didn’t used to know that well?  Didn’t you connect with God more than you ever had before?

These things (and probably more) happened to you on your mission trip.  They are a significant part of your story.  And once you take those first steps through your front door, and sleep the first night in your comfy bed, all these things are at risk of becoming no more than just a really cool memory.  There’s nothing that would make Satan happier than for you to look back at your mission trip and think that it was a really great trip, your team did a really great job, and you have some really great stories.  Why?  Because that moves your trip into the memory category, and that’s dangerous.

God invited you on a great adventure

He sent you to (fill in the blank) with a team of people in order to show you another piece of his HUGE redemption story.  He wanted you to see first hand how He is working in this world, and he wanted you to experience what it’s like to have Him working in and through you.  God would be thrilled if your trip never made it into the memory category, but instead became a milestone along the road in your journey with Him.  A mark that you can look back on, celebrate, and take inventory of what He’s been telling you and where He’s leading you from here.

Beyond the Trip” is designed to help you go home.  To not leave your trip behind, but to use it as a lesson in living “on mission.”  To help you go from a mission trip, to a mission road.

“Here’s the test to find out whether your mission on earth is finished.  If you’re alive, it isn’t.” – Richard Bach


Beyond the Trip: Post Trip JouRNAL

This book contains 4 weeks of:

  • Bible Studies
  • Challenges
  • Thought-Provoking Experiences
  • Hard Questions
  • Insights into Service, Community, God’s Story, and Connecting with God in students’ everyday lives

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More