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youth ministry, youth worker, questions, mission trip

Five Questions to Ask Before Booking a Mission Trip

By Doug Franklin August 13, 2010

There are so many good organizations out there offering mission trips. It seems so many of them are offering the same thing, but all they tell you is the price and location. So how do you know what you’re getting when you purchase a trip from them? How do you know if the trip is going to be transformational in your students lives. Here are five questions you have to ask before you buy a trip.
1. Who are your staff and how much training do they receive?
Most youth missions organization love to talk about price and location but they really have nothing to do with spiritual impact on your students. Who their staff are and how they perform make all the different when it comes to impact. So how old are they, what is there experience and how much training did they receive before leading your trip?
2. How much money per student do you spend on work projects?
This question will tell you a ton about the quality of the organization’s trip. The answer will also give you insight into what additional costs might be coming your way. Many youth workers tell of trips where work project money runs out after day 2 and you have to put more money in if you want to continue to have work projects.  A good amount for a one-week trip is $75 per student.
3. What is your return rate?
Every organization knows their return rate — the percentage of youth groups that return each year. This number will give you an idea of the satisfaction of previous teams.
4. What is your intentional plan to grow my students through your program?
Many youth mission programs are focused on just going. If you take your students on a mission trip, that may be enough in and of itself, but if you’re honest, you want more and your parents want more.  Look for an organization that has a plan to see your students grow spiritually. Every organization offers the speaker and a band at night, but you know that is more hype than growth. Again move past location and price and move to impact.
5. What is your pre-trip and post-trip training?
I am not talking about logistic training with this question; I am talking about spiritual training that will lead to growth and application of the experience.  I find that most organizations focus on getting you there with the proper forms. I think it’s more important your students understand the Biblical mandate for missions and they can live the mission life style months after they return.  This pre and post trip material is worth its weight in gold if it helps your students understand the life God has for them.
Again there are many good organizations out there. You need to ask questions to find the best one for you and your church. Ask hard questions and don’t settle for good enough.

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