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youth worker, youth ministry, mission trip

Going Is Not Enough

By Doug Franklin January 19, 2012

Taking your students on a mission trip is always good. Students learn to serve and care for each other. They also get to see what Jesus is doing in the world, which can be a big eye opener. Mission trips have become a central part of most youth ministries’ summers. Much has been written about effective youth missions and for the most part mission organizations and churches have made some attempts to have more impact, but honestly mission trips are much the same of they were 15 years ago. In my mind the problem is the focus of the trip. Most churches focus on the location of the trip verses the purpose of missions. We live in “sell” culture, we think we have to sell the students on the location in order to get them to sign-up. Effective mission trips start with discipleship. When students connect serving others as an outcome of the their love for Christ then mission trips will be effective in growing the kingdom. If your students are not there don’t pass on the mission trip, just change the purpose. Make the purpose of the trip to grow your students. Change your activities and pre-trip training to focus more on discipleship instead of cultural training. This will most likely change what you do on the trip as well. Be open to thinking differently about the experience because going is not 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