243 - How to Plan A Purposeful Mission Trip
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How to Plan A Purposeful Mission Trip

Short-term missions can be tricky to organize and prepare. Even with the most compassionate of intentions, the customs of western mission travelers can put a burden on the communities they try to serve.

Five important considerations for a Purposeful Mission Trip

That’s why it is important to think about the ‘how’ of planning and executing mission trips. To be able to assist people in vulnerable places, it’s best to be careful and well-prepared. In this post, we provide you with five tips to make sure your mission trip is purposeful as it is compassionate.

Make yourself familiar with the local customs
A successful short-term mission trip starts before you even board an airplane or the means of transport you intend to use on your way to a vulnerable location. Training before the mission is imperative for helping travelers and volunteers to understand the cultural, political, economic, geographic and spiritual circumstances in which you will be working in.

Avoid the Western liberator mindset
It’s usual for short-term mission travelers who come from wealthy, developed countries, to think they have all the answers. But your mission is not going to eradicate poverty within a week. Instead, work with partners on the ground to figure out how you can best serve them and reach out to locals that are both respectful and culturally sensitive.

Collaborate with the local church
After your short mission is over, the long-term success of your work will depend largely on the local churches in the location where you worked. A good mission trip is always based on working in tandem with local churches, by helping church leaders as well as the congregation, make significant improvements in their communities.

Prepare to adjust
If you're used to leading leisure group trips for your local church, you might find it easy to stick to a well-organized itinerary. However, rigid scheduling can be a nightmare in vulnerable areas. Things often happen at a much slower pace than they do in the western world. That is why it is key to be flexible and don't get frustrated when things change. Prepare for the possibility that plans could change or events get rescheduled.

Build long-term relationships
By definition, short-term mission trips are limited in time. But the impact of your work can be more effective and inclusive by building long-term relationships with the community you’re trying to server. Instead of taking your mission group to a different place every year, maybe find a place where you can come back to year after year, or even more often if possible. This allows the local population to develop a level of trust with you that would not be possible in a one-time trip. It also helps you to get familiarized with the community and develop a better sense of how to make the most positive impact.

We believe our world is a better place when compassion can travel where it is needed most. Our work extends to churches, missionaries, and clergy. At Raptim, we’re willing to try everything in our power to serve those who serve the world. Never hesitate to contact us through our quick address locator in case you have any questions at all.