1. Learn to “Be” instead of “Do.” Your primary focus is making sure your students have an experience that positively impacts their lives and faith. That might mean doing something different than what you traditionally think of when it comes to mission trips. A construction project might make your team feel great about themselves in the short-term, but focusing your energy on building relationships rather than doing physical labor is more likely to bear long-term fruit in your students’ lives.
2. Keep your local church involved. Ask your church’s mission partners about inviting a group to come along on the mission trip. Talk with them about how your group can be involved in a way that will benefit them today as well as tomorrow. Make sure you’re deferring to their leadership when it comes to what they need and how you can best serve them. Fostering long-term relationships is always the way to go when it comes to short-term mission trips.
3. Go on an Engage trip. CIY’s Engage program has well-established mission partners in more than 20 countries, and has untangled the logistical web of facilitating mission trips. If you need a foot in the door of international mission trips but you don’t know where to start, Engage is here to help!