The Importance of the Follow-up

Josh RichardTelling Our Stories

I have had a dim view of church mission trips for much of my life. At best, they felt exploitative and self-righteous. At worst, they were damaging to vulnerable populations and an opportunity for a new Facebook profile photo. Anecdotally, that view is common among non-church goers. I think we’re getting the messaging wrong. We lead with dates and times and leave the stories of mission work untold. We spend a lot of time organizing … Read More

The Transformative Power of Youth Mission Trips

Jann TreadwellMission and Faith Formation

All of us want to make a difference in the lives of others. This can occur as we follow Christ’s mandate to serve those in need. That said, youth leaders hope service projects also will make a difference in the faith and lives of our own youth, not just the recipients. Short-term youth mission trips have the potential to accomplish both, but several factors are important to consider. Before the trip, be intentional to dispel … Read More

What is the “Mission” of our Youth Mission Trips?

Bill BuchananMission and Faith Formation

After 9 years, we at Youth Mission Co have come to a conclusion.  We no longer lead youth mission trips. There have been many critiques about short term mission trips with teenagers.  There are stories of young people who travel far away, excited to do daily construction projects, only to have locals secretly redoing their work each night.  There have been calculations of how terribly cost ineffective it is to send big youth groups across … Read More

Prayer after a Mission Trip

Seth LovellPrayer

God of all creation, Your presence is known and felt in every corner of the globe. As we answered the call to serve as your hands and feet in the world we found that we did not need to take action for you to go with us; you have gone before, and you will remain in this place after we leave and will accompany us home. We stand in awe of how you are at … Read More

Looking Ahead to Summer Ministry: Spiritual Practices for Camp Worship, Mission Trips, and Summer Worship

Sandy SaffordSpiritual Practices

Planning for a group worship time this summer? Try one of these practices, from Sandy Safford. Washed Clean This activity focuses on the practice of forgiveness–on receiving a fresh start, a clean slate, a new beginning through the grace of God. Supplies Oriental rice paper (sold by the roll at stores that carry art supplies), cut into 3-4 inch squares Washable markers (brown & black are preferable) Large clear glass/plastic bowl, filled with water Reflective … Read More