It’s a little difficult to think about summer when snow is on the ground, but it’s crucial. Summer schedules are filling up and you need to decide which service experience you want your teens to have.
You’ve probably received a ton of postcards and flyers all promising an incredible experience. They are filled with pictures of smiling teens and changed lives. The question you need to answer is:
How do I pick the right one for my youth ministry?
There are many choices out there, but not all of them are the right one for your ministry. When it comes to planning summer missions experiences for your teens you need to take into account the:
IMPACT IT WILL HAVE ON YOUR MINISTRY
Teens who attend the mission camp will come back different. What they share with their peers will either promote the trip next year or force you to make a different choice. Before deciding on a place answer the question, “How will this shape my ministry?”
PREPARATION NEEDED BEFOREHAND
A mission trip is more than just a fun experience. It can be one that challenges a teen to step outside of their comfort zone. Preparing them for this experience takes more than a meeting to go over a packing list.
Before you choose a trip take into consideration how much time and energy you need to prepare the next generation mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The more you prepare them the more they will get out of the experience.
OVERALL COSTS AND IMPACT
Most mission camps are not cheap, especially if you are traveling far. While serving outside of your church building is important it might not be worth it if your time is spent on fundraising. Instead:
- Look into something more affordable.
- Roll it into your budget to cut costs from the teens.
- Create a letter campaign where teens can ask family and friends.
It’s okay if you have to do some fundraising; however, don’t let it take over. Work within your limits and know there are options out there a little bit more affordable.
Work camps and mission trips are an incredible experience. They are worth taking your teens; however, to pick the right one you have to make sure you do your homework first. Don’t just go for the first flyer that comes in, choose the one that will help your teens grow in their discipleship.
Question: What factors do you take into consideration when planning a missions trip or work camp? You can leave a comment by clicking here.