Your mission trip will be a spiritual experience—a time to see God, feel God, and get to know God better. Be open to everything that God has in mind for you and the people you are serving. Many times we go on a mission trip with different expectations of serving than what God has planned for us.
Here are some ways that you can prepare yourself spiritually for service to the kingdom.
Pray. There are so many areas of a mission trip to be lifted up in prayer—health, flexibility, relationships within the team, relationships with people you’ll meet on the trip, boldness to share the gospel, homesickness, safety, and cultural adjustment, just to name a few. You can also pray for specific people or ministries you will be working with on your trip.
Different ways to pray speak to different people spiritually. Explore a variety of prayer types with your group. You may try praying in a circle, in small groups, with partners, popcorn-style, or a number of other ways. Make sure to ask the organization you’re working with if there is a cultural way they pray where you are traveling. If there is, you can use this way of praying as part of your preparation. For example, in Guatemala, people gather in a tight circle and pray out loud together. Everyone says “amen” in unison.
Hold a commissioning service. Being commissioned is an important part of preparing to go out and serve the kingdom. It is also a way to connect your church to the work your team will be doing. The commissioning service could incorporate a song that is meaningful to your team and a commissioning litany written by either you or your pastor. You could also this commissioning litany.
Find more ways to get your church involved in the spiritual preparation for your trip.
Share your testimony. Sharing your testimony may be an important part of what God has called you to do during your mission trip. You don’t have to prepare your testimony in advance. You may just feel the Spirit’s nudging to share. If you feel called to share, here are some helpful hints:
- Make the testimony yours.
- Make it short; three minutes is a good length.
- Make it a conversation, not a monologue.
- Give specific examples.
- Make your testimony about Jesus and your need for him, not about you.
- Tell how people can trust Christ.
- Use everyday language, not church language or clichés.
- Explain specific ways Christ has changed your life.
Do daily devotions as a group. You should spend time each day while on your trip in group devotions. Devotional time is often most powerful at the end of the day, when sharing time is much needed. Many groups also have a mini-devotion at breakfast each morning. This could be as simple as a verse and prayer or a word of encouragement and prayer. Other groups encourage personal devotion/quiet time in the morning. For devotion ideas, please see the Bible study content section of the toolbox. Use your devotion time with the whole group to focus on:
- High points of the day
- God sightings
- Funny situations that happened to you
- Language barrier problems/positives
- What you learned about yourselves
- Mutual encouragement and insight time
- Praise and worship time
- Prayer requests and answers