We’ve never thought of mission trips as a youth group’s “big event” where students finally get to live out their faith. The “big event” of students’ faith happens every day as teenagers find opportunity to love and serve the people God puts in their path. Instead, mission trips are a launch pad… a drawing back of the bow… a wind-up for the pitch. Mission trips equip and encourage students to go home and love the communities they travel into every day when they roll out of bed.
What happens after the trip legitimizes what happens during it. That’s why ongoing intentionality is important, why conversations are crucial and why follow-up matters – because life-changing mission trips need to make the transition into everyday life!
So as leaders of students, let’s be equipped. Let’s be tenacious. Let’s be consistent. Let’s keep giving students every opportunity to weave service and love into their everyday lives – especially after the trip.
The launch pad is necessary for the mission. But we can guide students through lift-off as they move into the everyday mission God has for them – a mission that is far more than a trip.