9 super-practical ideas to get people excited before, during, and after mission trips.

  1. Share

I've heard it said, "If you have a clear vision, you know you will find the right strategy...Without a clear vision, no amount of effort will fix the vision." We're confident your mission and vision is clear and your leadership is excellent, which means if your teams are struggling in this area, then we need look at how equipped they are to carry your vision forward.

Are people excited about mission trips? 

There are some great vision and mission statements out there. Here are a few statements from organizations and churches we work with: 

  • North Point Community Church: Life is complicated. You want to get it right. We want to help!
  • Samaritan's Purse: Helping in Jesus' Name
  • InterVarsity: a vibrant campus ministry that establishes and advances witnessing communities of students and faculty.

Who can't get excited about these missions right? 

Whether it be medical mission trips or short-term missions at church, so often us leaders feel the burden to push our vision and mission forward yet we forget our members are catalysts of our vision for the next mission trip.

How can we get (and keep) our teams and are people excited and sharing mission trips? 

My guess is, you're probably already doing some of these. And, this list isn't exhaustive by any means. I hope the ideas here will make you think of other ideas you can do to get your people on fire for missions. Note: if you're already doing some of these things on the list, great, make sure you're doing them well! 

Here are nine (9) practical ways to get people excited about mission trips:

  1. Place on website: Make sure your vision is front and center on your website but also make sure it’s presented in a way that invites people into that vision. Cherry Hills Community Church in Colorado knows a thing or two about communicating the missional vision using their website.

    Protip: make sure your mission and vision are on your homepage. We see so many churches and organizations "hide their light under a bushel" by placing their vision for missions on the "about us" page or some other secondary or later page on their website. Put it from and center! 

  2. Begin meetings with your vision: Don’t assume everyone has the vision memorized or that it’s top of their minds. It’s good to come back to this over and over again so that the “main things remains the main thing." When possible, highlight actions on your team from the last week that capture the spirit of your vision.

  3. T-Shirts: Print shirts for your team members that capture the tag line of your vision so people are literally walking around with your vision or next mission trip by name. Shirts are a great bonding gift for your team and a great keepsake after the trip. Double win. 

  4. Start your short-term trips with the vision: Train your team leaders to bring the vision to light for each meeting, each morning, each debrief and to keep this in front of the team. Imagine before every meeting about a short-term missions trip, the leader starting with reciting the very reason you're gathering in the first place. Powerful. 

  5. Refine your vision to a one-sentence summary: Do a spot test and see how many on your immediate team know your vision. Probably not many. Make sure your vision has been simplified to its simplest version so it is easier to recall.

  6. Practice: Personally and with your team, practice reciting your vision. Do spot checks to see how well people are remembering this. Provide small rewards to those that get it right.

  7. Place your vision on your business cards: That’s right, once you have it down to one line, get those nice business cards double-sided and print your vision right on the back of the card.

  8. Place your vision in your email signature line: Now that you have it simplified then make sure to add it to your email signature.

  9. The story of your social media: Make sure every social media post is capturing your vision in its heart. 

You’ve probably noticed we have a broad definition for teams. Teams might be your staff, trip leaders, general participants, but also donors, advocates, and colleagues. Whoever you place into this category, you have a responsibility to equip them to carry your vision and promote it and any trips and stories.

Stop thinking it’s your role to tell everyone about your vision and start equipping your team to carry this vision forward. Remember, a shared vision is always more powerful than the perfect vision. 

For those of you with plenty of people to serve; great, you'll have that many more energized people on your team. For those who tell us they need more people on board for missions, do these things to generate some buzz and excitement for missions. 

Action: Select at least one idea from above and see if you can implement in the next 30 days. Need help? You know where to find us!

This is just one strategy of five (5) we have for doubling your impact. Download all five (5) strategies you can implement immediately that will double your missions impact.


This post is written by Will Rogers. Will is the Co-Founder and CEO of ServiceReef.


To view comments or leave a comment, login or sign up.

Related Content

Announcing a new way to level-up your short-term trip program: Missions Made Simple
ServiceReef announces new way to level-up your short-term trip program: Missions Made Simple We invite you to learn more about how Missions Made Simple —the digital course in missions—can help you achieve greater engagement with your program Louisville, KY-- Mobilizing people to short and long term missions can be cumbersome and confusing. Thousands of missions programs and missions leaders across the globe need more training to equip and engage their teams for short-term and long-term missions trips. We have the tools you need to overcome these challenges and see exponential growth.  Introducing: Missions Made Simple. Created by ServiceReef, Missions Made Simple is a digital course for missions that will help you take your program to the next level. Missions Made Simple was created to help set you up for amazing success as a missions mobilizer, organization leader, team leader, or anyone walking down a path of greater missional engagement. “This felt like the perfect time to release the work we've been doing for years with so many others. Digital is the quickest, most easily accessible way for you to connect yourself and your team to training that fits your missions goals.” said Micah Pritchard, Co-Founder of ServiceReef. How can Missions Made Simple help you? Many ways. Here are three major ways we can help you: #1 Resources to Grow: You will find many resources to help equip you to better lead, guide, and engage those living a missional life.  Explore our courses, worksheets, videos, assessments, and other resources. #2 Connect with Others: We believe you should never feel alone as a missions mobilizer. That's why we have created an online community of others who are equipping and mobilizing people to missional living. Join today to connect with others just like you. #3 Confidence to Lead: Mobilizing and leading people to missional living can be intimidating while at times leaving you to wonder if you're doing it right or well. Here you can find the confidence to go further faster with these tools and the community of others who are mobilizing. About the Missions Made Simple course Level-Up Your Short Term Trip Program will be a game-changer for your missions program. Here you will talk through 10 strategic categories critical to your enhancing your short term trip program. We're certain these sessions will help you and your team achieve greater engagement and program success. Watch the introduction video to learn more about Missions Made Simple:    Here's what you will get from this course: 10 critical tools to equip you for leading missions 10 short video-guided courses Facts about these 10 core functional areas Assessments questions to help you evaluate your current engagement Tips for how to improve One key action item for you and your team Downloadable worksheets with more ideas Discussion board to discuss more ideas with key leaders  Sign up today... we're certain this will help you better your short-term missions program in no time! “This course isn't just for ServiceReef members. This is for all missions leaders to watch and learn—so you're equipped with the tools you need in your missions toolkit." said Will Rogers, Co-Founder of ServiceReef. The course aims to encourage and equip every missions leader and your team to achieve greater engagement and program success.  ServiceReef has set up a special page for missions leaders to be encouraged and equipped with resources to help you grow, connect with others, and give you the confidence you need to lead well. Find out more details and learn about creating a free account today right here.    ServiceReef knows managing mission trips can be time-consuming and stressful. ServiceReef brings all the pieces of missions - participants, forms, team leaders, fundraising, donors, meetings, & more - into a single platform so you can reduce stress and focus on leading your teams. ServiceReef is everything you need for missions Learn more at https://servicereef.com/.
10 questions for doubling your impact, reducing stress, and reaching your missions goals (hint: it's about technology)
Doubling your impact but reducing your stress may seem simpler than it sounds. I get it. This is an epic challenge when it comes to short-term and long-term missions goals. The key is finding a technology that works best for your organization. It’s important you find a technology partner who can help you scale your growth and relieve the stresses of administration on your staff. Here are a few things to consider when deciding on a software to help your organization reach its missions goals: #1 Does it manage online fundraising? This is a given expectation of any tool that handles short-term trip logistics but make certain to map out what exactly you want the online fundraising to look like. Do you want individual fundraising pages? Do you want weekly fundraising emails sent to trip participants? Do you want team fundraising updates?  #2 Is it simple for our staff to use? Any new technology is going take time to learn but make certain to find a system that’s both intuitive to learn and has the training resources you need to learn it well. You should feel like your software solution is part of your team and working for you.  #3 Is it simple for our members to use? Often, we shop for software from the perspective of the administrators but also make sure to think of the end user experience (your members) and if the tool has all the features and simplicity they need. Read: the easier your technology is to use, the less stress your admins will feel because users can do it themselves! Meaning, you get your life back! #4 Can it scale to our ultimate vision in missions engagement? This is an important question to ask as you choose a solution. You might only host a handful of trips right now but does the solution scale to your growing needs? Also, does the solution help you not only handle short-term trips but also scale into sending long-term missionaries and helping people build their long term missional goals? This may seem way off, but it’s good stewardship to be thinking of this now.  #5 Does it help mature your members toward greater engagement? We have no doubt you will be asking all the right questions about the functions you need for short-term trips but we also know you have desires to see your short-term trip participants turn into so much more. Does the technology solution you choose have the ability to nurture and walk with people long after their short term trip? This is important as you want to keep the continuity of the engagement moving.  #6 Do applicants need to fill out application data from scratch each time? Application management is complex and it can be very frustrating for your participants. Imagine filling out a 60 question application for a trip this summer to find that you have to fill out all the same questions again to apply for next summer? That’s not good! Does your solution offer the ability to retain application field answers to make it easy for participants to serve year after year?  #7 Does it allow granular permissions to be given to your administrators?  There are about a thousand different combinations of how you might see trip admins assigned, but the common thread is the need and desire to assign very specific admin permissions. Does your solution provide the right granularity (choice) of permissions needed for your organization?  #8 Do trip members have dedicated fundraising pages? We discussed this above, but it is important to mention specifically. Does your solution offer each individual a personal fundraising page to help them fundraise, tell their stories, and build a community of support? Personal fundraising stories should allow for someone to raise funds online but also allow them to tell their story well so that donors are engaged in understanding your vision and impact (beyond the writing of a check).  #9 Are trip members notified of financial progress? What automated notifications are associated with your solution? It’s important that your tool helps make your communications simpler which means it should provide robust automated notifications along with tools to easily send “as needed” communications.  #10 Does it help you tell your organization’s missional story?  And last, but certainly not least, you are not only stewarding short term trips, you are stewarding the vision of your organization and telling a significant story. Does your solution offer a way for your participants to tell their story? Does it engage donors in that story? Does it offer a team blog tool that you can embed in your website?  These are only 10 questions you should be asking but these are important questions to help you be more strategic in your missions goals and choose software that’s going to set you up for the greatest long-term success.   Action: Brainstorm and build your own list of required and optional features that you need. Download the ServiceReef scoring sheet at Choosing a Technology.    This is just one strategy of five (5) we have for doubling your impact. Download all five (5) strategies you can implement immediately that will double your missions impact.   This post is written by Will Rogers. Will is the Co-Founder and CEO of ServiceReef.