Just as Day 1 of your mission experience is not the day your feet hit the ground, the end of your mission trip is not when you arrive back home. Follow-up is very important and needs to happen when one returns home from such a transformational experience. A big part of the commitment of being on a team is thanking the people who supported you through prayers and funds and sharing about the mission trip experience when you get home.
Here are five ways to talk about your mission trip when you get back:
- Personal Letters. Encourage each team member to send a letter to everyone who supported them personally through prayer and giving. Have them include a report of what the team did, their individual contributions to the team efforts, and pictures, pictures, pictures!
- Church Newsletter. If your church has a newsletter or weekly email, write a report and include pictures of your team in action. Tell stories of those you served, followed by the impact the trip had on your team members. Thank the church for their prayers and support.
- Stage Time. While it is not always possible in every church, try your best to convince your church leadership to allow your team a few minutes on stage to thank everyone for their support. Your goal is to share a brief report and some testimonies of God’s work in and through your team. By doing this, you will capitalize on the momentum of excitement in the team members and discover a powerful motivator for future mission trip engagement.
- An Evening of Stories. If your church is unable to afford you stage time on a Sunday morning (or even if they are), invite the church family to come out for an evening of stories. Provide dessert and coffee, have the team share about what they did and the impact it had on them, and have time for Q & A.
- One-on-One. Finally, encourage each participant to develop a brief “elevator speech” about their trip. Just a short 2-minute report that will cause people to be curious and want to hear more about their voyage. Encourage them to invite people to sit down, have some coffee or lunch, so they have the opportunity to share their experience more thoroughly.
Kevin Mahaffy Jr. is husband to Adriana, and father of two daughters — Claudia who is a college student, and Natalia who is in high school. He has served in youth ministry for over 20 years as a teaching pastor and a popular camp and retreat speaker. Kevin has written two books and co-authored several others. He is a big Yankees fan, bookaholic, Starbucks junkie, Krispy Kreme addict, and blogger. He exercises a lot, but he also eats a lot, so you can’t tell he exercises a lot.