Preparing your team spiritually for the work they will do is just as, if not more, important than organizing the trip logistics. This aspect is particularly important for short term trips as there is less time to "learn on the fly". Use some of the following methods for preparing your team spiritually.
Spend extensive time praying over your trip: the people you will serve, the host church/organization, fellow team members, the long-term vision of your trip, the impact of your upcoming trip, etc. Devote a few of your scheduled meetings entirely to prayer (can be done with various prayer methods and stations; the Missions Center has supplies that can be used in turning it into a prayer room). Form prayer groups or partners within your team that engage in regular prayer together.
Make sure your team has the knowledge to perform the type of work your trip entails. If conducting Bible studies or VBS on your trip, use meeting times as in-depth looks into the stories and books you will be teaching. In order to effectively teach, you must have a strong understanding of your curriculum. Make sure every single team member is adequately equipped to share the stories that are a part of your study. If engaging in relational work or manual labor, study with your team the effects of such work and their importance. Work with team members to answer "Why?" and "How?" this kind of work helps further the Kingdom and fits within God's mission through research, examples, and studying Scripture.
Regardless of what sort of work is done on your mission trip, there are local opportunities to engage in similar work. Prior to your trip, have your team serve together in such a capacity that will compare to your trip's work. Look for how God uses your team and its individuals in this setting. This is a particularly effective method for people who have not been a part of the type of work you will do on your trip. You wouldn't run a marathon without training first; why should working together on a mission team be any different? For a listing of some local non-profit agencies that Lipscomb University already partners with, visit our Local Service Opportunities page or the SALT Program website.
Fasting is another form of training that can help spiritually prepare your team. It is an opportunity to put aside distractions in order to listen for the voice of God, and to fully immerse yourself in intimate communication with the Lord. Whether it is a fast done at the same time by your entire team, assigning a different team member to fast each day, or another setup, the results are overwhelming. Some may choose to fast from things other than food, which can be just as effective as long as there is significant sacrifice involved.
Lipscomb University Missions Program
One University Park Drive Nashville, Tennessee 37204-3951
email@example.com | 615.966.6049 | Ezell 238