Through the Eyes of a Team Leader
3.14.2014 | by Meredith Brocklebank ('10), Lipscomb Academy Math Teacher & Baja Team Leader
The summer after my freshman year I went on my first mission trip to Perth, Australia. It was the summer of 2007, I was 19 years old and little did I know what God had in mind for me in how that trip would forever change the trajectory of my faith and my life.
I quickly became hooked on missions and went on six mission trips with Lipscomb Missions before I graduated in 2010. As a student I also decided to minor in missions with the hope that I could someday provide the opportunity that had been given to me to other students. God has answered that prayer.
As a junior at Lipscomb, I felt the call to help lead others into ministry through missions. Now as a proud Lipscomb alum and still closely connected to my alma mater as a high school math teacher at Lipscomb Academy, my husband Jay and I are part of the leadership team that facilitates the spring break trip to Baja, Mexico. Through this leadership opportunity, God has taught me countless lessons through the process of being a mission trip leader. While every year brings its own set of challenges and rewards, one thing remains the same – the chance to make an impact both on the ground in Baja and within the college students we lead. Through my role as a mission trip leader, I am hopeful that God is able to use me to change other people’s lives the way my life was changed when I first experienced missions. I used to go on mission trips to serve the people in the host country, or even selfishly because I absolutely loved going on mission trips. Now I choose to continue to devote countless hours to leading the Baja trip because it provides me with a unique opportunity to serve and minister to our team, our Baja family.
Baja has become a part of who I am. It is something I am always thinking about. We start our countdown to Baja the day we return to the States, so by this point in the process, I can barely contain my excitement. I can’t wait to see the look on my teammates’ faces when they hug the first beautiful child in San Quintin, when they drive in their first nail in the house, or when they make their first home visit. I have spent the past six months trying to prepare our team logistically, culturally, and most importantly, spiritually for what they will experience next week. I look forward to helping them as they process all of the ways that God will work through them and in them while we are in the Baja. If done properly, missions can often be a life changing experience for all involved. I thoroughly enjoy getting to help others experience it and am reminded of the awesome God that we serve and the lessons He continues to teach me through them.
I truly feel blessed that through Lipscomb Missions I am able to experience this with new and old friends year after year. I have spent an enormous amount of time over the last year planning for our trip, working on meeting itineraries, and VBS curriculum. The staff of Lipscomb Missions works with us through the entire trip planning process, helping us to be the best version of ourselves. They help us make travel arrangements and organize a budget. They teach us how to recruit for team formation and how to train our teams to fundraise. They help form us spiritually, while also equipping us in how to help our team with spiritual formation. While the office of Lipscomb Missions does an awesome job of providing training and support, it is still not an easy task, yet along the way I am continually reminded that it is worth every ounce of energy and every minute of time.
As a student, my week in Baja was always my favorite week of the year. While that is still true, I have learned that the seasons of missions is equally as important and exciting. Leading and serving with a spring break mission trip is more than a 7 day journey; it is nearly a 12 month commitment that entails planning, organizing, facilitating, executing and eventually debriefing with our team. Whereas we hope that our students fall in love with Baja and experience the love of Christ in such a way that makes them more dedicated disciples, our primary objective is to serve alongside our host partner who is in the trenches of ministry the other 51 weeks of the year we are not present. Whether it be with our friends in the Baja or with those on our team, leading a mission trip is a relational ministry that allows God to reveal Himself to you in ways you might not have otherwise seen or experienced.
I can’t say enough about how grateful I am that I took that leap of faith and jumped on board as a team leader. If you have ever considered leading a mission trip, please contact Lipscomb Missions! They are always on the lookout to add more leadership to the nearly 150 people who are helping them train and equip the 50+ teams they are mobilizing in 2014. It may seem like 2015 is a ways off, but the planning starts in just a few short weeks!