How to Plan a Mission Trip

posted May 18th, 2017 by Brian Neese

How to Plan a Mission Trip


A mission trip can be a powerful way to impact other people and meet their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. It can also have a strong effect in the lives of those who travel domestically or internationally on the mission trip.

Reasons to Plan a Mission Trip

People who participate in a mission trip help the host community in some way, such as through child care, construction, medical services, teaching and more. Reasons for a mission trip can include the following.

  • It meets a need: A mission trip provides something that can improve the quality of life in the community. Although there are additional benefits to embarking on a mission trip, helping others is the primary motive.
  • It fulfills the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you,” Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20. A mission trip shares and shows the love of Christ in tangible ways, and it can help people who don’t know God to learn more about Him.
  • It is mutually beneficial: The people who go on a mission trip are often impacted as much as, or more than, the people in the host community. A mission trip can offer insight into a different culture and a new way to see the world. People who complete a mission trip also reap spiritual benefits from the experience.

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How to Plan a Mission Trip

Planning a mission trip is an extensive process. From managing a budget to recruiting a team, it requires leadership skills to oversee all aspects of the mission trip. Here are some tips.

  • Define the purpose: Ask yourself why you’re interested in going on the trip and what you’re interested in accomplishing. Establish the specific goals of the mission trip and how you’ll help the host community. You can set short-term and long-term goals for the trip as well, such as helping with child care in a community and setting up a school for that community within a few years.
  • Identify a partner: If you haven’t already started the process with a current connection, it may be a good idea to work with a partner to help facilitate the mission trip. You could explore working with a missionary, missions organization, church planter or church ministry for support.
  • Identify a destination: Select a location and ministry that fits your group. Does your team feel called to orphanages, street ministry, community development or something else? Once you know what type of ministry interests you most, you can choose a location that offers that type of ministry opportunity.
  • Identify your team: Consider who will lead the mission trip. You’ll also need to decide how many people will be able go on the mission trip and how you’ll find them.
  • Research costs: Look at how much the trip will cost and start thinking about ways to raise the funds. If you’re working with a church or organization, they may have ideas for coming up with the resources to fund the trip. The size of your budget could determine whether you pursue a certain location or specific type of mission trip.
  • Be creative: There are many ways to plan a mission trip. Think about alternative approaches to raising money, as well as the locations you can serve and the people who can serve the community. There are mission trip opportunities that are international, but there are also ways to serve that are less expensive to travel to and relatively close to you. And there are plenty of people — photographers to capture stories, backpackers who can reach remote people groups and educators who can teach English — who are able to help you make an impact and share the Gospel.

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