HOW TO PLAN A SHORT TERM MISSION TRIP
6-7 months to departure : Decide on when you are planning to go.
- Discuss with host minister a date and expectation of coming.
- Plan on what and who you will need to bring.
- Create a sign-up sheet or hand select those you desire to go.
- Is this a construction trip, evangelism outreach, VBS, leadership training, minister to kids, youth, or adults. This could be a little of all of these.
- Research airfare
- Continental is best, earliest flight to leave in morning and a returning flight around 2 or 3 pm. Attempt to get non-stop flights – just a little over 2 hours.
- Call for group rates…
- You cannot place a down payment yet, but you can typically reserve the airfare for 20 days. This allows you to have the informational meeting and pay the down payment for the airfare.
- It is best to deal with the airfare and hotels direct via email – rather than a travel agent. Travel agents come at a cost to the a hotels and air and I have experienced quite a bit of trouble in the past.
- Connect with host minister about a good hotel. I would recommend a simple hotel, but that is nice and has A/C. You will appreciate the A/C at the end of the day.
- You do not want to get something too nice and look above all the people – like this is a vacation. I feel it would hurt the trip as well – the group would see this as a vacation rather than a mission trip.
- I would not recommend a dump. You will want A/C and a nice simple room to come back to. You do however want the team to feel the realities of the culture and environment – a nice hotel would not serve this purpose.
- Cost is a factor as well. A simple hotel can cost $25 per person a night. A nicer hotel could be $50-75 per person. This adds up.
5 months to departure: Have an informational meeting.
Require a non-refundable down payment.
- Pass out an informational handout
- You will want this to be a $200-300 per person. This allows you funds to reserve airfare and hotel.
- When creating the cost: I would recommend….
- Adding enough into the cost to pay for the one organizing the trip. This is a long process – this person deserves this. This is not usually shared with the team, it can be awkward because they do not realize the work involved.
- Add a little extra in what they will pay to the church for the trip.
- This is for the unexpected.
- Cost goes up slightly.
- You usually tip the bus driver to and from the airport.
- The host pastor or missionary usually receives a financial gift for helping to organize on his end and organizing the transportation. This has been from $500-1200 – depends how much is left in the extra funds.
- Realizing the transport around town to serve may come with a cost as well.
- I would sometimes buy the people I was ministering to all ice cream, a coke, or something. These all should be placed in the budget and divided among the cost of all who are going.
4 months from departure :
- You will need to be meeting at least once a month to connect with your team.
- To follow up on getting everyone's passports.
- Receiving the scheduled payments.
- Answering any questions the team might have.
- Receiving questions the team might have to be able to research and get back to them.
- If the team is going to do skits are dramas now is the time to be deciding which one and who will be involved.
- This is also a time to pray together as a team for the trip and the people you will be ministering too.
- You will need to be finalizing the schedule or any alterations to the schedule.
- You might need to place a down payment or the hotel now to lock in the rooms and rates.
- You will need to connect with the host minister to relay information about transportation.
- You will need to begin assigning roles:
- Who might preach if this will happen.
- Who will lead the teams and the different roles.
- Who will bring what.
- You will need to decide what to bring for the ministry:
- Guitar?, LCD projector (we never brought an LCD), tracts to pass out, any other details of trip, gifts to pass out to the children like stickers and pencils…need to be ordered.
3 months till departure :
- If this is a Foursquare church – you will need to contact FMI to buy emergency insurance. This cost about $3 a day per person. This should be included in the cost they pay to the church.
- Still meeting once a month and finalizing that that everyone has a passport, what ministry you will be doing, and everyone is making the payments to go.
- The team should be unified in prayer.
2 months till departure:
- The team should begin meeting every week now.
The airfare should be paid in full soon – coordinate with the airlines on this.
Hotel payment will need to be paid at least 50% now and 50% when you arrive.
- The meetings now should have already solidified roles, skits, drama and who leads out in different projects.
- The team should have already assigned who does morning devotions for the team in Belize.
- I would highly recommend that the team have a strong grasp at sharing the gospel and sharing their testimony. Not just have the facts down, but feel comfortable at sharing it. This requires practice.
- See PDF file entitled: [Salvation Message]
- I would recommend that the team use this handout to share the gospel and share their testimony. At the weekly team meeting – have the team break into 2s and share the gospel with the other one week and then share their testimony the next week. Make sure they are comfortable in sharing these before the leave for the trip.
- The meetings should go over all skits and dramas and details.
1 month to departure:
- The weekly meetings should be grasping each person's role.
- Skits should be getting close to being mastered.
- Sharing the gospel and sharing their testimonies should be getting better and more comfortable.
- All details of airfare, hotel, and transportation should be in place.
- Airfare should be paid in full at this point.
- Connect with host minister for any changes or details.
1 week to departure: Last Meeting
- Have a meeting Saturday that will last 4-5 hours.
- Cover all details
- Go over gospel and testimony presentations.
- Any details on airfare and trip. They need to be at airport 2 hours early.
- Pass out final information for trip. See PDF File: [Final Info For Trip]
- Go over information – make sure everyone is clear on details.
- Master your skits and dramas
- Have lunch together and spend about an hour in prayer interceding for the trip.
NEXT STEP: WELCOME TO BELIZE!
This is not an exhaustive outline, but should cover most of the details