As summer approaches, Christian kids and teens all over the country begin preparing for mission opportunities their churches provide for them. Unfortunately, most young people don’t experience the lasting spiritual growth hoped for by participating in these experiences. What’s even worse is that many missionaries will tell you off the record that mission teams can cause more trouble than they help.
It doesn’t have to be that way though. With a little more intentional preparation, your students can grown spiritually and make a meaningful positive influence on those they serve.
It’s essential before you take young people into the mission field that you actually train them to do what they will be doing. They need to be able to do it well. “Playing with kids” and “loving them like Jesus” sounds like it wouldn’t take any training, but it does. A missed safety step and a child you are going to serve could be physically hurt. A missed empathy moment may cause a child you serve to no longer want to attend any church. And on and on.