Planning, preparing and being responsible for a team of people is a BIG undertaking. We have compiled some of our favorite resources to help you plan, lead and host mission teams with excellence. From training before you go, to managing trip details and all the communication in between. We even have resources here to help you network with the larger short-term mission community as you seek to continually improve the outcome of trips you host, coordinate or lead.
- Short-Term Missions, a Christian Guide to STM’s, for Leaders, Pastors, Churches, Students, STM Teams and Missions Organizations: Survive and Thrive! by Matthew Backholer
- As He Walked 3-part Combo book– Deeper Roots Publications has combined their short-term mission devotional series into one book that includes pre-, on- and postfield study and reflection. Excellent devotional journal for mission trip leaders and participants.
- Reentry Guide for Short- Term Mission Leaders by Lisa Espineli Chinn Must-have, must-use guide for mission trip leaders to better understand and better prepare their short-termers for “re-entry” return back home.
- A Guide to Short-Term Missions: A Comprehensive Manual for Planning an Effective Mission Trip by H. Leon Greene
- Maximum Impact Short-Term Missions by Peterson, Aeschliman & Sneed
- When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor …and Ourselves by Brian Fikkert & Steve Corbett
- Effective Engagement in Short-Term Missions: Doing it Right! by Robert Priest
- Short-Term Mission Team Essentials – Together on the Journey is an easy to use 3-session training guide that equips STM leaders to prepare their teams to be God’s instruments of hope in overseas settings. The guide is a dynamic, interactive training program that includes sections on devotional materials, team-building, cross-cultural ministry skills, language learning and logistics. The guide can be adapted to any size of team, context and duration of short-term mission trip.
- Mission Trip Planning Toolkit: Resources include travel tips, devotions, fundraising advice, cultural awareness training, and more.
- Short-Term Mission Trip Team Covenant – The success of a mission trip is often based on team unity which necessitates putting others needs above your own. Great resources to discuss with your team and have them all sign.
- Short-term Mission Trip Quick Audit – Use this self-assessment tool to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your mission trip helping you to see how you can improve on future trips.
- The Lausanne Standards – Biblical affirmations and agreements for giving and receiving money in mission. Especially helpful when navigating mission partnerships in other countries.
- Trip Leaders Guide – This 14 page trip leader guide includes sections on your role as a team leader, preparing the team, on the trip and post trip.
- Team Applicant Reference Form – It’s always wise to learn about your members and what other ministry leaders have observed about their character and gifting.
- Debriefing Your Team and Sharing Your Story – Sample debriefing agenda that provides time for trip participants to process their trip and prepare a 2 minute story to share with others.
Know of any exceptional articles to help mission trip leaders wrestle with all that goes into planning, preparing and taking teams? Let us know what you’ve found helpful and our team will consider adding it here. [email protected]
- Better Mission Trips: Series produced by Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Mission. Interviews with current organizations and leaders. Topics include: Next-Gen, First Nations, distribution ministries & more!
- Short Term Trips (33 min) – Listen to a no-nonsense discussion about short-term mission trips, trip goals, vetting mission trip participants, and the importance of supporting the goals of long-term missionaries on the field.
- How Pastors Can Share in Short-term Missions (24 min) – Hear a pastor share highlights, challenges, and lessons learned from his short-term mission experience.
- How Local Churches Can Encourage Young People in Missions (28min) – In this Global Missions podcast you’ll hear about some strategic steps that local churches can take to encourage their young people in missions.
- How to Do Short Term Mission Trips with Excellence (35min) This 4-part miniseries Brian Heerwagen begins with describing how an excellent short-term mission is God-centered, and how trust and communication can lead to empowering partnerships.
Supplies & Services
- SOE Missions IQ Insurance– multiple levels of coverage options as well as trip management and tracking fundraising.
- Managed Missions, Mission Minder, Go Method, MissionMakr – Mission trip management software can save lots of time by streamlining multiple functions and providing automated reminders to trip participants about deadlines. Weather you lead 1 trip a year with your church or you are a sending or receiving organization the process will be much easier with mission software that meets your needs.
- Missions IQ Insurance, Risk, & Crisis Management – Insurance plus an online platform that satisfies your duty of care by providing automatic updates on current events, direct links to the CDC for immunizations and health education, online and real-time documentation of incidents, and much more.
- MissionTripInsurance.com Individual, group, property, emergency evacuation, trip cancellation insurance and more. As a Christian, family owned and operated business, MTI understands the heart of what you do and treats the business as a ministry to ministers.
- Onsite Mission Team Training – The SOE (Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Missions) offers a variety of onsite training programs including team training and team leader training.
- S.H.A.P.E Test – The nice thing about this profile is that it takes into account 5 areas of life, giving participants a well-rounded view of how they are wired to be on mission with God. This free online assessment takes 30-60 minutes to complete and can be a great tool for team members to get to know each other before their trip.
- The Hands and Feet of Jesus A YouVersion app developed by the Standards of Excellence in Short Term Mission, this 14-day pre-trip devotion series is written for short-term mission participants to help them prepare to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
- Voke Overcome today’s disruptions, distractions and distance – all with one app. Geared towards 14-24 year old groups and their leaders.
- Short Term Missions Team Training – Short-term mission trips are more than trips to a destination. They are a dynamic part of our discipleship journey. Stream this 7-part course through Right Now Media. This course and leader’s guide will supplement your team meetings with practical preparation and foundational missional teaching that will draw individuals into a deeper relationship with Christ as they serve side by side with others in ministry.
- Mission Trip Training – Check out this short video as you are introduced to a mission trip training curriculum that includes books and DVD’s for team leaders and participants.
- SOE (Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Missions) – An accrediting and resourcing body for those who send, receive, facilitate and support mission teams. Offers a wealth of information for churches and agencies who desire to conduct mission trips with excellence. From coaching, to onsite training, webinars and mission trip resources the SOE is ready to equip you to do mission trips better.
- Best Practices for Christian Short-Term Healthcare Missions– An international working group of Christian scholars, leaders and practitioners from diverse backgrounds seeking to promote best practices guidelines for the planning, execution, integration and follow-through of cross-cultural health missions.
- ShortTermMissions.com –This user- friendly mission trip search engine has current trip details from 100+ organizations to help you find the right trip for your group.
- MissioNexus – Learn, meet and engage with others in the Great Commission.
- Poverty Encounter– an immersive exhibit that offers virtual tours of Guatemala, Haiti, Nepal, and Romania to educate guests of all ages on global poverty. Poverty Encounter is an initiative of Children’s Hunger Fund (Los Angeles, Dallas, San Antonio).
- Real Life Exhibit– Medical Teams International hosts a permanent museum in Portland, OR. Virtual exhibits offer five distinct stories to explore refugee camps in Uganda, Bangladesh and Lebanon.
- The Compassion Journey– traveling exhibit and digital immersive experiences available for attending or hosting.
- Pathways out of Poverty– Hope International asks you to consider the question: “Who is my neighbor?” As you journey through this multi-sensory exhibit, compelling audio and visuals work together to transport you from Lancaster, PA, into the stories of eight neighbors from around the world.
Know of other tried and true TEAM LEADER resources that mission trip coordinators & leaders would benefit from? Send your ideas to: [email protected]