If you are a parent, youth pastor, or youth leader in general, then you’ll probably have the wonderful privilege of leading students on a life-changing mission trip at some point. There are a lot of logistical hurdles to clear as you prepare your youth group for mission work. One major decision you’ll want to consider is the choice of who gets to go on the trip in the first place. Not every student is ready for mission work, even short-term term mission trips. If you need to choose which students are ready to volunteer abroad, then think about these tips to help with the evaluation process.
- Maturity– Youth mission trips are not something to take lightly. Even the most fun trip will require a certain level of maturity from your students. Age is a good indicator of maturity, but it’s not always the only way to judge a student’s maturity. Look for how well an individual student reacts in a group setting. Is he a leader or a follower? What kind of company does he choose to keep? There’s a trip for every kind of student on Mission Discovery. Evaluate what level of maturity your next trip will require.
- Eagerness– Short-term mission trips are a great opportunity to let your students experience the world in a whole new way. When you announce your next short-term mission trip with Mission Discovery, pay attention to which students show the most eagerness about the trip. Notice how willing and eager the students are to get started with fundraising. Initiative will often be an indicator of which students are going to make the best candidates for youth mission trips. After all, mission work is all about keeping an eager and positive attitude. Pay attention to the students who show the same level of eagerness during mundane planning meetings as they did on the day the trip was announced.
- Attendance– There are a couple of things to pay attention to regarding a student’s readiness for a mission trip and their attendance. Notice how often the student shows up for planning meetings about the trip. Students who show up for the majority of meetings are showing you how committed they are to the process. You’ll also want to notice if they attend your youth group regularly. Students who only show up for big events or mission trips are just as important as any other student. However, these students don’t necessarily display a sense of readiness for every opportunity to volunteer abroad.
Your youth group students are probably a pretty diverse bunch. Use these tips to evaluate which students are ready for your church’s next mission trip opportunity. There’s a mission trip opportunity for every type of student on Mission Discovery. Make sure you pair the right students with the trip they seem to be the most ready to handle. Start planning the right trip for the right students today!