Developing A Mission Mindset

By Liz Powers and Kinsey Tucker, Next Step Community Development Department

We talk a lot both before our trips and during our trips about developing a mission mindset. We share qualities that we feel will be effective in helping you enter a community responsibly. As we continue to learn more about how to love and serve communities effectively, we have rebranded these names so they are easier to understand and apply when serving. Our goal is to equip and empower you to serve WELL. What do we mean by that? In serving WELL, there are four elements to live by.

What’s Your Why

Emphasize Gifts

Listen and Learn

Live It

We want these elements to be tangible ways for you and your students to engage with the communities you are entering. Read on for more details on how to grow in each of these qualities before your trip.

 

What’s Your Why

What’s your reason for serving on this mission trip? Entering a community humbly and with the right mindset is a vital aspect of serving well.

  • Take some time to journal and pray with God and ask yourself why you are truly desiring to serve, whether that’s on a mission trip or in your own community.
  • Read the gospel of John and make notes of Christ’s characteristics and attitude that you want to take on during your trip.
  • Talk with a friend or trusted mentor about the thoughts you are processing through and ask for accountability as you prepare for your trip. Ask them to text you during the trip and remind you of your WHY.

 

Emphasize Gifts

As the body of Christ, we have the opportunity to emphasize gifts through the way that we interact with the community we are serving. Each and everyone one of us, including those represented in the community you are visiting, have been created with unique talents and strengths. We challenge you to uncover and uplift those in the community you visit during your mission trip. However, you can prepare for this now!

  • Sometimes it is easy to envision dilapidated homes or research devastating statistics. During your quiet time, ask God to reveal the strengths of the community you will be serving in.
  • Conduct some research to find out what the community you are visiting is known for. Is is a quirky restaurant, historical happening, or unique landmark? Search online or connect with the Partnership Coordinator at your trip site for more info.

 

Listen and Learn

You’ve probably heard the common saying “God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.” You have an opportunity to take the time to truly listen to the people in the community you are interacting with on your trip. Challenge yourself to listen intently and learn their stories.

  • Reflect on someone in your life who you feel is a great listener. Journal about why you think he or she is a good listener and create a list of the qualities you see in that person.
  • Challenge yourself to practice each quality leading up to your trip. Take a quality a week and journal about your experience.
  • As your trip gets close, the best thing to do is prepare. Create a list of questions to ask community members you may come in contact with during your trip. This will give you confidence when you meet someone, knowing you already have questions ready.

 

Live It

During your trip you may come face to face with the struggles that families, individuals, and the community are facing. While it can be easy to become disheartened, we pray you will respond by living out the gospel not only throughout your trip, but long after you come home.

  • Before leaving for your mission trip, take some time to reflect on the brokenness you can identify in your own community. This can make it easier to connect to what you may experience during your trip.
  • Connect with local leaders in your community to learn about service opportunities available back home. This way you can jump right in when you return from your trip.
  • Pray for God to reveal vision for how your group can serve long term in your home community after your trip.

 

Developing a mission mindset before your trip not only helps you to serve more effectively in the community you are entering, but helps grow qualities in you that will help you to serve your own community and the people around you well. We pray that God empowers you with his Spirit to do his work well!

 

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!