Knoxville is situated at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Surrounded by the stunning natural beauty, your team will have the chance to serve the Knoxville community through meeting physical needs of those experiencing homelessness and hardships.


June 7 - 13

June 14 - 20

June 21 - 27

June 28 - July 3*

July 5 - 11

July 12 - 18

July 19 - 25

July 26 - August 1

August 2 - 8

* Sunday through Friday trip


First settled in 1786, Knoxville was the first capital of Tennessee. The arrival of the railroad in 1855 led to an economic boom, rapidly growing the city into a major manufacturing center. Unfortunately, as the economy was devastated during the Great Depression in the 1930s, the manufacturing sector collapsed, and the downtown area declined. City leaders became entrenched in highly unjust political fights, all of which has sadly contributed to the highest rates of homelessness per capita in the entire country.

Despite their challenging history, Knoxville is a passionate and vibrant community, strongly committed to meeting the physical and spiritual needs of their fellow citizens. This hidden gem tucked up alongside the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is filled with so much to explore and discover. Get ready to immerse yourself into a community that sees hospitality not just as a kind act, but truly as a lifestyle. 

During your trip, you will have the opportunity to join with community members who are committed to making a difference in their city. Whether helping to repair homes with Operation Backyard or serving meals at Knox Area Rescue Ministries, students will be able to make a meaningful contribution to this community.

Knoxville is still working to overcome the hurt that was introduced to their community so long ago, and we are so excited for you and your team to be a part of this transformation.

Join us next summer in Knoxville, Tennessee!



Rescue Ministry

KARM is a Christ-centered ministry that provides rescue, recovery, and restoration to the women, men, and children experiencing homelessness in Knoxville. By serving alongside KARM, your students will be able  to join this long-standing ministry to serve meals, help with facility upkeep, and pray over the multitude of beds used for housing each night.


Home Repair Program

Operation Backyard is a program that provides home repair services for those with limited-income, the elderly, and those with various disabilities. Our partnership with Operation Backyard is though offering physical help through home repair to clients in this program. Through this relationship, we can be assured that our teams are meeting true needs.


Emergency Housing

During the past 10 years, Family Promise has provided emergency shelter and secured permanent housing for more than 1,000 families. Your team will have the opportunity to assist this ministry by working in a large local thrift store that helps support and sustain the emergency work that Family Promise provides in the Knoxville area.


Transitional Housing

Restoration House assists low-income single mothers. Their goal is to break cycles and regain hope and a future through transitional housing, ally teams, family advocacy, and youth development. Your team can help fulfill this vision by completing home and facility repairs, as well as take part in urban farming to combat a local food desert.



We’ve been told our worship experience is where summer camp meets mission trip. At Next Step, your students will create unforgettable memories and friendships while worshipping and growing together in their understanding of who Jesus is. Each evening will include great bands, challenging speakers and a powerful video series created and filmed exclusively for your mission trip.


Have you ever gone on a mission trip and been disappointed by the work projects? You’re left wondering— isn’t there something more we could have done? At Next Step, we have partnered with local community leaders to ensure that the projects are meaningful and alleviate vital building needs. Your students will work on projects such as full home builds, home additions, drywall, siding, flooring, wheelchair ramps, and more.


Do you ever wonder if your short-term mission trip really made a difference? At Next Step, students serve alongside local community members, churches and nonprofits, as we meet the needs of the community together. With our full-time staff living in the communities we partner with, and projects being selected by the community, you will be part of a movement in responsible short-term missions.


The trip is hosted at a TBD facility.
Bus and Van accessible.
Twin Size Air Mattress
Bedding & Pillow
Water Bottle
Insect Repellent
Swim Suit
Work Shoes
Work Clothes
Casual Clothes
Work Gloves
Safety Glasses
3:00-5:00 pm – Arrive to Mission Location
6:00 pm – Dinner
7:00 pm – Worship & Weekly Orintation
8:30 pm – Church Time, Small groups, Free Time
11:00 pm – Lights Out

7:00 am – Wake Up
7:15 am – Eat Breakfast & Lunch Preparation
8:00 am – Morning Devotional
8:15 am – Depart for Worksite & Begin Working
12:00 pm – Lunch & Devotion
1:00 pm – Resume Working
3:30 pm – Depart Worksites
4:00 pm – Showers and Free time
5:30pm – Dinner
6:45 pm – Worship
7:45 – Church Time
10:00 – Free Time
11:00 pm – Lights Out 

8:00 am – Wake Up 
8:15 am – Eat Breakfast & Lunch Preparation
9:00 am – Morning Devotion
9:15 am – Leave for Free Day Activity
4:00 pm  – Return and Shower
5:30pm – Dinner
6:45 pm – Worship
7:45 – Church Time
10:00 – Free Time
11:00 pm – Lights Out 


When should I register for my trip?

Registration opens in July and will be available through early spring. To get your preferred dates, locations, and spaces, it is recommended to secure your spots sometime before October.

What is the min or max people per group?

For summer mission trips you must have a minimum of five participants to be eligible for a group. If you have less than five participants on your team, please contact our office. The maximum number of people will depend on location capacity and availability.

What is the adult to student ratio required?

Next Step Ministries asks each group to bring 1 adult for every 6 students.

Are background checks required?

Yes. Each church group is responsible for conducting background checks on each participant 18 years of age or older.

When will we find out what our work are?

Your group will learn about the work projects on the first night of your trip! Our staff will contact you 1-2 weeks prior to the trip to share updates and provide an adjusted tool list.

How are the trips staffed?

A Next Step Partnership Coordinator facilitates community partnerships, lines up projects, leads the summer staff, and coordinates other logistics such as lodging and accommodations. The trip itself will be facilitated by 8-12 energetic, mission-minded, and highly trained college interns. The site staff will include a construction team, worship team, speaker, meal coordinators, and administrative leaders to guide you through the week.

What if the trip I’m considering is already full?

Each location has a different max capacity, so please contact our office to learn more about spaces available. In the event we are fully booked for the trip you are interested in, we can put you on a wait list or help find alternative trip options. To avoid these delays, we recommend registering for your trip as soon as you can!

What is the payment schedule?

Payment for a Next Step Ministries mission trip is separated into a deposit and two scheduled payments:

  • Deposit - $50 non-refundable and non-transferable deposit per spot reserved due within 30 days of your trip registration date
  • March 15th Payment – 50% of remaining balance of trip cost due
  • May 15th Payment – 100% of remaining total balance of trip cost due

Is Next Step affiliated with a denomination?

No, we do not affiliate with a particular denomination. Next Step Ministries is an interdenominational organization and we partner with hundreds of churches from all different denominations on our mission trips. Please see our Statement of Faith to learn more about what we believe. In simple terms, we stick to the basics of the Gospel. Our foundation for ministry is to provide opportunities for students to connect and grow in a personal relationship with Christ.

How are the work projects selected?

Next Step Ministries works alongside community leaders, non-profit organizations, and the local church in order to set up work projects. Full-time Next Step Staff called Partnership Coordinators live and serve within the community year round and are well connected. Next Step collaborates with the community to plan the projects you will be working on in advance.

Will our group be paired with other groups?

You will most likely be attending a trip with 2-4 other youth groups. All groups will share sleeping quarters and we will have meals and worship together as a large group. Many of our mission site locations can accommodate for 80-100 volunteers each week. For work projects, we love to mix students, but also understand many groups prefer to stick together. Please let us know your preference and we will plan accordingly!

Is the mission trip safe?

Yes. Next Step Ministries exists to give middle school, high school, and college students an opportunity to explore their faith, experience God, and extend service to others on a mission trip. Students are our top priority and safety is always our primary concern. Thankfully, because of our long-term commitment and involvement within the community, we have developed many close relationships with local families and organizations. The community is familiar with Next Step and we’ve worked hard to humbly earn their trust and respect. Because of these close friendships we are the first to know if something out of the ordinary comes up or is unsafe.


Day or night, Next Step Ministries is happy to hear from you. Whether you have a question, comment or concern, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. As an additional resource, feel free to download this brochure for all your mission trip information in one place.

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