Lorain County is a strong and diverse community in the midst of the rebuilding process. Your students will have the opportunity to serve families, with a focus on senior citizens, in Lorain County through home repair.


June 6 - 12

June 13 – 19

June 20 – 26

June 27 – July 3

July 5 – 10*

July 11 – 17

July 18 – 24

July 25 – July 31

August 1 – 7

* Sunday through Friday trip


On the shores of Lake Erie, about 15 miles west of Cleveland, sits the beautiful and unique Lorain County.  As a blue-collar working county built on the backs of steel workers and ship builders, this is an area that finds deep pride in its rich history. Drawn by a surplus of jobs in the early 1900’s, individuals from all over the world settled in to call Lorain County home. This created a beautifully diverse community that is still very present today.

However, as changes began to take place in these different industries, jobs began to dry up leaving several challenges in its wake. As families scrambled to find employment, basic needs such as adequate food and shelter proved hard to meet. Lorain County suffered another hit in 2008, when our country faced its greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Across the U.S. savings were lost, jobs disappeared, and poverty swelled. Lorain County was especially affected as Lorain’s poverty rate jumped by a third, claiming 33.7% of all county residents.

In 2013, Next Step began a relationship with Lorain County after a local pastor extended the invitation to be a part of the community restoration effort that was taking place. Next Step's work here is led by local organizations who are working day in and day out to serve their community holistically. In partnership with Neighborhood Alliance's Senior Meal Delivery Program, Next Step students are able to offer home repair assistance to senior citizens throughout the county. To us, home repair is just a platform to form deep and genuine relationships rooted in the love of Christ. Many seniors struggle with feelings of isolation and loneliness. When they open their door for construction work to be done, we see it as an open door to show the love of Christ in a way that offers hope and dignity.

During your trip, you may have an opportunity to work alongside a homeowner like Miss Sheila, a senior citizen born and raised in Lorain County. As an active member of her church for over 50 years, Miss Sheila was eager to connect with young Christians set out to do mission work. While we were able to minister to her physical wellbeing by restoring the roof over her head, Next Step volunteers got to offer spiritual encouragement as well. Over the past 10 years, Miss Sheila had been unable to make it to church due to the many health challenges she was facing. Through this relationship, both Next Step volunteers and Miss Sheila were able to experience the joy of the Lord as they learned from each other in faith.

Next Step students will also have the opportunity to serve alongside several local churches and organizations in community projects and outreach as part of the beautiful restoration process taking place in Lorain County. Every person you meet, nail you hammer, and organization you work with, is an opportunity to come alongside the momentum taking place in Lorain. A momentum of renewal and hope.



Senior Meal Program

Through their Senior Meal Delivery Program, Neighborhood Alliance delivers hundreds of meals each day to elderly residents across Lorain County. Next Step offers physical assistance through home repair to clients in this program. Through our relationship with Neighborhood Alliance we are assured that we are meeting true needs.


Community Education

The Lorain Historical Society has been long committed to engaging members of the community and visitors on the unique history of Lorain in order to learn from the past, develop pride, and transform the future. The historical society plays a vital role in the trip by educating Next Step students on both past and current happenings of the city.


Local Churches and Organizations

The heartbeat of renewal in Lorain County rests with multiple churches & organizations that serve year round. They provide support in areas including Next Step lodging, project selection, outreach, and discipleship. Students will meet several of these partners during the trip, and can be confident that their work has been coordinated by these groups.




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.


[az_tab_section] [tab title="Accommodations" id="tab-1"]The trip is hosted at Avon Lake Presbyterian Church. Here we will worship, eat meals, sleep, shower, and hang out! Guys and girls will be separated into different rooms for sleeping arrangements. Sleeping will be on the floor so please bring a twin air mattress and bedding. There are bathrooms in the facility and a shower trailer on site with individual shower stalls. While there is no AC, there will be plenty of fans to help keep cool.[/tab] [tab title="Transportation" id="tab-2"]This mission site is bus and van accessible. Some groups choose to fly and then rent vehicles for the week. The nearest airports are the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) located 27 minutes away, or the Akron-Canton Airport (CAK) located one hour away from Lorain.[/tab] [tab title="What to Bring" id="tab-3"]Twin Size Air Mattress
Bedding & Pillow
Water Bottle
Insect Repellent
Swim Suit
Work Shoes
Work Clothes
Casual Clothes
Work Gloves
Safety Glasses
[/tab][tab title="Schedule" id="tab-4"]SUNDAY (ARRIVAL DAY)
3:00-5:00 pm – Arrive to Mission Location
6:00 pm – Dinner
7:00 pm – Worship & Weekly Orientation
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 Worksites
12:00 pm – Lunch & Devotion
1:00 pm – Resume Working
3:30 pm – Clean Up
6:00 pm – Dinner
7:00 pm – Worship
8:00 – Church Time/Small Groups/Free Time
11:00 pm – Lights Out
8:00 am – Wake Up 
8:15 am – Eat Breakfast & Lunch Preparation
9:00 am – Leave for Free Day Activity!
12:00 pm – Lunch and Devo
1:00 pm – Community Activities
3:30 pm  – Shower Time/Free Time/Leader Meeting
5:00 pm – Community Cookout
7:00 pm – Worship
8:00 pm – Church Time/Small Groups/Free time
11:00 pm – Lights Out

[/tab] [/az_tab_section]


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.

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