Seven Reasons to Send Students on Short-Term Mission Trips

By Next Step Ministries Church Department

“Are short-term student mission trips worth the cost and the planning fatigue…What possible long-term impact can your students truly have on another community in just 5 days’ time?”

As a youth leader, ever wondered these things…?

You are not alone. Many have. And many will continue to doubt, but at Next Step we believe taking your students on a mission trip is worth it – here are seven reasons why!

7) Mission Trips Build Community

144 hours. This represents the amount of time your students share together on any week-long mission trip. As in every student ministry, you have an eclectic collection of teens who vastly differ in their personalities, preferences, and interests. Mission trip living provides students the opportunity to create and share memories as they road-trip together, eat together, worship together, work and sweat together, live together, and on and on the list goes! The relationships forged during this one-week trip will allow for a deeper and more rich community when you return home!

6) Mission Trips Fosters Lasting Partnerships

When your students begin to serve with local churches and organizations, hearts are enlarged to the need of the community and also for the work that God is already doing to provide for these needs. Students will form relationships with community partners and members that will continue long after they return home. Your youth group will be challenged to stay involved in the community you partner with by praying with and for and supporting in whatever way is needed to help continue the work of God!

5) Mission Trips Expands Student Hearts to God’s Heart

Students are forced out of their isolated and often self-centered worldview to see and experience a God who compassionately loves and extends His love to all peoples regardless of race, economic status, or location. Missional participation always leads to life transformation – a transformation that awakens mission trip participants to God’s greater global mission for all peoples everywhere to know and understand the wonderful love of Jesus Christ.

4) Mission Trips Develop Spiritual Gifts

A mission trip is one giant gym for you to empower your students to exercise their spiritual gifts to extend service and love to the community you are partnering with! Consider the countless opportunities you will be given over the entirety of the next 144 hours to challenge your students in using their unique and amazing gifts God has given to them to serve and love fellow mission trip participants and community members.

3) Mission Trips Challenge Fears

By growing up in America, students often lack any understanding or experience of what it means to solely rely upon God to provide and sustain through the challenges of this life. Every day of a mission trip, students will have constant opportunities to break out of comfort zones and be reminded of their need to grow in their trust and dependence of God.

2) Mission Trips Ignite Missional Living

Living so focused in service and love, mission trips ignite students to return home to take that next step in living out their faith! By giving the opportunity to partner with such faithful and beloved missionaries for one week, students return home pumped to model their lives after these incredible examples: whether that is in beginning to serve in their church, sharing their faith with friends, or consistently reading their Bibles and praying for others in their youth group!

1) Mission Trips Fulfills Our Purpose!

Jesus’ parting words were, “Go and make disciples of all nations!” Taking students on a mission trip is often the beginning of their own lifelong commitment to God’s word and participation in God’s global mission. Mission trips are often the critical piece needed for students to commit their lives to following after Christ – perhaps this was true for even you?

Where will you serve with your students this summer?

Next Step Ministries