July is here and you are probably back from your annual short-term mission trip. Or maybe the youth group at your church just returned home. In any case, whether this is your first or 15th trip, you might be wondering what is next. The group got along so well, and vowed to get together, but you just don’t know how to keep everyone connected. Or maybe you have already been home for a couple of months and still haven’t seen everyone.
Here are three things to do:
- Get them signed up for The Next Mile E-zine. This is an e-zine automatically delivered through email and is free. You only need a name and en email address to sign up. The e-zine discusses issues associated to returning home and helps the participant process their experience as well seek God’s next steps for them. This should not replace follow-through by the church or team leader, but is meant to enhance it. Click here to sign up.
- Mission Trip Triage—You probably feel paralyzed by the fact that you are responsible for so many people. The problem is that we often try to treat everyone the same even though no one is the same. We use the idea of triage to help team leaders determine what and how much is appropriate to invest in each participant. Upon returning, help your team members figure out what level they are and then plan appropriate next steps for living a more Christ-like life. Check back next week to find out what the levels are and how to follow through with each level.
- Encourage your team members to continue praying and reading their Bible. We often spend more time than usual praying and reading our Bibles in anticipation of our mission trip or during our mission—and most people like it! Push them not to let that practice end when they come home.
- Plan three follow-through team meetings. I know everyone lives a busy life so don’t overdo it. The meeting could be for lunch, after church, or dessert one evening. Look for an article in two weeks with details about these three team meetings.
Following through with your team members is a big job, and an important one! It can be easy to let it go because the trip is over, but God’s work in your team members’ lives is not. For more on following through with your team members, I recommend The Next Mile curriculum.
Questions for the author? You can contact Tory at 520-404-0841 or firstname.lastname@example.org.