Youth Worker Tip of the Day – 9.2.2011

Tip: Book a summer missions trip!

Maybe your’re not thinking about next summer just yet. But you should be!

Year after year, wise youth workers make the decision to do a summer missions trip. Some of them stay with tradition and return to the same mission every summer. Some venture off and try something new every summer. And some see the special rewards that come with mission trips that are planned for you!

Let me know say a few quick words about each of the three youth workers stated above.

1. The Youth Worker Who Returns Every Summer. A number of years ago, my students participated in a simple mission project every summer. We went to a church located just outside of Philadelphia to help them with their VBS program. Each summer was the same; same church, same week, same program. Why? Because it built relationships. The church I serve in today has had a relationship with a mission in Haiti for years. And every year we send at least 2 teams to the same mission in Haiti. Why? Because of relationships. There is real value in the return mission trip as long as you and your students are continuing to help the mission grow and accomplish it’s purpose. And it’s fun to see relationships and ministries grow over time.

2. The Youth Worker Who Likes to Keep It New! This youth workers plots and plans new locations, projects, and campaigns every summer. Why? I’m not sure. Perhaps it provides his students with varied experiences. Maybe he wants to avoid the “been-there-done-that” syndrome students often deal with. I’m not sure. But whatever his reasons, he does it.

3. The Youth Worker Who is Smart Enough to Let Others Do the Work For Him! The packaged missions trip; “sign your students up and we take care of all the rest!” We’ve all seen them at youth ministry conferences. We fill our trash cans with their postcards and fliers. We dump the 100’s of emails we receive on a weekly basis. Mexico, the islands, Canada, and just about every state between NJ & CA; you name the location, pick the project, and away you go! This is the way to do missions.

Now I know that this might also sound a little cheeky, but let me get serious for just a second. Packaged mission trips can be a wonderful experience for you, your leaders, and your students. Recently I was part of one of Group’s Workcamps. (You can read all of my thoughts and experiences by click on this link.) I was truly blessed by what the program offered and how it was run. My responsibility was to get my students to the camp and home from the camp, Group took care of all the rest! It was great. Project sites, materials, guidance and help; it was all there! I was able to serve and have fun with my students and the students I met and didn’t have to worry about what needed to be prepped, organized, or set up next! And the spiritual blessing was better than I could of planned it to be.

Now is the time to begin thinking about your summer mission trip. I’m working on details for our next trip right now. We’re going back to Group Workcamps!

If you are considering a mission trip for your students, let me suggest that you consider, Group Workcamps! Check out their website and see all that they offer. Have questions, give them a call or shoot me an email!

And if you do call Group Workcamp, ask for Kris Bozzer, 800-385-4545! And tell her Jay sent you! Seriously, she’ll take good care of you!!

– jay

One thought on “Youth Worker Tip of the Day – 9.2.2011

  1. jay,

    great plug. i hope you get a little kick back for everyone who calls and mentions your blog 🙂

    the truth is i really appreciate the way you handled this subject. short term mission trips for students is vital or at least should be vital to every youth ministry diet. it was great for you to spell out the three different options available. i think people get in a rut in their thinking and then can not see other options. pick the one that works most for your personality and context and then do it!!!

    and if you choose group work camps, tell ’em jay sent you!




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