Short-Term Mission Trips: My Top Ten Mistakes to Avoid by Daron Butler

From Pastor Daron Butler- Next Steps Pastor at Wooster Grace 

  1. Trips without a purpose clearly stated—doing a missions trip because you "have-to" or because it is expected.

  2. Doing it alone—going solo is not only lonely but draining. Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto.

  3. Not asking for help—it takes a team to make a great missions movement. Don't settle for trips. Seek momentum towards a movement.

  4. Go with the first contact you discover that matches WHEN you can go—rather focus first on the why you go; when you go comes later.

  5. Not clearly thinking about how your trip fits with your church's purpose and values—connect what you do with the vision and values of your church.

  6. Not training or equipping helpers—you might have helpers, but those helpers need some training to be great helpers.

  7. Being too carefree in planning and during the trip—"flying by the seat of your pants" may feel exhilarating, but it often leads to missed opportunities.

  8. Being too rigid in planning and during the trip—micro-managing may feel like you’re in control, but often you short- circuit empowering new leaders.

  9. Not praying for the right people to go on the right trip for the right purpose—have a short job description of successful outcomes for your trips.

  10. Not debriefing or following up with those who return from a missions trip—you may lose the momentum in people's lives to synergize greater things where God can work towards a lifetime of being on-mission versus a great memory of a trip.


(First published May 2011)

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Monument, CO 80132

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