Going on a mission trip is an exciting adventure, and an amazing time to share God’s love and grow in your faith, but where do you start? There are lots of good places to start looking for and signing up for mission trips.
How do I sign up for a mission trip? To sign up for mission trips you will first want to find a trip you are interested in, then make sure you fit the requirements, and then turn in your application with all pertinent information.
Mission trips happen with many different organizations & locations. Below is a guide to help you fully understand and complete your application process.
Finding a Mission Trip
Signing up for a mission trip starts with finding a mission trip. There are many great organizations that are Christ-focused and aim to serve as you go on your mission trip.
Questions To Ask Before Selecting A Mission Trip
Below are 7 questions you should ask before picking out a mission trip.
1. Where do you want to go?
When going on a mission trip you want to make sure that you are headed somewhere you feel safe going and somewhere you want to go. If you don’t want to go overseas then focus on mission organizations working in the United States.
If you feel called to serve in a new culture look for organizations that go further but are well established.
God is at work all over the world, make sure to seek the Lord before choosing a location. He may call you somewhere uncomfortable, or put a desire on your heart to reach those in a location you may never have heard of.
2. What work do you want to do?
If you have a particular skill that you want to use or grow on your trip look for an organization and trips within that organization that specializes in that field.
There are many organizations that focus on building and other construction, while some aim to educate and others are medical mission trips that provide medical care to those in need throughout the trip.
There is a lot of research that goes into finding a trip that is right for you, but there are many opportunities to use your skills. Even sports and drama are skills that can be very useful on mission trips, and there are mission trips that focus on ministries utilizing these specific skills. Find a mission trip that lines up with your passion.
3. When are mission trips available?
If you only have certain times of the year you can take a trip, it is important to look for trips that will be available when you are. Make sure to also investigate the length of the trip, some only last a week, while others are months long.
Also, note that many mission trips have required training times that will occur before you leave but will help you prepare for the trip. They will sometimes occur online, or in a certain location.
Make sure you can attend the training to be effective on your trip.
4. What organization do you want to go with on this mission trip?
When signing up for a mission trip you will want to know and be familiar with the organization you are going with. Make sure they hold to the same beliefs or you may come to odds on the trip.
Make sure that you understand their role in the many different parts of the trip as well, will they help you fundraise? Do they pay for airfare? Will they accommodate allergies?
Similar to seeing what trips you can utilize your God-given skills on research to understand the organization’s main audience.
If they cater to those in middle school and you are in college you may want to find an organization that works with your age group, or sign-up to be a leader to middle schoolers.
5. Who do you want to go with on the mission trip?
Serving on a mission trip can be a lot of fun, who do you want to share this experience with? Check to see if your Church offers mission trips so you can go with your home Church.
There are other amazing trips available where you will get to meet all new people from around the country and around the world.
There are some mission organizations that allow groups to sign-up. You may have the chance to go with a new organization and with friends you know. Check to see what each organization offers for the community during trips.
6. How much does the trip cost?
Make sure to check cost and prices as you choose what trip to go on. You may need to raise the money for your trip or pay for it in plans or out of pocket. Understand the organization’s role in finances.
Do they help you fundraise? What will they pay for before and during the trip? Some organizations pay for airfare and equipment and others require you to fundraise.
7. How will we be helping a long-term goal?
This trip may be an amazing experience for you, but make sure it is an amazing experience for those you are visiting as well. It is important to make sure the organization you are going with knows the area and has partnered with a Church there.
If they are partnered with a Church or missionary that is there long-term then they can fully understand the true needs of the community and truly make a difference.
Make sure to do thorough research on the organization that you will be going with. You want to make sure that your time on this trip will be used to help those in the location.
Make sure to also check the credibility of the organization, they hopefully have much experience in their area of serving.
There are also good questions that are important to ask the organization, you will want to be sure their beliefs align with the Bible and they desire to fulfill the great commission.
Other questions you may personally want to make to the organization such as where you will be sleeping or if there will be any running water or electricity.
After asking the appropriate questions, narrow down your options to find what works best for you.
Meeting Requirements For The Mission Trip
Before you apply for your trip investigate what is needed from you before, during, and after the trip. Knowing this can help you make sure you are making the best choice for your trip and will keep you from withdrawing later in the process for lack of information.
All requirements you need to fulfill will be based on the organization you are going with. Below are some general requirements most organizations will ask of you.
There may be some spiritual requirements you need to meet. Some organizations ask for your testimony. They want to know where you are in your faith journey.
There may also be some statements that you will have to sign to agree with before the trip. This will depend on the organization but you are representing Christ and the organization you are going with while on the trip.
They want to know that you will live in a Christ-like manner, treat leaders with respect, will be appropriate in other cultures and respect cultural differences, work well with others on your team, and maintain a servant attitude throughout the trip.
Depending on the location and the ministry that you will be a part of the organization may ask for only a certain age group or gender to come on the trip.
If you are going overseas you will need a passport. Also, make sure that your passport does not expire within six months of the end date of your trip. It is no fun getting the airport to be turned around because your passport needs to be renewed.
Certain countries also will require you to have a visa. You will need to check with the organization you are going with as well as with the country to know whether or not you will need a visa in addition to your passport.
If you are going overseas you may need extra vaccines before you go. You can ask both the organization you are going with and the Center for Disease Control what immunization you may need before traveling.
You may also need to raise funds for your trip. Depending on what organization you go with, they may want you to raise your trip money. This may require writing letters and making phone calls to friends and family. You may also need to participate in activities such as car washes, bake sales, and more.
Before your trip, there may be dates that your organization will have required training. This may simply occur online in your own time, or in person before your trip. Make sure to schedule any extra dates before and after your trip that your organization may want you to set apart for activities related to your trip.
Some of these requirements take time to process so make sure that if there are any requirements you need to fulfill to get started on them right away to make sure you are ready to leave when your trip is scheduled.
Applying For Your Mission Trip
When applying for your desired mission trip be ready with some of the following information they may ask for.
Some of the most basic but important information they may ask for is your name and your email. This is important so they can contact you with any information that you may need to know in the future.
They may need to know more about you, other questions will be about your birthdate, cellphone number, and address. These are all yet again important to be in contact with you.
Because a mission trip will be happening while you are away from your home they will most likely ask for other personal information to keep you safe. They may ask about allergies you have and the medication you take, as well as an emergency contact.
As they get to know you more and are determining if you are a good fit for the trip they may also ask about your education, your testimony, and why you want to go on the trip.
Depending on what you are doing on your trip they may ask more specific questions and require you to be at a certain education level or in a certain place in your faith.
Another spiritual-related question sometimes asked is about your church attendance. It can be important to mission organizations that you are active in your local church, this means you do not solely have a desire to serve outside of your community but in your community as well.
Being active in the local church is an example of your desire to grow in your faith and your walk with God.
They want to know about where you are in your walk with Christ because mission trips have many goals. One goal throughout the trip will be representing God, they will want those who go on the trip to know God aim to live like Christ.
Mission trips are also an amazing time to grow, so it is important to be honest about where you are in your spiritual journey, they know not everyone is perfect and that many want to go throughout the course of the trip.
When getting to know you and deciding on who is qualified to go on a trip they will want to know your strengths and weaknesses. They may ask you what skills and interests you have to know better where you would work best.
Some organizations may also want to know at the beginning your payment method and information, especially if the application has a fee. They many times have this fee to cover costs at the beginning of the process as well as making sure that those who apply are truly serious about going on the trip.
If you are almost ready to submit your application make sure to go back and double-check your information. Make sure it is all put in correctly especially your contact information, if they have your contact information they will be able to contact you if they need any other information or to inform you of their decision.
After Applying For Your Mission Trip
When you have submitted your application you then get to wait to be accepted.
If you are not accepted then this is not the time or trip for you. It may not have been anything but the fact that the trip is already full. If you want to continue to find a mission trip for you look for other options that fit or hold off for another time to go and use your time now to serve your own community.
If you get accepted you get to move onto the next step of the application process. This will include submitting more information and taking your first steps to secure a passport and visa if needed.
You will also get to reserve your plane ticket and figure out more logistics for the trip.
Once you are accepted it is also a good time to start raising support. The sooner you get started on contacting family and friends about your trip and financial needs, the more chance you will give to them to give. They may hear about your trip but only decide to contribute a month later, so give them plenty of time to consider giving.
It is important to remember while on this trip that there are many circumstance that could change as you are planning to go, and while you are on the trip.
It is important to be ready for change and adjust expectations accordingly. Both on your end and on the end of the organization or country things could change that could affect the dynamics of the trip or even post-pone trip.
As you plan and prepare for the trip do so knowing God is in control.
As you plan to apply for a mission trip be ready to see where God leads you. When you fill out your application be ready with all pertinent information needed, be ready to answer questions about yourself, and give contact information to them.
Even before you apply make sure the trip is right for you and that you meet any requirements they have including if you have a passport or a certain age. After applying if you get accepted you can start getting ready for your trip both spiritually and by raising support.