Mission Trips: More Than "Just Do It" Situations

Participating in a mission trip is a great way to make a positive difference in today’s chaotic world. Before your ministry leaves on its next missions adventure, make sure you are organized and equipped for a safe trip.

Here are six ideas to consider before embarking on your next mission trip:

1. Recognize the risks. When embarking on a mission trip, your team is likely to be exposed to unfamiliar risks. Some may involve vehicle accidents, particularly if you’re in a foreign country. Many others are associated with your mission activities—sermons, handing out tracts, biblical dramas, worship or healing services, and other religious communications that can result in allegations of emotional injury.

2. Get Organized. Appoint a team leader who will attend to the details of your trip and take the initiative to associate your team with a legitimate relief organization.

3. Stop before you go. If you are driving, be sure to have your church vehicles inspected before you leave. Repairs can be costly and tough to come by in other countries.

4. Keep the doctor away. Make sure everyone going on the trip is in good health. Require an up-to-date shot record and a signed medical release form from every team member. Prepare your team for potential injuries and be sure to identify a hospital or emergency room nearest your mission site in case someone on your team is hurt in the field.

5. Protect your valuables. Leave duplicate copies of important documentation at home in case you lose yours while traveling or need a back-up copy for some unexpected reason. Also, notify credit card companies that you are leaving the country so they don’t get suspicious of unusual activity on your card. Suggest that other team members do the same.

6. Consider coverage. Consider Brotherhood Mutual’s Faith Ventures foreign travel insurance for the trip. Make sure all team members have health insurance and additional accident and sickness coverage. Also, check to make sure that all church employees participating in the trip are covered by the church’s workers’ compensation insurance.