This is part two of this article. Please click here to read part one.
Step 3: Build the Budget
This is where the rubber meets the road. You must formulate a budget to cover the expenses of your trip while keeping it within the reach of your people. Every budget will vary depending on where you go and what you will be doing, but here are some basic items that you should include:
This is not just about getting to the field, but also getting around while you are on the field. Communicate with the missionaries who will host you during your stay to get accurate costs of ground transportation.
Be sure to ask the missionary about the lodging costs. They may tell you not to worry about it, but it is appropriate to find out so you can cover your own expenses.
Yes… talk to the missionary. A Big Mac in the Philippines will cost less than in the States while a Big Mac in Japan will cost more.
4. A Love Offering for the Missionaries You Visit
The missionaries who host you will be spending time and money to take care of you not only when you are there, but before you even arrive. It will be a blessing to the missionaries if you give them a token of appreciation for hosting you. This should be done at the discretion of the pastor.
5. Spending Money
This is to be used for souvenirs or other incidental purchases during the trip. You can include this in the budget or communicate with your team about bringing extra money in addition to what they pay for the trip. If you include this in the budget it will be a set amount for each person and easier to convert to local currency when you arrive on the field.
6. Ministry Materials
If you plan to bring tracts, Bibles, New Testaments, or any other ministry related materials, this can be included in the budget or handled at the discretion of the pastor. It might be helpful to coordinate with the host missionary in advance for these items since he may have specific preferences regarding language, etc.
7. T-shirt and Video for Team Members
Having a remembrance of your trip is always a fun way to be reminded of God’s blessings and victories. Have a T-shirt made for all of the members of your team and pass it out at either the beginning or end of the trip. Take all of the video footage and create a commemorative video or slideshow. About two weeks after you return, you can have a fellowship for all of the team and show the video as well as give each person a copy. This is sure to bring a lot of laughs and maybe some tears as you recall what God did during the trip!
Step 4: Gather the Group
Once you have put together a good plan and collected all the information you need, it is time to assemble your group. If you are going alone or with just a few other people, the following suggestions may not be for you. If you are leading a larger group of young people or adults, here are some steps to follow as you build your team:
1. Announce and Promote an Informational Meeting
The first step to assembling a missions team is to schedule an informational meeting in which all of the information for the trip is communicated and those interested can sign up to participate. This meeting should be promoted through announcements and the church bulletin. This meeting should be for all adults and young people (along with their parents) interested in the trip. During the meeting, you should seek to achieve the following goals.:
Give the trip details. Outline the what, when, where, and how much of the trip.
Give the requirements. Make sure you have a set of requirements for those who desire to go on the trip. Make sure they know that attendance to all meetings is vital and give them a schedule of your planned meetings (one per month until the last month before the trip). Let people know that this is not a glorified vacation. Make sure that the people who go are faithful and committed to the Lord and church. Also, it would be wise to have a minimum age requirement. For example, you could allow only high school juniors and above to go on the trip.
Have a sign-up sheet. At the conclusion of the meeting, encourage those who are interested to sign their names on a sign-up sheet. Adults and young people should be able to sign up. Very rarely, if at all, will the number of people that sign up be the same as the actual number of those who go on the trip. Don’t panic if you have seventy people sign up because it will most likely go down.
2. Enlist Adult Leaders
After the informational meeting, look at the sign-up sheet and make a list of the adults who are interested. Identify those who could be an adult leader and discuss the names with your pastor. Once you have a list of prospects, call each one individually to explain that you would like them to be an adult leader and confirm their commitment. If no adults sign-up in your meeting, then start by talking with some of the parents of the young people that signed up. If you’re still lacking, you can make more announcements in church and the adult Sunday school, because it is crucial that you have enough adults to accompany your young people. You should try to have one adult for every three to four young people. Additionally, make sure your leaders are in proportion with the gender ratio of your group (e.g. If you have more girls in your group than guys, you should have more lady leaders than men).
3. Assign a Project
In your second meeting ask each person who is interested in going on the trip to write a simple report about the country your group is going to and why they want to go. You can set parameters and give a deadline at your own discretion. I suggest giving one week to complete the assignment. Make sure the project you assign is not so time consuming it feels like a chore. Your goal should be to separate those who really want to go and have character from those who think of the trip as a way to get out of the house. Let your group know that if they do not complete the project they will not be able to go on the trip.