Section 6: Devotional guide

Introduction to on-site devotional guide

This leader’s guide is designed to help you lead team devotional sessions on-site and in debriefing sessions. The purpose is for your team to get the most out of their short-term mission experience as they continue to study the Word and reflect together on what God is teaching them during this time. Outlined on the following pages are ten devotional sessions. Three debrief/reflection sessions can be found here. (We recommend that the first debrief session be done at the end of your time on-field.)

The central theme of the on-site sessions is to “Watch for God at work.” Help your team keep focused on the fact that this is God’s mission. Your task is to find out what God is doing in your host country, through your brothers and sisters in Christ, and to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as you become part of the community.

We suggest that your team meet once each day for approximately 30 minutes. Ten days’ worth of devotionals, reflection, and journaling are included.

If your trip is shorter than 10 days, and you will not have time to do each of the devotional sessions, you’ll need to adapt to meet the needs of your group. (We strongly recommend that every team cover sessions 2, 4, 9, 10, and the first debrief session while on outreach.)

Tips/suggestions for leading team sessions:
  • Involve your team members in preparing and leading the worship time.
  • Start and end the day with prayer.
  • Gather the team for devotional and reflection time when they are rested and fresh. Many   teams meet in the morning just after breakfast and before the work or excursion begins.   Meeting in the evening is great for reflecting on the day’s events but keep in mind that       crankiness increases and patience decreases when folks are exhausted at the end of a long day.
  • It is helpful for your host and for your team if you can involve people from your host church in some of your devotional times.
  • Consider setting aside different kinds of reflection times: individual times alone with God, small group or large group worship and reflection times, and silent reflection.

Team session schedule