Involving the congregation

Your congregation is a built-in support group for your team. The more you keep the congregation informed and involved along the way, the more you will feel their support behind you when you are serving.

We offer the following suggestions to keep this vital connection strong:
  • From the initial planning stages, keep the congregation informed of the vision for the trip and trip details through your bulletin, church newsletter, or announcement time.
  • Every few weeks place a tidbit about your trip in your church’s newsletter or bulletin. Suggest ways to pray for the people you will be serving and/or ways to pray for you as a team as you prepare.
  • Ask people to serve as prayer partners for your team members.
  • Ask your congregation’s leadership to have a time of prayer and commissioning for the team on a Sunday before you leave. Invite a team member to share hopes and fears about the trip.
  • Ask the prayer supporters to gather with your team just before departure and spend a few minutes praying together.
  • Plan a time for your team to share their experiences with the congregation after the trip.

Prayer support
We believe strongly in the importance of prayer support. Everyone participating in a short-term mission assignment should have a group of people committed to praying for them as they prepare to go and as they serve on outreach.

We strongly encourage you to ask each of your team members to find at least three people who will commit to praying for them, for your team, and for the people you will serve on your trip. Ask each team member to give you the names and email addresses of their committed prayer supporters.

From this list of committed prayer supporters, designate one person to serve as the prayer coordinator. Also designate one of your team members to be the prayer/praise reporter. It will be this team member’s responsibility to pass on prayer requests and praises to the prayer coordinator on a regular basis. On outreach, this should occur every three days. Email should be accessible in most locations at internet cafés, libraries, etc. The prayer coordinator is responsible to receive the updates and forward the information to the rest of the prayer supporters.

Some additional ideas
  • Plan times for your team to meet before your trip to pray together. You might want to invite your prayer supporters to join your prayer time(s). As a team, research the location you are going to and the needs of the people you will be serving. Ask the Lord to show you how to pray.
  • Consider pairing up team members to be prayer partners for each other before, during, and after the trip. It is best for these partners to be of the same gender.