Planning a Mission Experience
To help leaders prepare for mission experiences, we are incorporating a Youth in Mission Planning Timeline into the forthcoming Episcopal Youth in Mission Manual.
Essentially, there are 3 key elements to every transformative mission experience:
If possible, begin planning your trip 9-12 months ahead. Work with an adult leadership team and start making lists of details. Regularly comb through this list to ensure you aren’t forgetting anything. Create a budget and, if necessary, a fundraising plan designed to help you reach your goal before the experience dates.
Use the Youth in Mission Planning Timeline as a checklist, of sorts, to ensure you are on track.
Make sure your youth, adult leaders, and families are prepared and open to this transformative opportunity. Hold regular meetings to talk through the mission experience, expectations, guidelines, and any details you have about where you are going and what you might be doing. This is critical both to setting expectations and building trust among participants and the community.
Research the community you are visiting. Find out what you can about living conditions, food, cultural norms, faith practices, and any other relevant demographics.
Plan Bible studies for the traveling group and sponsor at least one retreat so that you are placing the Gospel at the center of the experience.
Commit to praying for the community you will be visiting. Ask all participants to hold the experience and the community in prayer. Be sure to incorporate prayer into any meetings or youth group activities. Also add the prayers to your faith community’s prayer list.
Before you leave, incorporate a commissioning event into the main service in your faith community, asking members to lift up participants in prayer.
Download the Youth in Mission Planning Timeline now to get your mission experience started off on the right footing. We will be releasing additional excerpts from the upcoming Episcopal Youth in Mission Manual in coming weeks that will add details and meaning to this Timeline.
Finally, I encourage you to contact Bronwyn Clark Skov or Valerie Harris for advice on any mission experience you are planning. Either we can help you or we can connect you with someone who can.