Youth Missions can be a source of spiritual, relational and personal growth. Serving the needs of others can impact more than a moment and can redirect a life toward the pursuit of more missionary endeavors. Being a church that supports the participation of youth in missions means that you are a church investing in the future. Young believers are the next generation that will share the good news with the world. Let’s nurture and encourage our youth and provide them with invaluable support in pursuing their service goals.
YOUTH MISSIONS: How You Can Help
Sending support letters is a great way youth can reach out to families, friends and church members for the assistance needed: financial, spiritual and/or physical. These letters must convey the needs of the individual and how a donor can help in alleviating those needs in pursuit of the mission. These letters can sometimes be difficult to draft in a way that people will joyfully respond in giving. As a fellow church member, you could help a student draft, edit and proof a letter, to make sure that efforts are maximized in benefit of the mission trip.
Some tips for great letters:
- Keep It Short: Less Than 1 Page
- Proofread and Edit
- Make It Personal
- Say Thank You
- Make It Look Good
- Use Colorful Envelopes
This is often the most challenging need youth have in preparing for mission trips. With a trip typically costing anywhere from $100 to $2,500, most students and their families may not be able to afford the trip on their own. Financial support can come in many forms, from a mission support fund collected through the worship service offertory to funds donated in honor of a particular student in direct response to a support letter received. (In order to make the donation tax deductible, checks should be made payable to the student’s church.)
When people think of mission trip support, it is normally in the form of financial contributions. There are other ways, however, that people can donate that will result in helping students raise the necessary funds for their trip.
Here are several ideas:
- Have some clothes you’d like to get out of your closet? Give them to a student and then he/she can sell them at a consignment shop.
- Need to go grocery shopping? Employ a student to go buy your groceries! All you need is a list, funds to purchase the groceries and about $20 a trip! Takes something off your list and helps them too!
- If the student is old enough to drive, consider having them help you pick up and deliver your children to/from school or extracurricular activities. Cover the cost of gas and then add $1 a mile.
Students and community members love events, but some students don’t have the connections or experience in making these things happen. This is where you can help! From the organization of an event, the advertisements, delivery, set up, management and networking you can be the role model of what to do for the individual who is participating in the mission trip. Making sure that everything runs smoothly will help in the success of the event and the financial donations that may come from it.
- Help organize or contribute to a Rummage Sale or Pancake Breakfast, with proceeds going to support youth mission trips.
- Help organize or host a Benefit Breakfast before each service. Ask a local restaurant to donate day-old bagels and pastries. Volunteer to collect the donated food items, help promote the event to your church family …
- At all events, have a donation jar easily accessible. Most people will add their change from the price difference.
- Schedule a time of prayer with the individual or group prior to the trip
- Commit to pray regularly during the trip
- Lead or participate in a prayer circle for everyone participating in the mission trip
- Update congregation on prayer needs, requests
- Provide Prayer Cards that can be placed on refrigerators, for example, as a visible reminder to pray often…..
There are countless ways to provide support to youth in their quest to participate in missions, specifically mission trips. Whether the trip is a few hours away or across an ocean, we are only limited by our imaginations. Make a difference for God’s Kingdom by seeking how He would have you be involved.