In a perfect world, we'd be able to spread the word of Christ across the globe without any limitations. But seeing as how the world isn't quite perfect, there are some obstacles Christians must overcome to make this goal a reality. Mission trips provide excellent opportunities to administer selfless service to our brothers and sisters around the world, who often live without the luxuries we take for granted on a daily basis. Through our service to these people, we can not only restore their environments, but also restore hope to those who face tremendous hardship on a daily basis.
One of the main obstacles you'll come across when planning a mission trip is acquiring the funds necessary to get you there. For effective fundraising practices and general mission trip planning tips, consider the following.
How Much Money Will My Group Need?
Answering this question will require a bit of research and will vary depending on factors like your destination and the length of your stay. Determine airline ticket prices and research the costs of essential provisions in the area where you'll be staying to narrow down an accurate estimate of expenses. Although it may add a bit to your budget, purchasing mission trip insurance is crucial to ensuring everyone will be properly cared for on the trip--not to mention that insurance helps eliminate the risk of coming home to huge medical bills.
According to Charles Harrison of the Center for Youth Ministry Excellence, trip organizers should charge youth missionaries at least $50 to attend the trip and up to $200 for more expensive excursions. Requiring payment will not only help ease the costs of a mission trip, but will also prevent last-minute backing out. No willing missionary should be left out because of lack of funding, so be sure to offer scholarship opportunities for youth who may not have the means for this fee.
How Can We Fundraise for a Mission Trip?
Once you determine a ballpark figure of how much you'll need for your trip, you'll have to actually earn this money to make it all possible. One effective way to get the youth involved is by encouraging them to conduct odd jobs for church members, friends, and family. This can include things like yard work, house cleaning, babysitting and other tasks of this nature. When they know it's for a good cause, many of the people you work for will often throw in a little extra to help the group reach its goal.
David Peach of the blog "What Christians Want to Know" offered a fun suggestion of planning a special meal event to raise money for a mission trip. Participants could sell tickets to the event and encourage donations to add to their funds for the trip. This event can be a fun way to bring members and supporters together for a relaxing night out dining with friends while contributing to a great cause.
Acquiring funding for mission trips in a tumultuous economy can be tough, but working together can make this task a lot easier. By getting creative and truly giving it your all, you can achieve your dream of serving and teaching others around the world. When your work seems overwhelming or the goal seems out of reach, just remember that all things are possible with Christ.