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27 Feb 2023

20 Questions on the Way to Your Mission Trip

By |2023-02-27T20:44:50-08:00February 27th, 2023|Youth Ministry Hacks, youth mission trips|13 Comments


As a youth pastor, I know that the time spent traveling to a mission trip can be long and tedious, especially if you’re stuck in a van with a group of teenagers. But fear not, this time can be used to your advantage! Use this time to help your students begin to think about the mission trip and the impact they can have.

Here are 20 questions to get the conversation started:

  1. What are you most excited about for this mission trip?
  2. What do you hope to gain from this experience?
  3. How do you think this mission trip will challenge you?
  4. What do you think will be the biggest obstacle you’ll face on this trip?
  5. How can we prepare ourselves spiritually for this mission trip?
  6. What do you think our biggest impact will be on the community we’re serving?
  7. What do you think we can learn from the people we’re serving?
  8. How can we build relationships with the people we’re serving?
  9. What do you think our team’s strengths are?
  10. What are some ways we can use our strengths to serve the community?
  11. How can we work together as a team to accomplish our mission?
  12. How do you think this mission trip will change you?
  13. What are some ways we can continue to serve after the mission trip is over?
  14. What are some things you’re nervous about for this trip?
  15. How can we support each other during challenging moments on the trip?
  16. What are some things we can do to be culturally sensitive to the community we’re serving?
  17. What are some things we can do to show God’s love to the people we’re serving?
  18. What are some things we can do to have fun and build relationships with each other on the trip?
  19. How can we stay motivated and focused on our mission throughout the trip?
  20. What are some practical ways we can make a difference in the community we’re serving?

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Twenty questions? That’s a lot of questions to ask teenagers!” But trust me, it’s better than listening to them argue over who gets to play DJ for the hundredth time.

In all seriousness, using this time to have meaningful conversations about the mission trip can help set the tone for the trip and get your students excited about serving. It also gives them a chance to process their thoughts and emotions before arriving at their destination.

So, next time you’re on a mission trip van ride, don’t waste the opportunity! Ask your students some of these questions and get the conversation started. Who knows, it might just make the van ride go by a little faster, and maybe even a little more enjoyable.


Need some help with your nest mission trip? Check out these great resources on DYM!

Are you taking your students on a long van ride or trying to find things to do to keep the kids occupied during hours of driving to the mission trip? Use these printable no-prep travel games to get your teens interacting, having fun together, and building memories! You get 18 games that can be printed and put in each vehicle! Guaranteed fun and laughs!

This includes 3, five-day student devotionals designed for mission trips. The 3 topics include Leading Like Jesus, Loving Like Jesus, and Serving Like Jesus.

Co-written with my wife for our ministry’s week-long mission trips, our students AND leaders LOVED these devotionals! Students raved that it was the perfect start to their day, and leaders even demanded more devotions when they returned home.

17 Jan 2020

YouthWorks + DYM = Awesome Summer Work Camp Experience

By |2020-01-16T16:11:24-08:00January 17th, 2020|Youth Ministry Ideas, Youth Ministry Resources, youth mission trips|1 Comment

Both DYM and YouthWorks share a long history of helping youth workers like you with the time-consuming aspects of ministry, so that you are free to focus on the stuff that really matters in the lives of your teenagers, volunteers, and parents. That’s why this partnership is an incredible opportunity for our DYM Members to add a life-changing mission trip experience to the scope of your ministry this summer.

Use code DYM to save $20 per person: https://youthworks.com/dym/

27 Jul 2017

The 4 Types of Students on Every Mission Trip

By |2017-07-27T09:48:32-07:00July 27th, 2017|Parents, youth mission trips|2 Comments

Trying to teach your students to be missional? Helping them live out their faith both here at home or around the world? Good for you! Well, before your next mission trip – heed this warning – there are only 4 types of teenagers that go on mission trips. See if you can recognize them in their habitat:

NOTE: If you’re bold, you could even print out and frame this article, then attach individual names to where they belong with Post-It notes. You’re welcome in advance for this idea!

I’m Just There for the Instagram
Ah yes, the social media picture hunter. They will endlessly pursue the perfect picture of them laughing playfully, surrounded by kids of a different skin color, allowing the spotlight to literally be on them and not their mission. They potentially will contribute very little to the trip, but will take enough pictures to fill Throwback Thursdays for the next decade. #missiontrip #iwanttogoback

The Souvenir Hunter
This is a mission trip? I’m just here to bargain shop the street vendors. This student becomes an expert and bartering and tries to haggle with the airport barista at Starbucks™ on the way home, too. They have a list of people they need to shop for which absolutely consumes them and in some cases even brought an extra suitcase for their haul. Which is good because now they’ll have a chance to negotiate the extra bag fee at the airport check-in counter.

The “All in” Christian Kid
There’s an overzealous Christian kid on every youth group trip. He or she will bring their Bible in a protective case to everything and make other students feel guilty for not doing the same. They hold up the vans to pray over someone. Actually, now that I describe them, they don’t sound so bad after all. I wish I had a couple of these in my youth group. Why do all my students want to just take pictures and buy stuff?

The Kid Who Will Remember this Trip Forever Because of the Life Change They Experienced
OK, so we’re obviously having a bit of fun here. The prayer for all our students, even if they come just for the pictures or souvenirs or whatever their motivation is – is that they would experience life-change brought about by our Savior Jesus Christ. Mission trips local and global are a powerful tool in our ministry to students.

In fact, just recently my wife and I got to welcome our son home Austin in the airport and it was incredible. 1) He was SO embarrassed by our sign, 2) I’m SO thankful for people who believe in him and helped fund his trip. It WAS life-changing and one he’ll remember forever.

You can’t help but laugh inside just a little bit when you see a student going all in on pictures with their $5,000 DSLR Canon camera. In the slums. With gear that would make an aspiring wedding photographer jealous. Or when you see a student with 15 bags of souvenir shopping swag like this was a trip to the mall with a Back to School clearance sale.

Maybe even nudge them just a little bit if it’s too far over the top. But most of all, sit back and enjoy the fact that for many if not all of them – this is a defining trip for their worldview, their faith, their life. And you got to have a little part in leading them to that deeper place. Well done.

OK, now get those sticky notes and get cracking!


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