Students process what they’re learning through experience.
That’s why schools take field trips to understand where strawberries come from, how corn is grown, or how the solar system works.
Experience solidifies concepts.
Missions groups have built their platform on helping you to create meaningful opportunities to grow your students.
Family missions trips. High school trips. Junior high trips.
Day trips. Month trips.
International opportunities. State-side opportunities.
But before you send those kids off the conquer the world, begin a fun-raiser, and draft your tee-shirt design, how do you make the right choice?
Here are four criteria that will be helpful in evaluating potential missions opportunities:
1. Is this accessible?
Is this something your ministry can actually do? There’s no need to plan a few-thousand-dollar-a-person missions trip if you can teach children through a more accessible tool.
2. Is this meaningful to them?
You don’t want to waste time or resources. Ask if this opportunity will actually mean something to the children or youth you serve. What do they need? What makes them curious? What have they expressed concern about?
3. Is this appropriate or just cool?
Opportunities for children and youth must be developmentally appropriate for their world. There are plenty of hurting places in the world, but don’t feel like you have to conquer them all. For younger children, engage in opportunities characterized by felt needs (hunger, shelter, etc.). For older students, consider engaging more complex opportunities (human slavery, trafficking, genocide).
4. Is this vision-casting?
Give kids a vision for what they’re capable of when they’re young. It can influence how they view what they’re capable of for the rest of their lives. If you can create “small wins” in their developmental years, the idea God can use them for the rest of their lives is easily within reach.
How about you?
How do you decide on what opportunities to pursue?
What have been your best?