The purpose of a short-term mission trip is to contribute to the expansion of God’s kingdom in another place. Regardless of the project, every volunteer should prepare before going by refining some basic ministry skills before the trip begins.
1. Every volunteer should be ready at any moment to share the testimony of how he or she came to faith. You should prepare a one minute version of your story for use when you only have a short time with someone, and a five to seven minute version for use when you can sit down and have a longer conversation. Before departing for the field, each volunteer team member should prepare and practice both versions. Your story should include; describing your life before Christ, how God got your attention, your understanding and response to the life and death of Jesus, and how Jesus has changed your life. A good way to practice is to have several team members take turns giving the short and longer version of their testimonies with the listening team giving feedback. Make sure you are not using uniquely religious words like saved, received Jesus, born again, sin, gospel; and specialized English words and phrases that don’t translate well such as, “Before I met Jesus I was just cruising through life, but then I realized that I was such an airhead, so I got off the bench and got with it” or “At first I wasn’t buying the story of Jesus, but I realized that without Him my life would be a drag; so even though I knew a gig with Him would be dicey, He finally blew me away.”
2. Besides your own story, you should practice telling stories from the Bible. I’d recommend learning the Prodigal Son from Luke 15. It communicates the message of God’s love and forgiveness, both to the son who was blatantly breaking the rules of the culture, and to the son who was pridefully, but blindly trying to keep rules. An excellent resource for preparing to communicate the truth of the Gospel through telling stories is Bible Storying Handbook for short-term teams J. O. Terry.
3. Finally, you should be ready for the top three objections against Christianity that are typically used by the people in the culture that you will be in. A helpful resource is Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry and Always Be Ready
Have you used other helpful resources?
Other posts in this series: