Guidelines For A Mission Team No One Will Ever Forget…Ever!
With summer behind us churches will no doubt begin the process for choosing mission trips for next year. Before making your choices here is a true story of one team who came to our church to minister…
Their Guidelines…”First of all choose a location that you really just want to vacation not because you want to minister. Plan your own agenda before you arrive so that you can tell the pastor that you have your own plans while you are there. Don’t raise any funds to cover the cost of your trip. Assume the local missionaries are over funded with a surplus and don’t know what else to do with their resources other than spend on you. Besides, it is more blessed to give to you than they receive.
Choose what to preach at the Sunday outreach event without asking the pastor what he would like. Tell him you have a message that every church in America needs to hear and you prefer to share that vs doing a topic he believes would be good for an outreach event.
At the first meal with your host family (the Lead Pastor) be sure to tell them that you don’t like the menu and after saying the blessing ask the hostess to cook something else. Do this throughout the entire trip and complain and criticize the food as much as possible. After meals and snacks never lift a hand to help with clean up. Let the lead pastor and his wife clean up after you because you are at their hotel. Leave dirty napkins and kleenex all over the floor along with your candy wrapper and empty water and soda bottles. They enjoy cleaning up after the 8 people staying in their home while you are playing their kids video games and enjoying your vacation. It’s also good exercise for the pastor to clean up after your team of 8. They probably need the exercise because they are only working 70-80 hour weeks. You are giving the lead pastor and his wife a great opportunity to minister to you and they should be grateful you are there.
Because you have come with your own agenda you can totally blow off what the pastor would like for your team to do. After all, how are they supposed to know you really just wanted to come to NYC to see the sites. They will never know that you picked their church to visit this week because you just wanted to visit NYC. Assume the person who put you in contact with them will not communicate this to them later.
During your time in the home of the pastor, assume that having a large group stay in their home is never a burden on the family. After all, they are so blessed to have you and your team in their home. Leave trash everywhere because you are used to living like pigs and your host family needs to accept you as you are.
Don’t say thank you to the pastor and his family for anything. Don’t say please or excuse me. Do everything you can to make more work for them. Don’t offer to help with anything.Be rude, loud, arrogant and obnoxious After all you are their guests and on vacation.
Wear a hat to every meal even when you hear the pastor’s wife tell her son that he cannot wear a hat at the dinner table.
Make as much noise as you can after the children and the family go to be at 10 PM. It does not matter that they have school and have to get up early. Even when you are asked at 1 AM to keep it quiet continue to be so loud that the family cannot sleep. They probably don’t know you are sleeping in until 11. When one of the children go to bed at 10 PM with a stomach bug continue to be loud as possible. When the wife is in bed with a migraine ask the pastor to cook another meal for you at midnight. Don’t offer to clean up after this because you and your team are tired. Let the pastor and his wife clean up after you.
At meal time when the pastor’s wife cancels dr. appointments so that she can cook lunch for your team, decide at the last moment that you are going to Applebees instead. Don’t call and inform her of this so that she is kept waiting keeping the food warm for your team. And never apologize for this or anything else. After all asking forgiveness is too much practical application of scripture.
Instead of going and meeting kids at a local night hangout to invite to a youth evangelistic outreach, kick back and watch TV and play games and chill. When the pastor’s wife goes out to do this (with the husbands blessing) accuse her of being disrespectful of your team. She should not be doing something the pastor asked your team to do that you declined doing. Furthermore she should be home serving you. You are an authority of what a wife should do and not do, not her husband.
During your visit criticize everything and everyone you can think of. Judge the pastor’s in your district, the DS and others in your denomination because you are new in the denomination but know more than men who have been serving in full time ministry longer than anyone on your team has been alive. Tell the pastor to forget everything he thinks he knows about “doing church” because you and your team are anointed and have all the answers. Advise them that your church should be the model for every church.
Tell the pastor that you and your team go to bars and “R” rated movies because you love people enough to connect with them and the culture. Say this in front of their children because you are also an expert on child raising and how their family should live and minister.
When the pastor confronts you on all of these things be defensive, unteachable and never apologize for anything. Therefore you can continue your behavior without making any character changes.
On the last night of your trip blow off the pastor ask that everyone spend some time praying and sharing in the Word together before the ministry event the next day.him He should realize you and your team desire to go into the city again. After all it’s not everyday that a team of 8 get a free place to stay while they are in NYC.
When the pastor and his wife choose to take the high road and take up a special offering for you on Sunday morning tell them that you prefer not to accept checks. Ask that they find an ATM in the snow because you want cash.
If you do these things you will make a lasting impression on the church you are visiting. When you get up and speak about Jesus your character will speak so loud and clear that the folks will hear what you say by your life. Show them your example of a transformed life. “
Unfortunately this IS a true story. Here are some guidelines we implemented after their time with us…
MISSION TEAM GUIDELINES
- Require Applications With Reference Letters
Even if they are a pastor we do this. There are young people in ministry today that lack the spiritual maturity and character to lead a mission team for us.
- Share Expectations and Schedule In Writing
We recommend doing this before they arrive and also ask that the team leader to sign in agreement.
- Require the Team to Raise Funds to Cover Costs
This been a basic requirement forever but now we insure that each person raises the funding before accepting them on the team.
- Hold Orientation Immediately After Arrival
The orientation is priority as soon as they arrive.
- Make Prayer Time Mandatory
Make prayer time and sharing devotions together daily mandatory.
What would you add?