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Five Tips For Recruiting A Committed Mission Team

Five Tips For Recruiting A Committed Mission Team

Are you feeling overwhelmed or discouraged because you can’t get solid commitments from team members for your mission trip? Are people dropping out of the trip left and right? Are you worried the trip won’t come together?

Bethany Richardson | Feb 13, 2020

Are you feeling overwhelmed or discouraged because you can’t get solid commitments from team members for your mission trip? Are people dropping out of the trip left and right? Are you worried the trip won’t come together? If you answered yes to the questions above, know this: you are not alone! Praying Pelican Missions has over 700 teams serve with us each year, and almost all of them face similar challenges. We want to help you identify the five main challenges with recruiting for your mission trip and how you can help avoid those issues. 1. Casting Vision One of the first things you, as the Group Leader, need to prepare for is how to communicate the purpose behind your trip. This is called casting vision. Why are you doing this trip? Why is it important that people join the team? How is it a part of God’s calling on us as Christians? If potential team members can’t grasp or buy into the reason they should come on the trip, you’re going to continue having trouble getting a group together. Example: The Lord has commanded us to go into the world with the Gospel message. It is His heartbeat to love on others and help meet their needs. This year, we have the chance to help a local pastor in Belize (insert your country or city) meet the physical and spiritual needs of his community. We need people who have a heart to help others to come alongside us and make this trip happen. This trip will meet the immediate needs of our local host pastor and help him with his initiatives, an impact that will last long after we leave. Do you want to be a part of world change? Then come on, let’s go! 2. Clearly Defined Costs The number one reason many people never commit to a mission trip is due to unclear financials given to the team. It's very important that you outline and address every cost for the trip at the interest meeting so people are aware of how much money they will need to raise. It may seem easier to only put forth the core numbers like trip fee and airfare when telling your team the amount they need to raise but, in the end, if you add fees along the way, they will feel misled by hidden costs and overwhelmed by the continued increase in price. Instead, create a “potential cost” sheet to hand out at your meeting. Include an overall price range for your team members to have in their mind. Include items such as getting a passport, travel insurance, ministry money, specific items needed for the trip (mosquito nets if needed, tents for hiking trips, etc.) as well as a line for extra spending money. If you need help figuring these potential costs and you are a group leader for a PPM trip, your Pelican Account has a useful set of budgeting tools to help you work out what those costs will be per person. If you're not a PPM group leader, you can still get access to these tools (and more) by creating an account at pelicantravel.org. Add to the sheet these four things:
  • What fundraisers are planned to help the cost?
  • Will the team be sending out support letters?
  • What happens if a team member doesn’t raise all the funds?
  • What happens if a team member raises some funds, but isn’t able to attend the trip?
If your team can see an action plan for how to help pay for the trip, they will feel more at ease making a commitment. 3. Organized and Informational Interest Meeting If you’ve never hosted an interest meeting before, never fear, we’ve got some resources for you! Oftentimes, leaders may see the interest meeting as a simple way to gauge interest and will forego any planning and prep, thinking that a quick meeting will be enough information for people to make a decision off of. But that's not entirely true. When potential participants show up to your meeting and are handed an organized informational packet and you as the leader are prepared with an overall idea of what the trip is going to look like, they will feel confident making a decision whether or not to join the trip. You don’t need specifics or a lot of details, just enough to enable potential team members to envision themselves on the trip. The goal of an interest meeting isn’t to talk people into going, it’s to help people make an informed decision. At the end of the meeting, your future team members should feel like they have a clear grasp on the big picture of the trip and know what their next steps should be. 4. Committing So Far in Advance It’s true that in this day and age, people are not used to making plans more than a few weeks out at a time. Some don’t even plan vacations more than a month or two out, and we’re asking people to place something on their calendar 6-12 months in advance! That’s a huge culture shock. Be sure to emphasize that this time frame is normal and needed for planning. That, in the world of mission trips, this is how it needs to happen. Usually, just addressing this obstacle can make people feel more at ease. 5. Have a Backup Plan for Leadership We work in missions, so we are the experts at “rolling with the punches” so to speak. Schedules change, life events happen, ministry callings shift, and more… that’s why it’s important for you, as the leader, to have a “second in command” who is with you every step of the way and can step up in the event that something happens and you can’t be there. We have seen time and time again that when the primary leader of a trip has something keeping them from the trip, the trip folds. Remember, we have a whole resource library available for you to use! Just go to ppm.org/resources for more information!

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