What is the mission trip experience all about?
A short-term mission trip is an exciting, engaging experience in which faith is put into action by partnering with brothers and sisters from different cultures and life experiences.
Participation in a mission trip offers you and your church group a chance to share your time and talents with mission partners from other countries and other cultures and to learn, worship and serve together.
Equipping for Mission Involvement is the PC(USA) World Mission program that provides resources that will help you and your mission partners to see themselves with new eyes as, together, you cross cultural and spiritual borders. When you return home, we can help you to continue the growth you experienced on your trip in a variety of ways.
Tools for trip leaders
As you prepare and plan for your mission trip experience, find ways to ensure that it is an enriching experience for both you and the community you will be visiting. Use the resources below as you begin your journey in God’s incredible mission.
Planning and leading a mission trip
- Doing Short Term Mission Well: Prepare, learn and share – download here or click here for online access
Presbyterian Outlook article written by Ellen Sherby, coordinator for Equipping for Mission Involvement.
- How do you decide on the destination for a mission trip? – download here
Deciding on your mission trip destination is a discernment process that can engage your congregation’s or presbytery’s mission committee and other groups. The questions in this document will help your group in the discernment process of selecting a destination.
- Best Practices for Mission Trips – download here
Follow these suggestions to ensure your group has a great mission trip experience.
- Sample Mission Trip Schedule – download here
Use this mission trip schedule template to ensure that your trip offers a good balance between activity and relationship-building; action and reflection; giving and receiving.
- Great Mission Trips: Tips for Leaders – download here
Use this guide if you are the mission trip leader to help you plan a meaningful and well-organized mission trip.
- Doing Good…Says Who? goes deep into best practices for mission, featuring five stories that explore key principles centered on mutual respect and trust. The book includes a discussion guide. Learn more
- When God’s People Travel Together – click here
A three-volume set, including a leader’s manual, a resource to help participants reflect on their experiences and Bible studies on partnership
- Faith in Action, by Stephen Knisely and Gabrielle Beasley – click here
A two-volume set for reflection on sustainable mission involvement. Interactive sessions by Gabrielle Beasley offers practical lessons and worksheets for mission education.
Reflection and education about short-term mission
- The Power of Empty Hands – Article written by Hunter Farrell, former director of Presbyterian World Mission, while he was serving in Peru – download here
- What We Bring With Us: A letter from Doug Orbaker, former mission co-worker in Nicaragua – download here
Mission is the life we bring with us when we go to another place to serve, and it is the even richer life that we take back with us when we return.
- When Canned Food Drives Are No Longer Enough – download here
Presbyterians Today article written by Christine Coy Fohr, a former World Mission consultant for mission leaders.
Find mission trip opportunities
For international mission trips, group leaders are encouraged to contact PC(USA) mission co-workers in the region to seek more information and enter a process of discernment. These partnership facilitators walk alongside groups as they plan, lead and reflect on mission experiences. They can be helpful to you before, during and after your mission trip. For a list of these contacts and the regions in which they work, click here.
For information on national mission opportunities, please click here.
Additional mission opportunities
Disaster relief mission trips
Information on how your group can help communities affected by disasters.
Presbyterian Women Mission Trips
Presbyterian Women also organizes regular trips to participate in mission work or learn about the mission needs of a particular region.
Please note that a listing on this Web page does not imply an endorsement of the mission site by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).