How to Lead a Short Term Mission Team

Evangelism Missions Discipleship

There are plenty of things I love about my church. One of the things I love most is the passion our church has for missions. God has filled our church with a passion for “going,” In large part, that passion has been passed to our people through the leadership of our missions pastor, Chris Harrington. I have watched Chris lead multiple short term mission teams, and lead with excellence. Here are a few things I have learned by watching Chris in action. Missions pastors, short term trip leaders, take notes.

  1. Focus on the Gospel. Never forget the mission. Preach the gospel. Make disciples.
  2. Pray, pray, pray. Short term teams should pray together before the actual trip. The entire church should pray for those going. The team should be sent off with corporate prayer.
  3. Be organized. Money. Paperwork. Plane tickets. Iteneraries. There’s a lot to keep up with. You must be organized.
  4. Prepare your team. Talk about cultural issues and worldview issues. Lay out expectations. Provide resources for the ministry that you want to take place.
  5. Be flexible. For all your planning, organization, and preparation … Know that things will not go according to plan.
  6. Value relationships. To be effective, you must have a genuine relationships with the people on your team, and you must have a genuine relationships with your ministry partners on the field.
  7. Try to improve. Evaluate. Learn. Change. No two trips should be exactly the same. You can always do things better.

Thanks Chris! You lead us with excellence!

Originally published July 1, 2015 on