Adequate Training Needed for Mission Trips
One of the missionaries who was recently released from jail in Haiti, facing allegations of child trafficking, defended himself, saying, "It's better to get up off the couch and go help people than just sit on the couch and do nothing." Missionary-sending organization World Gospel Mission agrees with the sentiment but stresses the need for proper training.
"Without proper training, those who are anxious to help may not only get themselves into trouble, but can also end up doing more harm than good," said Todd Eckhardt, director of the Homeland Ministries Department.
World Gospel Mission offers training—a sort of How to Lead a Missions Trip 101—for those who might be interested in leading a trip. Leaders who complete the training are equipped to deal with a wide range of potential issues: airport customs, passport issues, culture shock, logistics, internal team conflicts, and what not to do.
According to Eckhardt: "In addition to complying with international laws, being proactive about training makes for a more productive trip in terms of the good that is done and the fulfillment gained from the experience." Trainees are also briefed on how to lead devotions, what to expect from missionaries with whom they will work, cultural expectations, and World Gospel Mission's recently implemented Child Protection Policy, which deals with defining proper parameters when working with children.
"We want teams to have good, Spirit-filled experiences and to be a blessing to the missionaries and national brothers and sisters," added Eckhardt. "That takes some preparation work, and that's what this training helps with."
World Gospel Mission sends around 90 teams a year, completing construction projects, running medical or sports clinics, praying, holding Vacation Bible Schools, and ministering alongside the local church in communities. World Gospel Mission has been training team leaders for more than 20 years, and approximately 50 to 70 leaders are trained each year.
For more information about team leader training or to join a World Gospel Mission ministry team, visit WGM.org/Go.
World Gospel Mission disciples believers to become missions-active Christians. As an interdenominational missions organization, World Gospel Mission partners with individuals, small groups, college groups, and churches to intentionally address the physical and spiritual needs of individuals and communities.