How to Work Together Most Effectively for Mission Trips

How to Work Together Most Effectively for Mission Trips

Working effectively as a team to accomplish the work Christ began starts with knowing we are one Body. We each bring different gifts, perspectives, and stories to every group setting. If you want your team to work together, you need to grow together. Here are some teambuilding tips for fostering a community of vulnerability, honesty, and support. By working together, your missions team can work most effectively at spreading the love of Christ and accomplishing their work on the mission field.

1. Pray together

Make time to pray together regularly. Share your prayer requests. Create prayer partners and rotate every week or so. This way, your team can receive support, encourage one another, and get to know each other on a more personal level.

2. Share your testimonies

It takes incredible vulnerability to share your story, and it’s one of the quickest ways to break barriers and build bonds with those on your missions team. Learning each other’s struggles and understanding how God has worked in your past will allow people to relate without presumptions.

3. Fundraise together

Before leaving on the actual mission trip, make time for your team to work together. One of the best ways this can happen is by coordinating group fundraisers. By fundraising together, everyone can practice working together and get a feel for how things will operate once you’re together on the mission field.

Pro tip: Implement these practical tips for successful fundraising.

4. Discover each other’s strengths

People are born with natural gifts and abilities. A fun part about working together as a team is discovering one another’s gifts, seeing how each person compliments each other in the Body of Christ. Leaders can recognize these strengths and place people in areas they will perform most efficiently. Group leaders can identify blind spots and diligently work to compensate where a team may need extra support.

Pro tip: Have everyone on your team take Cliffonstrengths, formerly called StrengthsFinder. It’s an excellent tool that reveals your top five strengths.

5. Share pet peeves

Sharing pet peeves might sound silly, but talking about those little irritations with your missions team can prevent misunderstandings and unnecessary annoyances. Don’t beat around the bush; ask your group about things that bother them. Maybe someone can’t stand obnoxious bubble-gum chewing on car rides, or another prefers the aisle seat on airplanes. By working together and recognizing these kinks before they happen, your mission team can take proactive steps to operate smoothly.

6. Understand how others act under stress

Knowing how others work under stress is a big one, and it takes some self-awareness to share with a group. Ask everyone in the group how they behave under extreme pressure. What’s their auto-pilot mode? Sharing these warning signs can help the rest of the team know what to watch for in a high-stress situation. By learning when to spot someone under stress, the rest of the team can work together to share the burden and give the teammate what he or she needs to re-center.

7. Learn how everyone recharges

It’s good to know how your teammates recharge their energy. Some people are people-people. (Read that five times fast.) They fuel their tank by spending time in groups. Other people require times of quiet and solitude to recharge. The difference in these individuals is what’s commonly called extroversion and introversion, respectfully. Identify the extroverts and introverts in your team. Learn how to capitalize their strengths, respect their boundaries, and provide the resources they need to recharge. A healthy, energized missions team can best fulfill their mission on the field.

Pro tip: Go beyond the introvert/extrovert question by having your team take a free Myers Briggs (MBTI) assessment.

8. Discover how everyone feels appreciated

How does everyone on your missions team give and receive gratitude? If you want to encourage each other in the field, ask each other how you feel most supported and encouraged. Some people enjoy public praise, whereas others feel encouraged by a thank you note. The secret is, if you feel appreciated by your teammates, you’ll do your best to support them, too.

Pro tip: Check out the 5 Love Languages free online quiz to learn how you can best appreciate everyone on your missions team.

➡ Make sure you buy travel insurance for your mission trip team. Faith Ventures lets you insure your group in less than 8 minutes.

Skylar loves to write. She's cruised the Caribbean, sailed the Mediterranean, and toured the United States. Disney inspires her, and she dreams of living in the mountains.

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