This Sunday, myself and a team of high school students and leaders will be heading to Copperhill, TN for a week-long mission trip. As I have prepared for trips like this, I have found it to so important to over-communicate details with the parents and students and make sure that everyone understands deadlines, details, and the decisions we are making.
However, one aspect that can get overlooked, is the importance of communication during the week of the trip. This includes daily updates, blogs, photos etc. Good communication from the trip helps in so many ways:
- Families can pray specifically
- It calms the nerves of worried parents
- It promotes God’s work
- It creates “bridges” of communication between parents and students once the trip has ended
- It can involves students (as they blog and post photos)
- It keeps fundraising families in the loop as they hear the progress of students which they supported
Here’s just a few ways we are communicating with families while we are away:
1) A Daily Blog: It’s easy to set up a basic blog through WordPress or Blogger. Every day, we plan to have a couple of students blog about the work and experiences they are having. We set a blog up a few months ago to communicate the details of the trip, as well as creating interest for parents and financial supporters. Here is a very basic blog we set up: http:TN2011.com
2) A Facebook Page: This page is best to update with photos and quick updates. Students love tagging themselves in photos, and this will help promote ongoing conversations afterwards. Most of all, it will help parents and supporters to get a sense for the area and the work we will be doing. Here’s our Facebook page we just created last weekend: http://facebook.com/TN2011cbc
3) Text Message Service: We use Simply Youth Ministry Text service and will be using this for quick prayer requests and updates for parents during the day. This is a great way to get people praying throughout the day.
4) Prayer Schedule: Every parent of a teen who is attending this trip has received a prayer schedule. It’s basically a schedule of the week with specifics for what we are doing each day. We encourage parents to be praying on a daily basis.
What do you do to communicate while you are on a mission trip?