5 Things I am Doing After A Missions Trip

At the weekend I returned from a week-long mission trip to Eastern Tennessee with an incredible team of students and leaders. It was a fantastic trip and our debrief on Friday saw students and leaders share some powerful God moments! Now that I am home, here are 5 things I am doing:

1) Spending Quality Time With My Family: I am off for two days,  which also means my phone is off, my Facebook is closed, and my email has not been touched. I was away from my family for a week and I was busy prior to the trip. Therefore it’s imperative they get the best of me now that I am home. (As I write this, my kids are in bed, and my wife is working, which means no time away from them, just in case you wondered :-). Giving my family my best and complete attention is imperative. While I was away doing exciting things in Tennessee, they were back home missing me. Therefore, they should not have to “miss” me now that I am home…

2) Rest: Working everyday for 16 hours over a week can take its toll… I loved every minute, but I was beat when I returned home. Leading a large team of students and leaders meant being “on call” continuously. My goal this week is to spend time “calling on Him” and rejuvenating.

3) Thank You Notes: So many incredible people gave so much to make this trip happen, especially a dedicated team of volunteers who took time off work and their own families for the week. It’s imperative that I let them know how much I appreciate them! When I get back into the office, this is a priority for me.

4) Making Videos, Sharing Photos, Telling the Stories: After the trip is over, it’s imperative that parents and supporters continue to hear the stories of what was achieved on the trip. Again, once I get back in the office, I will be working on sharing videos, photos and stories. We have a Facebook page and mission trip blog for this type of stuff and we will also have an opportunity to share with the whole church at later date.

5) Reviewing: This week I will be writing notes about the trip and ensuring that key learning’s are noted while they are still fresh for me. So often this is something that is missed in the mission trip process. However, this is a crucial step that can ensure a more effective mission trip for the future.

UPDATED:

Well, there is one very important thing I missed out of this list that my wife has reminded me of… Today, I am finishing up my laundry and getting my bags all unpacked. The last thing my lovely wife needs when I get home is a huge load of stinky, bug infested laundry, (we had a lot of bugs in our cabins… a Daddy Long Legs walked across my face one night… nice)!

What are priorities for you when you return from a mission trip?

Phil <><

4 Responses to 5 Things I am Doing After A Missions Trip

  1. Lori Krieg June 28, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    Phil,
    Welcome back!! I love your priority list for what you are doing now that you are home! I was reading it to glean some wisdom in how to help the 3 oldest of our girls when they get back from Honduras on July 4th. Rest and thank you notes will probably be the top priorities for them! 🙂 You have been blessed by God with wisdom and I appreciate you sharing it. I also like how you said it was imperative that your family get the best of you now that you are home — you consistently exhort others by your example to make your family top priority (after God of course). It is so wonderful to see how you are thriving where God has placed you!
    God Bless,
    Lori K.

  2. davepettengill June 28, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    Thanks Phil this is a great list! I am taking our youth to a mission trip in North Carolina (I live in NorthWest Ohio) coming up in just a few weeks and I feel these things will be very important for me to remember.

  3. youthworktalk June 28, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    Thanks Lori! You are always a great encouragement to me and Lisa! I hope your kids have a great time and come back with some incredible God stories for you to hear!

    Dave, the biggest encouragement I can give you from this list is to protect your family time. It’s hard since many people have been waiting for me to get back from the trip in order to talk to me. However, it’s important to take a couple of down days to catch up with family and digest the previous week.

  4. Chris Wesley July 22, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    Phil,

    I take a day or two off myself, though this is a recent lesson learned. I try to reconnect with some of the students who I didn’t know before the trip to try and plug them into our weekly ministry. But I think you nailed it by talking about how important it is that we spend time with family. Thanks for the reminder.

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