SHORT-TERM MISSIONS PLANNING GUIDE
for Congregations in the U.S. & Canada
Ready to request volunteers? Click here:
SUGGESTIONS FOR THE CONGREGATION/MINISTRY
Congregation/ministry should provide housing (including utilities and meals): Consider food, environmental, and pet allergies when securing housing. Kingdom. Workers will gather allergy and medical information from volunteers and share as needed.
Congregations should have a general liabilities coverage in place
Provide local transportation (this includes to and from the airport) or cover fuel expense if volunteer uses their personal vehicle while on site
Pre-service contact with volunteers – congregations are encouraged to connect with volunteers either individually or as a team to share information about the outreach project(s), an overview of the community, and other information that helps the volunteers prepare to serve.
Long-term volunteers (5+ weeks) - Congregations can choose to provide a stipend directly to the volunteers if they wish. Please include this information in the initial Volunteer Request.
• Congregations/ministries in the same region could also choose to share a team.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION WHEN PLANNING YOUR REQUEST
An ideal number for a typical team is two to four volunteers, but not exclusively held to that number.
High school-aged volunteers require an adult chaperone. The chaperone is also expected to participate and would qualify as a volunteer.
The congregation should prepare the project schedule in advance.
Volunteers are encouraged to use their gifts to serve at least six hours a day/five days a week. This includes preparation for the outreach project.
We encourage you to join the volunteers in daily Bible studies and reflection while they are on site.
Prepare for pre-trip communication with the team either through email, phone calls, or a team teleconference call.
• Provide any project information/curriculum to the volunteers to help them prepare in advance
Congregations are encouraged to develop print media and promotional material to reach out to the community as part of the mission project.
We encourage scheduling volunteers to arrive on a Saturday and depart on a Monday. This allows them to participate in multiple church services and connect with people they met during the mission project who might be attending church for the first time. (The volunteer schedule and flight availability could be determining factors.)
OVERVIEW OF A TYPICAL SERVICE OUTREACH PROJECT
Member(s)/committee should be assigned to coordinate all the local planning and implementation of the event and follow-up. Arrangements will need to be made well in advance of the team’s arrival. Work needs to be done in all these areas:
- • Transportation - provide transportation for volunteer(s) while in the community
• Lodging - solicit host families
• Meals - provide meals for a volunteer(s)
• Print media - prepare and package brochures, other media
• Promotion - send or call in news releases to local media
• Logistics - secure permits, preview areas, buy supplies
• Follow up – the congregation should prepare a long-term follow-up plan. If canvassing, prospects should be given immediate attention by the pastor and his evangelism committee. They may also consider a telephone follow-up program by members, or a series of follow-up calls made by the current team. If hosting a VBS, decide how you will reach out to the families who sent their children to participate.
The congregation’s members are expected to be involved at every level, including joining the volunteers’ outreach efforts.
At the end of the project, we encourage you to schedule a team reflection before the volunteers leave to talk about their experience. Help them apply what they learned to their service outreach at home.
WE’RE HERE FOR YOU!
Kingdom Workers expects volunteers to receive a recommendation from their pastor. However, we are all imperfect human beings. Should your volunteer exhibit behavior that is not appropriate while serving the congregation or living with their host family, please do not hesitate to contact us. Working with you, we will determine the best and most appropriate course of action to take.
Our volunteers serve as representatives of your congregation and community, their home congregations, and, most important, our Lord. As such, their actions will reflect their love for Christ and the people they serve.