So, this past month, I was out of the country on a missions trip in Belize.  We had an amazing time taking part in the ministry of missionary Dan Weaver and building an addition to the MANNA Feeding Center that our church supports there in the Valley of Peace.

While I was away, I learned four key factors that contribute to the experience of a successful trip.  While there are certainly other factors beyond the four that are mentioned here, these four are vital and are the responsibility of each individual team member.  Other factors involving the missionary to be visited and the resources that must be secured are important, but they go beyond the responsibility of the individual team members.  These four keys must be embodied by each team member in order to have the most successful trip possible.

Key #1: Prepare Spiritually
This shouldn’t surprise anyone. But, it deserves first priority here.  We should not expect God to bless when He has been excluded from the preparation for an event.  We must depart on missions having a proper relationship with God.  So, do the tough work

Key #2: Know Your Role
Every team member has an important role to fulfill.  Not everyone has the same role, but everyone has an important role.  You must find yours and embrace it.  Depending on the trip, the roles will vary, but in general you will need a team leader, a driver, a carpenter, a heavy lifter, a techie, a mom, an evangelist (not in the televangelist sense), a problem solver, an encourager, a server, and the list goes on.  God assembles teams with the needs of the team in mind.  Find your role and love it!

Key #3: Watch Your Attitude
Crazy things happen when you leave the country.  Things don’t happen overseas the way that they happen here.  And since you can’t always expect the unexpected, it is incredibly important that the team members watch their attitudes carefully.  Don’t be the person that loses it!  Be part of the solution. Encourage one another.  Have fun. Don’t let bad attitudes ruin the trip.  That’s exactly what the enemy wants. Don’t help the enemy…they’re doing just fine on their own.

Key #4: Remember That It’s About God…Not You!
The purpose of a missions trip is not to advance your agenda or your name and fame.  It’s not a vacation.  It’s not an opportunity for you to add to your “I’ve been there before” list.  It’s about God and advancing His kingdom.  It’s about spreading His name and fame.  That is your task.  Let nothing distract you!

2010 Missions Trip to Belize from Palmetto Avenue Baptist Church on Vimeo.