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Faith Formation: Mission Trips

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Rethinking Mission Trips

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PictureProviding youth the opportunity to accompany and serve their neighbor while deepening an understanding of God’s presence in their lives.​ In 2023 and beyond, the ministry of Serve Boldlycontinues under the leadership of Green Lake Lutheran Ministries.

   “The Way of Wonder”: A Mission Trip and Pilgrimage Curriculum

By Shawn Small / building faith; 07.25.23

The Way of Wonder” is available for digital download at no cost - because we all have the same core desire: connecting people with wonder.

Access a sample lesson from “The Way of Wonder” here

To find out more about the curriculum or Wonder Voyage, visit their website here.

Walk, Love, Serve: A Service Learning Trip for Youth

Another option to consider is a service learning trip. This article describes how one church organized a youth trip focused on racial justice that included learning at museums and historic sites as well as connecting with local organizations to serve members of their wider community.


Planning a Youth Creation Care Pilgrimage

This article shares the story of how one Episcopal diocese facilitated a youth pilgrimage in their state that focused on creation care. It includes planning tips and resource samples that communities and dioceses can draw upon for a pilgrimage in their own locations.

How to Design a Mission Trip Project

This article offers guidance for discerning a mission trip project that contributes to "mutual relationship" and "empowerment." It may be particularly useful for youth leaders considering planning a mission trip for 2024 and beyond.

Mission Trip vs. Pilgrimage: What's the Difference and Why It Matters

This article highlights both distinctive and common features of mission trips and pilgrimages. It can be helpful for discerning what kind of youth trip your community may be called to take.

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Mission, The Mother of Theology

by Dr. Andrew Zirschky

In this article Dr. Zirschky examines the the theological concept “Mission is the mother of theology,” written by German theologian Martin Kähler in 1908. That phrase has been repeated in countless published works and sermons, because Kähler captured an essential truth: That historically, theology only develops and matures when it is grounded in practical mission work. 

CLICK HERE to Read the Article

2-1Moving from Feel Good To Formative Missions

by Rev. Steve Cheyney

In this article, campus pastor Rev. Steve Cheyney, challenges some common assertions about how to do mission while giving practical guardrails to help create stronger and more theologically informed mission trips.

1-1Tourists or Missionaries?

by Dr. Andrew Root

In this article Dr. Andrew Root asks the difficult questions of the short term mission trip culture in American Christianity. Through theological introspection he challenges youth workers to think more theologically and less programmatically about the impact of these Summer activities. 


Are We Doing Vacations Wrong?

by Bani Amor

Swap "mission trips" for "vacations" and this article is well worth the read.

civil-rights.jpgCivil Rights Tours Draw in New Generations

The current political landscape is inspiring more people from the U.S. and abroad to visit the sites where the civil rights movement made history.

See The Ministry Lab's Virtual Co-Mission Trips Great Idea for intentions, reasons to interrupt the traditional mission trip narrative, and links to articles that might support a conversation for planners or potential mission trip participants.

Virtual Mission Trips

St Paul Area Synod highlighted King of Kings Lutheran's (Woodbury) Virtual Mission Trip.

Judicatory Resources

Creating a Mission Trip

Walk, Love, Serve: A Service Learning Trip for Youth

Victoria Hoppes of Building Faith outlines a traveling-and-returning mission trip for youth.

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Just Traveling: God, Leaving Home, and a Spirituality for the Road     Ukraine Diary

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