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Considering a Ministry Trip?

A Biblical Framework

In Acts 15, the leaders of the church in Jerusalem decided it would be beneficial to send Judas and Silas to the fellow believers in Antioch. Several characteristics of this short-term trip serve as benchmarks for Bethlehem teams—in order that our teams might be the most effective, most encouraging, and most God-glorifying that they can be.

  • The trip was done in partnership and submission to the long-term missionaries, Paul and Barnabas (Acts 15:22).
  • The trip was commissioned to encourage and edify the receiving church (Acts 15:31).
  • The short-term missionaries served according to their gifts and in coordination with the felt needs of the receiving church (Acts 15:32).

Those sent out are generally going to serve in a cross-cultural setting, and they consider the trip a vital step in preparing for a missionary career abroad or for life at home as a World Christian. Most often, goals for short-term trips include serving God in ministry to the lost and needy, learning firsthand what missions is all about, and/or determining if God is calling them into full-time Christian service.

Practical Considerations

The Basics

  • Why do you want to go?
  • What are your goals for this trip?
  • Is there a particular people, language, or part of the world that you feel God may be calling you to?

Abilities & Gifts

Consider these categories:

  • Administrative
  • Business
  • Camping/Wilderness 
  • Children’s Ministry
  • Computers
  • Construction
  • Cooking (for large groups)'
  • Crafts
  • Ministry to the Disabled
  • Disaster Relief
  • Dramatics
  • English as a Second Language
  • Evangelism/Discipleship
  • Foreign Language(s)
  • Hospitality
  • Medical
  • Music
  • Ministry to Orphans
  • Sports
  • Teaching
  • Training in Theology
  • Youth Ministry

Potential Team Members & Partners

  • Go with an existing Bethlehem team?
  • Go as a small group?
  • Go with your family?
  • Go with friends?
  • Go with a mission agency?
  • Bless a specific global partner?

Time Frame & Time of Year

  • Weekend
  • Ten Days 
  • Two–Three Weeks
  • One Month
  • One– Two Months
  • Two–Three Months
  • Four–Five Months
  • Summer
  • Christmas
  • Spring break
  • Other


  • Local (Minnesota)
  • Domestic (within the US)
  • International (consider a specific country or people group)
  • Do you have a desire from God to minister to a specific need?
  • Are there countries/continents where you would rather not go?
  • Do you have the physical stamina to travel and to serve in this location?