Committing to be part of a missions team is a faith stretcher on many fronts. Leaving family and a job for an unknown place with risks you aren’t accustomed to taking can be challenging. Add to that the often steep financial costs that come with missions trips, and it’s no wonder people question the commitment to go.
The good news is that God is faithful. It’s not difficult for Him to provide for all of your needs, including the finances for a trip He has called you to. So instead of fretting over where the money is going to come from, why not look at mission trip fundraising as the opportunity to watch God in action? After all, God’s faithfulness should enable you to be faith full, right? Follow these tips and watch expectantly for what God will do.
1. Pray – The Bible clearly tells us that we have not because we ask not. (James 4:2) So start your fundraising by praying. Ask God to provide not only the finances for your portion of the trip but for your teammates and any special projects your team might work on during the trip as well. In addition, call upon a group of family and friends to pray for you as you raise support and go.
2. Total Up the Costs – The trip facilitators should be able to give you an outline of the costs you can expect to incur very early in the planning stages. Look over the breakdown and make sure that in addition to food, lodging, and the plane flight expenses, you also include costs like immunizations, packing supplies, souvenirs, a visa, and travel insurance. You can limit financial stress by avoiding unexpected costs along the way.
3. Decide on Your Commitment – Donors like to see that you have some skin in the game. If you can let them know that you’re willing to sacrifice financially, just as you’re asking them to do, they’re more likely to be eager to join you. This doesn’t mean you need to bear the brunt of the financial commitment. While some team members may be able to pay for all of their trip costs, others may only be able to pay a small fraction on their own.
4. Reach out to Friends and Family – The people closest to you are going to be interested in hearing about your trip plans. Though you may feel awkward in asking them to be part of the team who helps to send you, most of them will feel honored to be asked. After all, their money is really God’s money that He’s provided. Why wouldn’t they want to be a good steward by supporting things that are close to God’s heart? If you know of specific friends and family who don’t have this same view of money, then you may want to mention that you are raising funds to go but avoid asking them directly if they want to be part of your team.
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Raising funds to go on a mission trip is a big deal, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. When you follow these tips and see it as part of the adventure God has called you to, you’re likely to look back on the experience and realize how faith full it helped you to become!