Mission trips are the best! Unless they end up being the worst. We have made more than our fair share of mistakes over the years. Here’s a little list of fantastic mission trip mistakes you need to avoid…that we didn’t:
• Drinking the water. Never drink the water.
• Getting to the ticket counter about to leave for a trip to Africa and having a student whose passport was about to expire so the ticket lady wouldn’t let him on the plan. He joined us 24 hours later after literally walking his passport renewal through the renewal office.
• My (Josh) wife accidentally knocked a sink off the wall while shaving her leg. Cut herself so deeply she needed stitches.
• Did I (Josh) mention my wife was a nurse and stitched it up herself?
• When the host Pastor says, “You MIGHT preach tomorrow”, actually believing it is only a possibility! “might preach” means “will preach”.
• Leaving a student behind at a truck stop.
• Allowing a student who I (Josh) knew shouldn’t be on the trip on the trip. And had to send them home early. Saw it coming, but didn’t have the guts to disciple/coach him beforehand.
• Offering to split the money with everyone who shows up to the fundraiser. Next time, say, “to everyone who shows up AND WORKS at the fundraiser.”
• The water. Seriously, don’t.
• Wait, we’re out of money already? It is day 2!
• Driving the church bus (Kurt) down a highly crowded one way street in Tijuana, Mexico.
• Getting pulled over by local police for driving the church bus down a highly crowded one way street in Tijuana, Mexico
• Handing out a schedule of activities to the students. This only causes mass confusion when (not if) the schedule changes!
What’s the worst mistake you’ve made on a mission trip?
This post was written by Josh Griffin and Kurt Johnston and originally appeared as part of Simply Youth Ministry Today free newsletter. Subscribe to SYM Today right here.