How should we follow-up each participant in a mission trip? It can seem overwhelming at times. Let’s look at research. According to Brian Heerwagen’s research, there are three levels of participants after the short-term mission trip.
1. Level One: Not likely to join mission trip again (60%)
2. Level Two: Likely to join in another mission trip (30%)
3. Level Three: Likely to move on to mid-term or long-term service (10%)
These levels tell us that we should not follow-up on the participants equally. Meaning, those are really interested (Level Three – 10%) should have the most thorough follow-up. There is a useful guide to show how we can follow-up for each level, with level three having the most attention:
Level 1, 2 and 3 (all):
- Attend 3 follow-up team meetings
- Participate in the reporting of trip
- Receive field update from team leader 2 months after mission trip
Level 2 and 3 only
- Lead an aspect of next year’s mission trip
- Join church missions committee
Level 3 only
- Encourage them (or you take them) to attend missions conferences
- Arrange appointments with sending organizations
- Recommend books, videos, organisations, Web sites, and magazines related to missions.
As you can see, the follow-up treatment is different based on the levels of the participants. It is similar in some ways to Jesus’ having three circles of influence:
- The 70 disciples
- The 12 disciples
- The 3 disciples (Peter, James and John)
Jesus spent the most time investing into the 3 disciples closest to Him. We should learn from His model to to be an effective mobilizer for missions.
Michael Wilder and Shane Parker, Transformission, 230-231.
Brian Heerwagen, The Next Mile: A leader’s guide, 48.