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Recruiting Adults for Youth Mission Travel

For some adults, going on the mission trip is a highlight of the year. Far from the routine of the typical workday, they discover how to make a lasting, positive impact on the lives of their crewmembers and in the community where they serve. Encourage adults who have a heart for God, a love for youth, and a desire to make a difference to submit their names for adult leadership consideration. 

Adults are crucial to the success of the mission trip; in fact, you¡¦ll need one adult leader for every five youth attending. So, how do you get adults as excited about the camp experience as the youth who are already looking forward to the week? See below for ideas to catch adults¡¦ interest.  

One of the best ways to recruit adult leaders is to hand-select those people you think would be great for the job. Single out the adults in your church who might qualify to be leaders, and take them out for coffee or ice cream. Share the vision of the program and the powerful, positive impact it can have on youth (and adults, too). There¡¦s no better way to recruit a great team than to go after the people on your ¡§top ten¡¨ list, one at a time. 

ƒnA well-crafted announcement by youth or a light-hearted skit during a church service can have a major, positive impact on potential adult leaders. Work with youth to create announcements, skits, and advertisements that briefly outline the need but also shows how much the youth really appreciate the adults who¡¦ll join them on the trip.

Been on a mission trip before? Allow the past good experiences sell adults on the idea of being sponsors. Have previous adult leaders who¡¦ve had a good experience share a brief ¡§testimony¡¨ with the congregation to let other adults know of the great benefits in signing up. 

Simply getting adults interested in becoming leaders isn¡¦t enough. You¡¦ll want to review the qualifications of each interested adult to make sure you¡¦re choosing the best possible adult leaders for your youth. Here¡¦s how: 

ƒnAs you begin recruiting, pray that God will lead just the right adults your way. As you screen adults, pray that God will reveal any concerns before you sign them up. And as you embark on the trip, pray that God will bless those who have committed their time and talent to serve and support your youth. Let adults know from the beginning what they¡¦ll be getting into if they¡¦re chosen to be leaders. 
The mission trip experience is extremely rewarding, but far from a stay at a five-star hotel. Ask potential volunteers how they feel about sleeping on hard floors (apart from spouse...with teenagers!), keeping long hours, working in the hot sun, and generally finding little time to be alone. If those questions don¡¦t scare them away, ask the really tough question: How much do you love teenagers?

Discover their relational ability. Anyone who has ever worked with volunteers knows that a ¡§warm body¡¨ is often less desirable than no volunteer at all. One of the most important qualities of a great volunteer is the ability to relate well to youth. That¡¦s why it¡¦s easier to find qualified adult leaders in your list of adults who already are successfully working with youth.

But don¡¦t neglect adults who have yet to stand up and participate in your youth program. Some of these people relate extremely well to youth¡Xbut just can¡¦t commit to ongoing service. They may be your best candidates for adult leader roles. 
Now that you have qualified adult leaders signed up, here are a few ideas for training and encouraging them. Take care of these people as you would your own youth¡Xyour adult leaders are an integral part of your team. 
Invite adult leaders to attend any fundraising events, team meetings, and the meeting in the spring to complete forms. Ask leaders who don¡¦t normally attend youth group meetings to visit during a regular meeting or two before the event. This will help them become familiar with the youth they¡¦ll be traveling with. Also make sure you have some training meetings for adults only. 

Have adults learn about trip location. Encourage adult leaders to research on the community you¡¦ll be visiting. Assign them the task of planning something fun to do there during your free time!

This information is courtesy of Group Mission Trips, www.groupmissiontrips.com.

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Religious Product News