Suggested Wrap-Up Sharing Meeted
Suggested Mission Trip "End-of-the-Week" Sharing Meeting
We strongly recommend a debriefing and sharing meeting Friday night or sometime before returning home. We suggest meeting in one of our meeting rooms in a circle formation. We do not recommend doing it around a campfire setting. While it sounds special and cozy, it is dark and you can't see everyone's face and expressions, groups of people will tend to form and talking, and a lack of control usually arises. It is best done in a well-lighted setting where everyone can see one another’s face and control can be managed. As the leader, try to have some main points & challenges to share in wrapping up this sharing time meeting.
Part One: Getting Warmed Up - We suggest two questions that everyone should try to respond to:
1. Challenge Question - What was your favorite highlight of the week? (this encourages sharing on a low-risk level and gets everyone warmed up)
2. Challenge Question - What do you feel is the main lesson God is trying to teach you as a result of this trip (this moves to a deeper level of sharing)?
Part Two: Deeper Sharing Time
It will be important to help your group with the re-entry process of returning home. A mission trip can have profound effects on us. However, returning home can present some challenges that you will want to prepare your group for. Here are some challenges and some answers for you in transitioning your group from the mission field in a foreign country, to the mission field at home.
1. Challenge Question - "It seems like God has used me so much, I want to live like this forever."
Answer - Unfortunately, all of life cannot be lived like this. An emotional high cannot keep going forever. Sooner or later we must come down and put everything in perspective. Even if we were to try to live with a short-term mission group in a foreign country forever, in about a week or two, it would get old, and everyone would get on each other's nerves. We must take the lessons God has taught us and incorporate them into our lives at home. We must also realize that God wants to use us in our own home environment. We can learn to get more involved in our church and see the joy of serving God at home in a more focused way.
2. Challenge Question - "Now that I'm back home, why doesn't everyone else seem as excited and emotional as I am about serving God?"
Answer - Be careful not to go home and get all over everyone because they're not as pumped up about serving God as you. You have just come off an incredible time, and God has done wondrous things in your life. Be appropriate and humbly share what you have experienced. Be careful not to be proud and portray yourself as better or more Godly than everyone else.
3. Challenge Question - Why is there so much poverty and injustice in the world? I want to give everything away I own so the less fortunate can be happy.
Answer - It is true that America has about 4.8% of the world's population and consumes over 50% of its natural resources. However, if money brings happiness, why is America one of the most unhappy and morally corrupt nations? It is important to take a step back and see the big picture. People have lived in tents, and modest shelters without running water, electricity, etc., since the beginning of time. Only until the last 60 years have we had most of the conveniences we have today. We must understand that money doesn't bring happiness, and no happiness is being withheld someone if they have food, clothing and shelter. We don't have to bring the world up to our standard of living for them to be happy. In most cases, they are happier than us, and we would do well to learn from them about having a simpler life so we can focus more on serving God and building His kingdom.