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Short Term Team Training

Leader's Guide


You are about to step into an amazing journey. You are joining Jesus on His mission in this world. As the leader of this team, you have a special role.   

Your mission is not limited to the work you do in service; your mission includes your team. This is an opportunity to lead others on a discipleship journey as they serve God in a different environment and context than they may have ever experienced. 

God can use these moments of preparation, service and debriefing to shape you and your team more into His image. He can do all of this while he is using your team to help advance his kingdom and bring His hope and healing to the world.   

As you step into this role, it is good to “take stock” of what will be required of you as you lead.  However, remember you are not doing this alone.  The Holy Spirit has given you everything you need.  Lean into Him during this journey. 

Still need to purchase participant guide for you and your team members? Get it here!

Preparing for your trip

Starting questions

The following questions are an excellent way to begin to learn all you need to know to lead this teamAsk these questions of yourself, your church leadership, and mission partners to get off to a great start.


It is good to get an overview of the timing of all the needed tasks. Here is a suggested timeline with timeframes. This list will need to be adjusted to your timeframe and that of the mission partner or CCW (cross-cultural witness) with whom you will be working.

Leading the meetings

Video Resources

Special prep for lesson 5


While you are on the trip

Serve and Disciple

Every mission trip has two essential parts that must be kept in balance. We must serve our partners and those we are going to serve well, and we must disciple our team members well. If those two things are out of balance, then the trip is less than it could be. Mission teams that focus on discipleship of their people but not on serving the mission partner and local community will create teams that can do more harm than good. They can also tend to be self-centered and self-serving, seeing the mission opportunity as more of a tourist bucket-list item--rather than as a way to serve others. Teams that focus solely on cultural preparation, but neglect harvesting the spiritual lessons the Holy Spirit will present, waste valuable teaching moments. Nearly everything we learn while on a missions trip can be applied to our daily walk with Jesus. When we leave those lessons behind once we return home, missions be can become a shallow experience.

So how can you balance these two items well? We have some suggestions below.

The resource section below includes bonus materials to help with your trip.

After the trip

Why and how?

If debrief is not done post trip, there is a chance that the lessons learned will not “stick” with the participants, and the whole experience will become simply “something amazing I did once.” However, short-term trips can be so much more than that!


Legal Documents

We have included some samples of documents that you can modify for your church.  (This is not legal advice, just samples of what we use at TMS Global.)

Additional Resources

Discovery Bible Study Explanation (video coming soon!)


Bonus Materials: