Team leader training manual revised 11-28-12 introduction

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Revised 11-28-12


  1. What is Mission On the Move?

MOM is a Christian mission organization designed to provide a channel whereby Christians may offer their skills and talents for Christian service at home, in Africa, Honduras, and Mexico. These short term mission assignments are at the expense of each individual. The emphasis is upon the projects supported by MOM in each of the countries mentioned.
Mission On The Move:

  • Operates on a sound theological and Biblical basis of Christian mission. I Corinthians 12 is a good example.

  • Personalizes mission; Our approach is hands-on experience and this hands-on type of experience makes missions come alive like no other means available.

  • Transforms all who serve: The overwhelming testimonies from participants describe how the experience has enriched and transformed their Christian lives.

  • Directly exposes volunteers to poverty and the experience of new cultures.

  • Provides for renewal of your church; By broadening the local horizon, it becomes an avenue for your church to come alive in mission.

II History

Mission On The Move was started by a retired Methodist minister the Rev, Ed Cadle in 1986. Mission On The Moves’ purpose was to help the people on the move in the heart of the Americas. In Tapachula, Chiapas in Mexico, a refugee center was built and used to care for the refugees on the move through Mexico. In 1996 the mission was converted into a home for street children and in 2002, Steve and Hope Shearouse became the first missionaries for MOM and moved to Tapachula where they reestablished a home for boys who came mostly from the prison where they lived with their fathers. In 2003 a girls home was opened and in 2005 a new girls’ home was built. In 2009 another boys’ home was completed. Nearly 40 children live in the three homes.

In Honduras, in 1994, MOM began a ministry for children. MOM has several properties for ministry. The education program is run five days a week teaching the children about Christ and helping them to get an education so they can get above the poverty level in which they and their families are living. MOM has a certified pre-kindergarten and kindergarten school along with a ministry for first through six grades. Middle school and high school students are given the opportunity to complete their education and attend a school of higher education if they desire.

MOM also has a medical ministry in Honduras, hosting several teams a year. The medical clinic is used by these teams to serve the people in the Lake Yojoa area of Honduras.
In Nakuru, Kenya, Reverend Isaac and Margaret Mwangi are missionaries with Mission On The Move. They are from Nakuru and were commissioned by MOM in 2007. Their ministry is in planting churches and running a nutrition program for 50 children, also helping the children with education and medical.
MOM receives underwear from Jockey International and other items from individuals and businesses. These items are all stored in the MOM warehouse in Springfield, GA. The clothes & supplies are distributed throughout the United States and around the world through other mission organizations.
The Mission On The Move office is is located in Springfield, Georgia and has a Board of Directors made up of people across the USA. MOM has one paid staff and over 86% of all funds go directly to the mission field, helping others around the world.

  1. Purpose and Need

The purpose of MOM is to provide a readily available channel to which the supporters can offer their time and talents here at home and in Mexico, Honduras and Kenya. Above all, our mission is to be obedient to the Sprit of God, who continually calls the church to missions around the world. We can feed them, clothe them, house them and meet their medical needs, but most of all, we are called to share the good news of Jesus Christ.


  1. Sponsoring Body

A. Developing Interest

Someone must have the desire to be in service and have the leadership qualities to organize people into working groups. This interest may be initiated from a number of sources, but someone must first have the interest to ignite the spark, and that someone is you.

  1. Establishing the Sponsoring Group

The interested persons should meet and decide who will be the sponsoring group. This group could be within your church or a combination of several churches. The sponsoring church should agree to provide the leadership, training, and support necessary to organize and implement a successful mission project.
II. Team Leader and Assistant Team Leader Recruitment, Selection, & Training

The selection of a team leader is MOST IMPORTANT. This person will be the major factor, from the beginning, in the success of the mission experience. It is imperative that the selected leader have some experience as a team member or co-leader. The importance of this background cannot be overstated. Team training for leaders is invaluable.

Some qualities of a Team Leader are:

  • Must be an active member of their local church

  • A demonstrated commitment to Christ and to the mission work of the church

  • An encourager

  • A problem solver

  • A person with gifts of humility, discernment and patience

  • Previous experience as a MOM team member (minimum of 2 times)

  • Flexibility and openness

  • Organizational & leadership skills

  • Financial management skills

  • Willingness to invest the time and energy to properly prepare, guide, and supervise mission team members

  • Familiarity with group dynamics

  • Enthusiasm and energy

  • Ability to set a good example for the team members and carry out the ideals and guidelines of MOM

  • Maturity

  • Know the strengths and weaknesses of your team members

  1. Selection of a Project

There are as many types of projects as there are talents of people. Some projects consist of some form of building construction, evangelistic, medical, dental, staff relief, education and skill training. It is imperative that the project is one of MOM's choosing and not that of the team leader or the church who is sending the team.

  1. Questions to be Considered

The selection of a project that is appropriate is most important. The following questions should be considered:

  • How much project money for building materials, medical supplies, etc., (not including travel, food, and lodging) is the church willing to contribute?

  • What will be the cost per participant for personal expenses including travel, food, lodging and insurance?

  • How drastic are the cultural, geographical, social and language differences?

  • How many people and what age groups are involved?

  • What time factor is involved? (week-end, week, month,etc)

  • Is the time of year a critical consideration for either the team or area in which you will be traveling. This is important because of holidays within the country and the local weather.

  • What special skills do team members need?

  1. Establish Communications with the Resident Missionary

The team leader should consult with the Director of MOM and/or the resident missionary to establish the dates for the mission. An official team calendar is in the MOM office. It is also very important to consult with the missionary to establish the team size and to make arrangements for accommodations.

I Qualifications

It is important that team members have certain basic qualities of character and commitment. The team leader recruits Christian people:

  • Who wish to participate for the purpose of serving God through work and witness, providing a unity of purpose

  • Who serve in a sense of friendship with the people at the work site and the host missionary?

  • Who can cooperate with the team leader and the resident missionaries at the project site, understanding the work must be done as requested by the missionary

  • Who function well in situations of language problems and conflicting work methods?

  • Who can commit to orientation and training meetings?

  • Who serve in a spirit of humility and joy?

It is helpful to make these desirable qualities clear to prospective team members at several points in the process of organizing the team.

Some health problems or emotional problems may cause undue hardship for the team, and the person whose health is impaired. Careful consideration should be given to this area, even if the person is insisting on being a part of the team.
The MOM experience is more than just work. It is the ministry and love that is shared, the team working together hand in hand, obeying the will of God. For this and other reasons, diversity of age, sex, race and skill levels within the team is advisable.
Recruitment starts with publicity. In order to be effective it must include personal contact with people. Early publicity is a key element in team recruitment.

  1. Team Recruitment from a Single Church

When an individual church is organizing a team, the sources of good publicity are usually clear. The church may put notices in the bulletin or newsletter, which are both motivational and explanatory.

Use whatever communication the church uses for announcing new programs. Put up a poster on a bulletin board, ask the pastor to announce the trip from the pulpit, and send out letters to persons who might be interested.
Be available to speak to Sunday School classes or evening services. Presentations by MOM team members and short slide shows are effective in giving others a sense of the excitement of a mission trip. Be sure to make a list of all those who show an interest. Keep interested people up to date on plans.

  1. Forming a Multi-Church Team

Most churches need help in recruiting a full team and raising money for materials. Connect with other local churches to find interested people and work to have their church become involved in the project.
Additional methods of connecting with other churches:

  • Getting two or more churches to agree to help start the project, through pastors or missions committees.

  • Speaking to other pastors in the area. Someone may have already expressed an interest and they can announce the trip in their churches.

  • Being available to speak at Sunday night services. Always ask for interested persons to express their interest, getting names and addresses.

  • Ask the MOM Director or missionaries for a list of possible team members.

It is important to establish the number of team members early. If two or more churches agree to cooperatively publicize the trip, make sure each church knows how many people can be sent from each church. A 'waiting list' of interested people may be kept if the team roster becomes full.

Recruiting skilled people is very important depending on the type of mission team…construction or medical. Don’t over staff with unskilled people.


A few people will inquire and volunteer after seeing the early publicity. Most members, however, will have to be cultivated and approached personally.

MOM has developed an application form that must be completed by potential team members. The form must be signed by the applicant's pastor. If the person does not have a pastor because he or she is not in a church, then maybe you need to question if they will be an asset to the team.
Minors should be selected with careful consideration and after consultation with parents. MOM recommends youth be 16 years old. In order for a 14 year old to be a part of the team, the parent also has to participate on the team.

I Time Line Development

An effective team leader creates and distributes a time line to those involved in the mission experience. Some important dates to include are:

  • deadline for submitting applications

  • departure and return dates for the mission team

  • date to start publicizing

  • deadline for paying for airline tickets if using the MOM credit card – 1 week after purchase

  • deadline for registration fee – your date will not be reserved until the deposit has been received in the MOM office

  • deadline for sending team money to the MOM office for wiring to the country in which the team will be serving – 3 weeks before team leaves the USA

  • dates for orientation and team meetings

  • date to hold a Sending Forth Service/commissioning for the mission team

II Budget Preparation

In establishing the various types of expenditures a team will encounter, the team leader must calculate carefully and comprehensively. Some type of budget building experience is recommended. Major expense items are:

  • round trip airfare

  • daily living expenses (i.e. food, lodging & transportation)

  • Pre-departure expenses (i.e. correspondence, phone calls. Orientation costs, postage, etc.)

  • medical supplies

  • project contributions / Bible School, Construction & Education

There are a number of costs that are very often forgotten or unanticipated. Some of these are:

  • Departure tax - a number of foreign countries charge this tax as you depart from their country: your resident missionary can give you specific information about the country to which you are traveling.

  • Bottled water for drinking or soft drinks

  • Tips for airport porters and hotel bellhops

  • Monetary gifts for the staff

  • Fees for overweight luggage

  • Transportation to and from the airport

A sample budget is attached for Honduras and Mexico

III Accommodations and Meals

Arrangements should be made in advance for food and shelter. Teams will stay in a hotel in Honduras and Kenya and in the children’s homes in Tapachula. Some questions the leader should have answers to prior to leaving the United States are:

  • Where will the team stay?

  • What types of facilities are available?

  • Will linens & towels be supplied?

  • What is the distance to the work place?

  • Who will prepare meals and shop for food?

  • Will pure drinking water be available?

  • Electricity – 220 in Kenya and 110 in Honduras and Mexico

IV On-Site Work

On-site work is the team's most time consuming activity. Whether the project is construction, medical, agricultural, or evangelistic, this phase of team life requires careful supervision. Constant communication with the local missionary is essential. The team leader and construction coordinator must remember to follow the local construction work methods. Teams will be resented if the team members try to force their construction methods on the local people.

V Worship & Music

Plan to attend worship services and participate if invited, but this depends on the country you are serving. Be prepared to speak to the local people about personal faith and reasons for involvement in missions. It is helpful to take song sheets for the team members to use in group devotionals. Everyone loves music, and it is not only fun, but also educational to share music across cultures.

Additional questions the team leader may want to have answered prior to leaving are:

  • Will there be a minister on the team to preach?

  • Should the group prepare special music?

  • What special evangelistic opportunities are available?

  • Who will be responsible for Vacation Bible School if that is a part of the ministry for the week?

VI Vacation Bible School – only in Honduras and Kenya

Many mission teams have held highly successful Vacation Bible School programs in conjunction with the other mission projects. Remember, VBS requires much advanced planning. The most successful VBS have all materials prepared, music planned, stories ready, recreational games and material organized and snacks planned and organized prior to departure. A well-conducted VBS requires more advanced planning and preparation than any other phase of the mission. The team leader must carefully choose a person to coordinate the VBS and lend a helping hand when guidance and directions are needed. The VBS coordinator must be able to relate well to various personalities as well as skill levels. The responsibility of the VBS coordinator is discussed in greater detail later.

Hint: January and early February is the best months for VBS in Honduras. In Kenya, August is a good time because children are out of school and there is very little rain.

VII Travel Arrangements

Travel arrangements require varying degrees of planning, depending on the distance and means of travel to the mission. It is wise to begin arrangements for the international travel several months in advance of departure. This not only ensures plenty of preparation time, but also can usually aid in securing lower airfares, as well as ensuring adequate time for securing passports and immunizations. This is just one reason it is important to have your team organized several months in advance.
Once a travel package has been selected, all details concerning dates, flights, times, points of departure and arrival, and ticket prices should be confirmed in writing. It is usually necessary to purchase the airline tickets well in advance. Travel agents can sometimes be a valuable tool.

VIII Additional Considerations

  1. Interaction with Local Community

Mission teams should take advantage of the opportunities to interact socially with local citizens. Two basic principals, Christian witness and sensitivity, should be a guide in this interaction. All gifts from team members, including clothing, money, tools, toys, and church supplies must be approved by MOM and the resident missionaries. Above all, honesty and genuineness are essential as bridges are formed between two cultures. Powerful relationships are very often created in the process.
It is very important that team members refrain from indiscriminately giving out money or gifts of any kind. Gifts should always be approved by the resident missionary. To attempt direct person-to-person charity may cause disharmony in the congregation and/or community. REFER TO THE MISSIONERS AGREEMENT

  1. Bringing the Experience Home

This is a very important phase of team life. Personal journals are an excellent idea. Photographs and videos also help bring the experience home for others to share. However, it is best to limit camera and recording equipment to one or two capable team members. It is easy enough to secure copies of prints when the team returns home.

I Duties and Responsibilities

A through outline of the various aspects of the mission should be given to all team members. The more exact the information, the better. Include information about:

  1. Construction

Define the type of work to be done. Include any tools that need to be taken and provide descriptions of the various jobs, tasks and assignments.

  1. Vacation Bible School

Develop a theme, set objectives, and define possible activities (i.e. music, crafts, stories, games, snacks). Prepare in advance for everything.

  1. Evangelism

Plan for visitation in homes and the method for witnessing, singing and teaching children’s ministry/VBS, women’s and men’s ministry.

  1. Medical

This ministry applies only to Honduras. The size of the team is very important. Select doctors first then nurses and pharmacist other specialized persons such as lab technicians.

  1. Relief Team for Staff

This ministry applies only to Tapachula. Before leaving the country, make sure you know in which home you will be working. Also, have all team members assigned their responsibilities such as kitchen head etc. Refer to Staff Relief Team Responsibilities found in the back of your manual.
A major mistake is team leaders not informing the team of their responsibilities, work duties and activities prior to leaving the USA.

II Relating to Your Home Church

A. Get your local church involved in the project for several reasons. They will find a great deal of satisfaction from participating directly in an exciting mission effort. Enthusiasm will be generated for the entire program of the church and people will be evangelized when members share their excitement with others.

B. The total program of the church can benefit from a mission team. Speak to Sunday School classes and ask for their support. Ask for their prayers and give the exact dates of travel and work.
C. Ask the pastor to conduct a Commissioning and Sending Forth Service during the morning worship on the last Sunday before leaving on the trip.
D. Upon returning, share your experience with the local church through the bulletin or newsletter. Offer to speak to the whole church as well as Sunday School classes. When talking with these groups, emphasize the work accomplished, the personal relationships established, the worship services and any meaningful moments of witness through personal testimonies.
E. Send personal letters of thanks to those who contributed financially to the project and supported it in other ways. Share the accomplishments and the effect of the experience on the people's lives.
III Securing Financial Resources

The sponsoring group usually raises project funds and each team member pays their own expenses for travel, food, and lodging. Some teams and churches make different arrangements. Some of them are listed here.

A. Local Church Budgets

The easiest way to finance a Mission Team is to have the money included on the local church's mission budget. There may also be some miscellaneous funds available in the budget.

B. Individual Contributions

Request individual contributions when speaking about the mission project and in all publicity. Contact individuals to make contributions and describe what they will be used for.

C. Local Church Groups

Sunday School classes, women’s, men’s and youth groups to which team members belong will be good sources or contributions.

D. Fund-Raising Projects

Small churches especially like to have bake sales or car washes to raise money. Others have used a Fall or Christmas Bazaar to help the mission team. The Mission Committee or the entire church may be involved.

E. Team Members

Team members may be asked to share in the cost of the project as well as their own transportation. They may either pay their share of the project funds or take responsibility for raising money through their church or Sunday School class.

IV Trip Calendar and Information

In the early stages, the team leader should issue a schedule of orientation and team meeting sessions, deadline dates and a time line.

The team leader must be able to communicate his or her understanding of the general plans for lodging, work, worship, & fun time. There are, however, limitations on the ability of a team to develop a rigid team schedule. So many things are discovered after arrival at the site that a schedule specifying mealtimes, worship, etc. is usually overtaken by the day's activities. BE FLEXABLE!!!!!
The most important information that should be given to the team before departing is the travel intenirary, emergency telephone numbers where the team may be reached, and a tentative schedule. A complete list of all team members, including home phone numbers, and e-mails is very helpful for the team's families.

The team leader has many responsibilities. Among them are:



Orientation and Leading Team Meetings






Perhaps the most important one is orientation and team meetings. This process is an essential part of community building activities that can shape a group of Christians into a cohesive working unit. It is suggested that a minimum of six sessions be held: an orientation session and a five team meetings for building relationships and understanding the purpose of the mission and how each team member fits into that purpose.

I Orientation Session

The orientation session should be held as soon as team members are selected. At this time, basic information and immediate concerns should be discussed, such as:

  • an overview of the mission

  • passports, visas, and immunizations

  • completion of necessary paperwork

  • travel itinerary

  • clothing list

  • addresses and phone numbers of hotels & resident missionaries

  • a team roster

  • setting dates for team meetings

  • Devotion – introducing the mission study for the team – 5 to 6 months prior to departure

This relatively brief, but crucial, meeting sets the tone for the mission experience. It serves to answer immediate questions, cover vital information, and prepare the team for the best mission experience possible.

II Team Meetings

  1. Getting Acquainted and Creating Community Spirit

Coming to know each other and creating a common bond will create a sense of responsibility for the project and will enhance the mission experience. There are numerous ice-breakers designed to help members become acquainted with each other, especially if different churches will be participating together.

  1. Mission Objective

The expectations of MOM generally include: construction, medical opportunities, evangelism for adults and children, and relief teams for staff. Any one or a combination of 2 of these may be a part of the mission experience.

  1. Books recommended for team to read prior to departure

  1. When Helping Hurts – Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert

  2. Living Your Strengths – Albert Winseman, D. Min., Donald Clifton, Ph.D.,

Curt Liesveld, M.Div.

  1. Too Busy Not to Pray – Bill Hybels

  1. Daily Schedule

A daily schedule is essential for a smooth operation. This needs to be prepared and given to the team members at least one month before leaving. All team members should be expected to adhere to the schedule and allow for frequent revisions. The beginning and ending of a typical day generally depends upon local customs. A time for daily devotions and sharing should be included. It is helpful to leave a copy of the schedule with your local church for publication in order that those at home may also feel a part of the mission. The resident missionaries will help prepare this daily schedule.

  1. Spiritual Life

Creating a solid community spirit is essential. Ask team members to tell about their walk with God and the decision to join the team, as this is a valuable part of the group experience. It is also important to discuss why volunteers are involved in mission.
1. Devotions

Devotions should be an integral part of the mission from beginning to end. Daily devotionals and sharing times during the mission trip create a cohesive spirit and oneness. They are a vital aspect and should not be overlooked. It is important for members to share joys as well as concerns. Plans for the team should also be discussed each day. Devotions should be assigned before the team leaves so team members can prepare. Some people don’t feel comfortable doing devotions on the spur of the moment.

  1. Worship Services

The local people in the country you are serving like for the team to participate in local worship. Usual participation may include personal testimonies from team members, team singing, a prayer and scripture reading. On occasion, a team member may be asked to preach.

  1. Commissioning And Sending Forth Service

A volunteer missionary, no less than a traditional missionary, needs the prayerful support and affirmation of his or her own local congregation. Our calling to mission, our response, and our going forth should take place within the community of faith. Therefore, it is recommended that on the last Sunday before leaving a Commissioning Service be conducted so that the volunteers and local fellowship may be linked in this common task.

  1. Cross Cultural Experiences

A little research will yield information on other topics to cover. The team should study the following topics and know what is expected and what is not appropriate.

1. Greetings

Know how to greet and how to react properly when greeted

2. Gestures

Be cautious when talking with your hands. For instance a simple "okay" sign in the U.S. is obscene in many countries.

3. Dress

Generally, conservative dress is best. Dressing inappropriately is the easiest way to offend your local hosts. North Americans tend to dress too casually. Shorts may be especially offensive in some places. Ask your resident missionary for their advice.

4. Eating Habits

Be aware that food, table manners, and meal times vary from country to country. Don’t waste food.

5. Conversation

North Americans are quick to 'get to the point' and are often perceived as being too direct and open. Diplomacy and tact are required to avoid offending anyone. If a problem occurs, team members or the team leader need to allow the resident missionary to handle any situation.

  1. Safety and Health Issues

  1. Water

It is advised to use bottled water for everything. Brushing teeth with pure eater is important. BE CAREFUL

2. Work-site Safety

The team construction coordinator and team leader are responsible for the safety of members while on the site. Members who are unaccustomed to working around construction are not particularly cautious of possible hazards and need clear instructions in order to prevent accidents.

3. First Aid Kit

Keep a well-stocked first aid kit with the team at all times. Assign a member who is trained in first aid the responsibility to administer first aid that may be needed. Treat the smallest scratch with care as infections can set in quickly.

  1. Food & Lodging

  1. Food -

Plan to enjoy the local cuisine, but do so in moderation. Encourage the team to try a little, and if enjoyable, ask for more if eating with the children in Tapachula. Volunteers should not waste food, as it is a precious commodity in most countries. Prepare the team for the new eating experiences and remind them to proceed with caution in regard to ice, salads, raw fish and water based drinks when not on the mission properties.

  1. Lodging

Arrangements should be made before leaving the U.S. so team members will know where and how they will sleep. Let them know that this may be altered once on the site and that flexibility is a key. Often, lodging is in dorm-like situations and members should be prepared ahead of time to sleep with two or more person per room. It CAN be an adventure.

Team qualities to ensure a successful mission are:





It is important for the team leader and team members to know their own roles. The role of the team leader is multi-faceted. It demands a keen sense of organizational skills, awareness of individual needs, and the ability to develop interpersonal relationships. The team leader, once in the country, needs to realize that they are under the direction of the resident missionaries.

I Assignments

It is essential that the multitude of assignments and responsibilities be shared among team members. By dividing the duties, the team members will feel responsible for the smooth functioning of the mission. The team leader will also be able to do a better job of overall coordination. Listed below are various jobs along with a brief description:

  1. Team Treasurer

The team treasurer collects and keeps the money, makes expenditures and gives a financial report at the end of the mission. The team treasurer is responsible for sending the team funds to the MOM office two weeks prior to departure. The MOM office will wire the money to the bank in the country in which you will be serving.

  1. Travel Coordinator/Team leader

This person coordinated travel movement in airports, arranges transportation to and from the airport in the U.S. and negotiates with travel agents to secure airline tickets. All this must be well planned and all team members must know the itinerary before leaving the U.S.

  1. Luggage Supervisor

The luggage supervisor coordinates packing, listing the contents of, numbering, and counting all boxes and luggage at all stops.

  1. Construction Coordinator

This person coordinates all aspect of the construction phase in conjunction with the safety concerns. This person teaches novice members how to do the job and continually observes the work of the group to see that everyone is safe, happy, and has work to do. The coordinator needs to be aware of the local building methods.

  1. Vacation Bible School Coordinator – (in Honduras and Kenya)

The Vacation Bible School Coordinator manages the VBS and assigns duties a required. This particular responsibility requires much advanced planning prior to leaving on the trip. It is the responsibility of the team leader to discuss the possibility of conducting a VBS with the resident missionaries before any plans begin. Highly successful VBS divide the children into age-level groups, then rotate them between Bible story time, music, crafts, and recreation. Coordinated with a theme, this time is exciting and very enriching for all. It should be noted that extravagant materials should be avoided. The use of simple materials is easier to pack.

  1. Devotion Leader for Team Devotions

This person develops a schedule for regular devotionals during the mission. Some teams may want a theme for the week or just have team members prepare devotions.
G. Kitchen Leader (cook)

The Kitchen Leader is responsible to see that all team members have nutritious and safe meals. Depending on the location of ministry, the kitchen leader will be responsible for helping prepare all meals. In Honduras – lunch only; In Mexico, all three meals. (cooking guidelines in back of manual)

  1. Local Church Coordinator for the mission team

This person contacts small groups within the home church for various items needed by the team. These may be supplies for VBS or even homemade snacks for the team. Letters of encouragement for each team member from the local church members is a great way to let the team know people are praying for them.

  1. Photographer

The photographer is the official photographer for the team. It is not advisable for every person to have a camera. It becomes a focus of some team members and can often make local people feel uncomfortable. Once home it is very easy to have copies made of the print you like.

  1. Tee Shirt Acquirer – (if your team uses t-shirts for travel)

This person is responsible to obtain tee shirts for the team. MOM team usually wear a MOM tee shirt during travel times to help identify the team and to insure the unit of the team.

  1. Hostess gift shopper

This person purchases, or obtains free simple gifts suitable for the resident missionaries and their family and any local staff with whom the team will be working. The team leader will know the number of gifts expected. It is generally better to give a monetary gift to the local staff rather than a purchased gift. Even though they are on staff with MOM, most of these people are poor.

II. Responsibilities

  1. Home Church Involvement

Careful planning and creativity ensure that the local church will become involved and made to feel a part of the mission. It is true that giving money for the project is necessary and important, but 'ownership' in the mission creates a deeper level of involvement that extends to future expansion of the overall mission program of the local church. Money for medicines and construction is needed, but congregations can become involved in giving not just money, but helping prepare VBS or other evangelistic ministry materials.

B. Publicity

Relay weekly, up-to-date information to the local congregation via church newsletters prior to departure and during the mission trip.


C. Prayer

Ask someone to organize a daily prayer calendar for the team while they are away. Present the calendar to the congregation at the Sending Forth Service or other methods in which the church can pray for each team member.

D. Commissioning/Sending Forth Service

Discuss this your local pastor for the Last Sunday before the team leaves.

E. Administration

Many administrative details accompany the role of team leader. Most of them have been covered elsewhere in this presentation. However a review is in order:

If a team member does not have a passport remind them that it can take eight weeks to obtain one. It is also advisable to check to see what the requirements are for re-entry into the USA. Some countries require a departure tax, which is not included in the price of the ticket.

Team members and their families always like to have a travel itinerary and listing of addresses and phone numbers. This should be given out at the orientation session. Prepare a list of emergency numbers and contacts for the team members and their families. Leave this information with the local church office. Prepare another list for yourself of emergency numbers for team members should you need to make a call on their behalf. Another security measure is to make copies of each passport in case there is a loss. The copy will expedite the replacement of a duplicate.

Currency exchange can be made at airports. However, much better exchange rates may be obtained at local banks. Follow the resident missionary’s advice in this matter.

Do not exchange money in the USA. As stated earlier, the team money needs to be sent to the MOM office three weeks prior to departure so that it can be wired to the bank in the country you will be serving.

  1. Insurance

Insurance for team members is offered through the MOM office. This insurance is inexpensive and especially designed for volunteers. Insurance rates are listed on the form included in the team registration packet. The team leader should return all completed forms to the MOM office, no later than one month prior to departure. Form Attached


  1. Packing

Packing of personal items and project materials should be well planned and coordinated. Clothing should be carefully considered and kept to essential work, travel and worship items. Duffel bags are the best luggage for mission teams; they account for very little weight, are durable and do not suffer a great deal of wear and tear. The best duffel bags are military surplus.

Items that must be most accessible during travel should be carried in a shoulder bag or carry-on that may be taken into the passenger compartment of the plane. These items should include an extra set of clothes and underwear, toilet articles no more than 3 ounces, your passport, and Bible, money, and other items that may be needed if the airline looses your bags. The wise team leader or travel coordinator will develop a checklist to assist team members with travel preparations.

Packing donated items and team supplies also requires planning. Since international flights generally impose a weight limit of 50 lbs. and a limit of one piece of checked luggage per passenger, careful consideration should be given to the required order and worth of each item.

Since the luggage will have to go through customs along with personal luggage, two documents can be immensely valuable in dealing with customs officials. One is a manifest, listing the contents and value of the contents of each box or piece of luggage being used for ministry, especially on medical teams and VBS materials. It is a good idea to number the boxes and/or luggage and make two copies of each box or luggage manifest in case it becomes necessary to leave a set with customs. This list is also helpful in determining the contents of each box at the project site and if one piece of luggage is lost, this manifest will be helpful in knowing what project materials are missing.
Counting and supervision of luggage at each stopover airport and at the final destination should be assigned to a member of the team, the luggage coordinator. Each team member is responsible for their own documents and luggage. Make sure the luggage coordinator knows that each team member has their personal and/or ministry luggage in which they have been assigned.

II Finalization of Travel Plans
All airline reservation, both going and returning, should be confirmed with all airlines involved as well as the local travel agent. Be sure to confirm dates, times, points of departure, and arrival and stopovers.
Additional confirmations with travel agents should include passports and visas, as well as any information pertaining to currency, immigration, and customs.

  1. Commissioning and Sending Forth

One final pre-departure activity that is extremely important is the worship service in which the mission team is commissioned. The commissioning service helps those at home identify with the mission project and team members. The site for the service should be selected with respect to convenience to the team and their families and the involvement of the chosen church. The last Sunday prior to departure is an excellent time for the service.


  1. Team Life

The team leader should be sensitive to the interaction of team members as well as individual needs. Some team members are prone to become 'workaholics' with no perspective on other aspects of team life. Others may become emotionally distraught over the suffering and hardships they witness. On the other hand, team members will experience things profoundly spiritual. Just as each phase of team life is important, the feelings and needs of each team member are important factors in the overall success of the team.
One of the most productive means to provide support to each other is through daily devotions. A devotion before breakfast can be a wonderful way to start each day. The evening also provides an appropriate time to share with each other, sing, pray. Reflect on the day's activities. The devotion coordinator is responsible for planning and ensuring that devotions are conducted morning and evening.
Prior to one's departure on a mission, consideration ought to be given to the impact that this experience is likely to have upon one's own life and what will be learned from the whole experience. A journal or daily log can be an important resource for remembering and reflecting, for sharing your experience with others.
The team leader should observe the physical as well as the emotional health of the team members. Care should be taken to provide an adequate amount of fluids, not just water, for the team to prevent dehydration when working in hot, dry climates. A health professional can be an invaluable member of any team. The team leader should be aware of the closest doctor and hospital.

The team leader should review team members' applications and should adjust the workload to allow for appropriate amount of work for each team member. On rare occasions, a person gets sick and has to go home. The team leader is responsible for ensuring that the sick worker gets home safely, which may include sending another team member.

  1. Safety & Security

In the midst of the mission team experience, it is easy to become involved to the point that safety is sometimes overlooked. The team leader should use good judgement when working at the project site and planning any additional excursions. This includes time spent traveling, at the work site, and at the living quarters. The group should not travel at night in Honduras.

Personal property and valuables should be closely guarded. Do not display expensive jewelry, watches, etc. While at the work site, all team members should be made aware of the location of the 'valuable bag'. It often contains items such as passports, airline tickets and members valuables. The team leader should communicate with the local missionary reporting any loss of items.
When the group gets tired, accidents can happen and often do. The prepared construction coordinator should know and share appropriate safety measures. If serious illness or fatality should occur the team leader must act promptly and with great care. Immediately inform the resident missionary and the United States Embassy and local authorities.

  1. Final Devotion and Reflection

A time should be set aside for the final team devotion. This is usually held on the last night before the team returns home. It is a meaningful and joyous time that is filled with emotion and the team members share their thoughts. It is a good idea to share expectations upon returning home and to discuss the importance of missions.


  1. Do not write letters to staff unless you write to each one of them.

  2. Do not write letters to the children or single a child out.
  3. Do not speak harshly or abruptly to any staff member, child or local person in the community. If you have a problem, speak with the resident missionary.

  4. Do not order coffee to help support the birthday project unless you plan to pay for it. Once it is ordered you cannot cancel your order because the missionaries will have to pay for what you decided you did not want.

  5. Don’t invite children into the mission who are not a part of the program.

  6. Do not give anything away to children or staff without first asking the resident missionaries.

  7. Do not play soccer/football or other ball sports in front of the mission house or in the back yard between the two house. There is a soccer field provided on site for these activities. Windows get broken and it is distracting for the children trying to study outside under the palapa.

  8. Do not run around the house, on sidewalks or on the porches. While you may be playing with the children, this can be dangerous if a child falls on the cement. The children are also being taught to respect the flower beds around the house and not to run through them.

  9. Do not go barefooted. Mission team members have to wear shoes at all times – children in the MOM program are not allowed to go barefooted and it is also medically unsafe.

  10. Do not pick fruit from the trees unless you have spoken with the resident missionary

  11. Do not waste food. The children watch what you eat.

  12. Do not give out addresses or telephone numbers to anyone.

  13. Do not walk in the community alone

  14. Do not leave the property of the hotel

  15. Do not use I Pads or other electronic devices around the children.

  16. Do not let the children hold your camera.

  17. Do not drink soft drinks around the children. They are allowed to have coke only on special occasions.

  18. Don’t wear flashy jewelry, especially diamond rings etc.

  19. Most evangelicals do not wear crosses so it is preferred that you don’t.
  20. Do not dress inappropriately – refer to the dress code.


  1. Do not write letters to staff unless you write to each one of them.

  2. Do not write letters to the children or single a child out.

  3. Do not speak harshly or abruptly to any staff member, child or local person in the community. If you have a problem, speak with the resident missionary.

  4. Don’t invite children into the mission who are not a part of the program.

  5. Do not give anything away to children or staff without first asking the resident missionaries.

  6. Do not go barefooted. Mission team members have to wear shoes at all times – children in the MOM program are not allowed to go barefooted and it is also medically unsafe.

  7. Do not give out addresses or telephone numbers to anyone.

  8. Do not allow the children to hold your camera.

  9. Do not run in the house.

  10. Do not walk in the community alone

  11. Don’t wear flashy jewelry, especially diamond rings etc.

  12. Most evangelicals do not wear crosses so it is preferred that you don’t.

  13. Do not dress inappropriately – refer to the dress code.

  14. Do not play soccer or toss balls in the home.

  15. Do not waste food. The children always watch what you eat.

  16. Do not use I-Pads, text on your phone or use other electronic devices around the children.

  17. Do not drink soft drinks around the children. They only have cokes for special occasions.

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