Honestly, there are many types of mission trips. For the purposes of this blog, I will l focus on short term trips that travel for one to two week periods. These trips can be domestically, like disaster relief trips that travel to cities within your own country or internationally. They usually involve a church-based team lead by a pastor who is familiar with the hosts in another country or in an area that's been hit by a disaster. There are several elements that make up a mission trip such as:
* service goals
* host missionaries
* team leader
* the team itself
All of these items make up the core of the trip and should be investigated thoroughly before signing up for the adventure.
Ideally, a "mission trip" is defined as a trip where you as a Christian, can spread your wings and visit a foreign destination and serve. These are all good ideals but I want to offer you a word of caution. God is serious about kingdom building. Mission trips are often taken lightly and end up being glorified vacations with a "feel good" moment that we can brag about to our church friends. In my experience as a missionary who has traveled with and lead many short-term mission trips, it is usually the team member who experiences God on a deeper level. A lot of people arrive in the host nation feeling like they are there to change the hearts of the local people but most often, it is their heart that is changed. This is how God moved me to missions as well.
Think of a mission trip as a way for God to grow you in your relationship with him. Have an open heart and mind to food, language, and culture. Read scripture and watch how the Word comes alive on the mission field. Additionally, pray and ask God to use you for his will to reach people who have not heard the name, Jesus.