Student ministry leaders spend a lot of time researching different camp and mission trip options for their summer events. With so many feasible options available, it can be a little overwhelming. To alleviate any confusion and make your decision a little easier we’re blogging about what to expect at World Changers Construction, Church Planting and Urban projects. This post is about our Church Planting Projects, but you can read more about Construction and Urban projects on their respective blog posts.
World Changers Church Planting projects connect registered church groups with local church planters. Groups are able to stretch the resources of a younger church by providing the people to do ministry for a week. Our desire is for students to learn that church can look and feel many different ways, but that the gospel is relevant and active no matter where a church meets or how many members it has. It can take a church planter a year to connect with the number of people in the community that it takes a volunteer group a week to to build relationships with.
Students will be challenged to connect with the people in the community on behalf of the church plant, looking for opportunities to share the gospel. We want students to leave with a desire to serve others and equipped for a lifestyle of gospel sharing.
All ministry activities are completed in the name of the church plant. For example, groups may wear shirts with the church plant’s name on it to help build a relationship with people on behalf of that church. Our desire is for the church planters to continue the local ministry long after volunteer groups leave.
Possible ministry site activities: Vacation Bible School, sports camps, neighborhood canvassing, car washes, block parties, community gardens, help with church facilities
To minimize the stress on a group leader to prepare their group, World Changers provides several resources. A comprehensive Group Leader Manual with policies, what to bring lists, etc. is provided well in advance of the trip. We also provide a Pre-Project Study which includes several devotionals and a parent meeting outline. The Director and Site Coordinator begins communicating with leaders in January. They will be serving groups on site and are readily available to keep leaders informed and questions answered.
You can find the full schedule here (about the middle of the page). In general the first day of the project is getting groups checked in and kicking off the week with the Welcome Celebration. The first evening of every project is spent in a City Experience. This is an organized activity that church groups will experience together to learn more about the city and the people they’re ministering to.
Specific to church planting projects are two schedule options: AM Gathering or PM Gathering schedules. Each church planting city is ministering in unique cultures and contexts. Depending on the city, ministry sites are best conducted in either the morning or afternoon. Even local weather and traffic patterns impact when ministry is most effective. We want to maximize the time and quality of ministry sites and have therefore allowed project staff to decide which schedule is the best fit.
Lodging for church planting projects is usually a local church or school. Groups stay in classrooms, bringing their own bedding such as air mattresses and a sleeping bag or blankets. Separate areas for boys and girls are designated by staff. Food is contracted with cafeteria staff, church staff or a local caterer. The lodging auditorium or sanctuary is typically where any large group gatherings take place. When possible students will have access to a gym during free time.
This video shares a little bit more about World Changers!