Mission Trip Contract

Haiti FlagWithin the next couple weeks, we’ll mail in a deposit to book a small group mission trip with AIM to Haiti. It’s something that the pastoral staff, other youth leaders, and I have been praying and planning for over the last few months. Two of us even went in May to scope things out (although at the time taking a group of teens was far from our minds).

We’re going because God is doing amazing things in Haiti. As the world comes to their aid, the Haitian people are reaching the nations with a faith that is vibrant, hope that is inspiring, and the message that the Gospel is alive and well. Do yourself a favor and spend a few minutes reading about what’s going on in Haiti (It’s been tough to follow the news as most of the world media has moved on to other stories).

This is the kind of place I want our group of teens to be. I want them to see what it’s like to have nothing but love for Jesus and trust in God for daily provision. I want them to play with kids who will touch their hearts and hear stories that will break them. I want them to be put into an uncomfortable place, to have their faith stretched, and to grow.

But before all that happens, we have to focus on some of the details first. Weeks ago, we first announced the trip to the kids, then informed parents by email. A month ago, we sent home an info packet with costs, details, dates, and the like. Then, last week, we held an info session with parents to answer questions and talk about the trip in greater detail.

As part of that info meeting, we included a contract for all participants and parents to sign. It’s not legally binding by any means, but I think it does a good job conveying some of the most important touchstones of the trip. This is a big commitment for the entire family. It’s going to require almost a year of preparation with lots of sacrifices and milestones along the way. The point of the contract is to get participants and parents thinking about the commitments they’re making to themselves, each other, and Haiti. It’s a big deal and, I think, people need to get a feel of what they’re in for before the sign on.

I’m sharing the contract here in case you’re thinking about a trip yourself. Feel free to use or adapt this as fits your group’s needs. But whether you use it or not, make sure you’ve found a way to illustrate the weight of the decision to go or not with every one of your potential trip participants and their parents. These trips can be life-changing experiences, but they’re also deep commitments that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Here’s the contract we used:

We the undersigned agree to the following:

1)    We understand the first purpose of this trip is for all participants to develop a deeper personal faith in Jesus Christ. (Matthew 26:38)

2)    The second purpose of this trip is to demonstrate love for neighbors, in this case the nation of Haiti, as much as possible. (Matthew 26:39)

3)    We will participate in all pre-trip group activities including volunteer work, and group fundraising efforts whenever possible.

4)    We will complete all pre-trip study and homework assignments.

5)    As a participant, I promise to follow the direction of trip leaders and AIM staff before and during the trip.

6)    We will make sure we have all necessary supplies before trip departure.

7)    We will make all agreed upon payments on time, ensuring that the trip is paid off in full before departure.

More Articles in This Topic