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Short-Term Mission Trip Devotions

How do you carry the closeness you feel to God during your mission trip back home with you? These mission trip devotions are designed to help you and your team experience lasting growth in your relationship with God through your short-term mission trip. Feel free to adapt the devotions to work for your context.

Eight days of mission trip devotions

Drawing Close to God Mission Trip Devotions

Each devotion includes Scripture reading, a brief takeaway from the passage to guide your time with God, and reflection questions. This set of devotions works particularly well as a prompt for journaling. You can access these devotions online for free.

Read the devotions online

Intentional devotional time during your mission trip

Your mission trip experience will be much richer if you are intentional about the spiritual dimensions of your journey. You can weave spiritual reflection into your days through group and personal devotion time. Here are some mission trip Bible study suggestions to help you and your team grow spiritually during your mission experience.

Personal mission trip devotions

Set aside time each day for team members to spend alone with God. This time can be used to reflect on what you talked about in group devotions, pray for the day ahead, journal, or read a devotional book. Here are a few questions to help spur personal reflection:

  1. What do I think and feel about what I did today and where I saw God at work?
  2. How did I see Christ in other people today?
  3. How can I act like Christ toward others?
  4. How was I changed today?
  5. How will I bring what I experienced today home with me to share?
  6. How was I challenged today? How did I respond to the challenge?
  7. What did God teach me today?
  8. How can I be Christ to someone today/tomorrow? 
  9. How can I use my God-given gifts and talents to serve at this work site?
  10. Is there a way that I can help or disciple someone at this worksite, even if it only in a short conversation? 

Group mission trip devotions

A brief morning devotion time as a group can help to focus the day and bring the group together. This could be as simple as a verse, a brief word of encouragement, and a prayer. It works best to do a longer, more in-depth group devotion time in the evening so team members can process and discuss that day’s experiences together. Begin your nightly devotions with a time of sharing. Encourage group members to talk about God sightings, challenges, and things they learned during the day.

Follow your time of sharing by diving into the Word. You can use a ready-made Bible study or pick out your own verses to discuss. Ask your group how that night’s passage speaks to them as individuals. The most powerful Bible study experiences usually involve personal as well as group reflection.

Consider using music in your devotions as well. If someone in your group can play guitar, have them bring one along to play worship songs. Otherwise, you can play songs on someone’s phone and sing along. (If you’re really brave, try singing a cappella!)

End devotions with prayer.

Recommended devotions and Bible study ideas for mission trips

Drawing Close to God, an eight-day mission trip devotion series available for free on Faithward, is just one of many excellent devotion and Bible study options for mission trips. Copies some other mission trip devotionals produced by the RCA Short-Term Mission team are available by email subscription for free. You can sign up for your copy below.

Available for free via email

Engaging the Psalms Devotions

Engage with God through the book of Psalms with this set of ten mission trip devotions. Each devotion includes one psalm, questions for reflection, and a prompt for prayer.
Read a sample devotion.

Character of Christ Devotions

Walk through the gospel of Matthew and reflect on the character of Jesus with this set of ten mission trip devotions. Each devotion includes one character trait and its definition, a passage of Scripture that shows Jesus embodying that trait, and a few questions for reflection.
View a sample devotion.

Biblical Service Devotions

Study biblical stories of service with this set of ten mission trip devotions. You’ll reflect on how well your service on this mission trip—and at home—aligns with the biblical models of service. Each devotion includes one story of a biblical act of service, a short devotional reading, and questions for reflection.
View a sample devotion.

Disaster Response Devotions

Enhance your disaster response mission trip with this set of ten devotions as you care for communities that are hurting. Each devotion has a Scripture passage and reflection questions that focus on God’s power over all creation, God’s provision for humanity, and Christ’s call to love one another.
View a sample devotion.

We also recommend checking out these devotionals others have put together:

Christian Reformed Church in North America mission trip devotions
Experience (Mission Trip Devotions & Journals) by Christ in Youth
Do/Love/Walk journal by Frank Nelson
My Heart – Christ’s Home by Robert Boyd Munger

Suggested verses for DIY devotions:

Psalm 46:10, Hebrews 11, Romans 8:28, Exodus 14:14, Philippians 2:3-5, Mark 10:43-45, Luke 10:27, John 16:13, Luke 11:28, 1 Kings 19:11-13, Isaiah 30:19-22

Want more trip planning support? Our short-term mission team would love to help.