This past weekend, I chatted with a good friend of mine who is co-leading a mission team to Africa this coming summer. I've been very informally helping him through the process and they are on the very front end of it at this point - just finalized the partnership, assembling the team, thinking about logistics and budget, etc. It's been therapeutic for me to relive all those emotions you feel at the beginning of such a big project - joy, anticipation, responsibility, trying to keep your breakfast down. It's also helped me remember some of the important pieces we learned last summer, like all the summers before.
I shared these with my friend and will also be implementing these best practices the next time I'm involved with teams:
- Mandatory deadline - support letters - support stuff gets out in a very short time frame after the teams are official
- Concentrated energy towards support via digital platforms - Facebook, blogs, etc. - hard copy of support letters are great for those supporters over the age of 40
- Milestone - X percentage of support raised by a certain date - line this date up so it's before plane tickets are purchased
- optimal team sizes for travel
Of course, these things are important but not central.
Yes, therapeutic. And catalytic.
Photo: ARotolo, JLucht and Kt, City Hall, Vienna, Austria, Europe. July 2008.