Some of you might be freaking out already because it's NovEmber and the church down the street already has all their summer missions experiences planned out. You have no idea what you are doing next summer much less next month and lots of people are already asking so they can do their 'proper' planning.
The churches and organizations that are able to announce summer plans in NovEmber are good examples of maturity. Just like the definition, it means that their planning process has grown up and they have spent some time growing it up. By and large, they have found ways to repeat these things:
1 - A tested application process for both students and leaders.
2 - They keep in touch with their overseas partners year round and more than just about summer teams. They are probably true sending churches that have great interaction with their people on the field.
3 - A leadership pipeline that has a good amount of people primed and ready to commit to lead a summer team.
Don't worry though - it is only NovEmber. You have some time, but you should probably get on it. As you get things in order for this summer, concentrate on making those items above repeatable and you'll be able to get things moving faster for next year.
Here are three great churches who have 2017 set - 1, 2, 3.