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How to Prepare for a Vision Trip

Written by Nate Irwin on

To borrow the words of Jesus to a distracted Martha, “but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42).

Going on a Vision Trip creates all sorts of inner excitement and anxiety. You’re likely eager to meet new people, see different places, and get out of your day-to-day routine. But if you’re like me, you’re also wondering if you’ll like the food, how you’ll fit in with the people and ministry, and whether you’ll be able to sleep with the jet lag.

Physical, Cultural & Relational Preparation

These are all valid concerns. You should go as prepared as possible. How? See a travel doctor, learn about the country you’ll be going to, become acquainted with the missionaries or national partners you’ll be serving. Spend time getting to know your team and praying with them. Grow in your “CQ,” your “cultural quotient.” That is, your ability not to judge other cultures’ ways of thinking and doing things in the light of your own culture. Go, to listen and learn and serve.

Spiritual Preparation

But, above all, go surrendered to the Holy Spirit and full of his power. Before the trip, spend time regularly beholding the glory of God (2 Cor. 3:18) by sitting at Jesus’s feet and listening to him (Luke 10:39), getting filled up with Jesus. For after all, the most attractive thing about you on this trip will not be what you know or how well you teach or how hard you serve. It will be the only truly attractive One, full in you, flowing out of you, who will impact people.

See, if you’re like Jesus in the way you think, talk, and care, everything else will fall into place. You’ll get along with your team, you’ll put up with the inconveniences and changed agendas, and long days; you’ll have a level of compassion you didn’t know possible for the people you are with. And you’ll be as sweet as Jesus the whole time!

I’d rather have one Vision Tripper full of Jesus than a whole team of people who are going in their own strength. The aroma from his life in that person will be delightful and inescapable and will help to “draw all people” unto him (John 12:32).

So, if this is all it takes to be an effective Vision Trip participant, then anyone, really, can do it—including you! You and Jesus. Going places.  With others from his body. For him. How about it?


To learn more about the Global Outreach Ministry of College Park Church, check out Ep. #6 of the Equip podcast.

Nate Irwin

Nate joined staff at College Park in 2002 as the Pastor of Global Outreach. He is also an elder for the North Suburbs Parish. Drawing on his own experience having grown up, and then serving as a missionary in, Pakistan, Nate works to challenge, prepare, and enable cross-cultural messengers of the gospel from College Park and to cast a vision for reaching unreached people groups through strategic partners. He is passionate about “finishing the task” of making disciples of all 17,000 nations in the world.

Prior to coming on staff, Nate served with TEAM as the principal of Zarephath Bible Institute in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Nate and his wife, Marty, have three adult children and two grandchildren. He enjoys spending time with his family, travel, and sports of all kinds.

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