Rev. Scott Parrish, Missions Specialist for The North Georgia Conference, offers 4 points to keep in mind when forming and sustaining a missions team.
Pastor friends, make sure all of your church mission teams (from local to international) practice mission in dynamic, transformational ways:
1) as a spiritual exercise as individuals & team following in the ways of Jesus.
2) with focus primarily on loving God & loving neighbors as they do themselves, i.e. it's not mainly about projects but relationships.
3) with best practices of being prepared, vetted for Safe Sanctuaries, with appropriate insurance (critical for international as most US insurance won't cover), & doing no harm while acting on behalf of the Body of Christ.
4) Being the Church out in the world requires we listen & learn well as disciples of Jesus. It is vital that we do this practical theological together as a team. The prayerful reflection should be part of the daily rhythm of mission as we learn from our hosts, those we serve, & God. This should continue after our return home (often something we neglect) as the Holy Spirit likely has so much for us to "unpack" from the mission experiences so that the weeks & months afterward may be the most important for the Kingdom of God impact in our personal life & for our church. How does this experience show our church how to be alive in our own community? How do we best express that, & integrate into the individual & corporate life of our church, so that we fan the flames of the mission movement locally?