RYM 023: How To Make The Most Of Your Student Mission Trips

Planning and leading a mission trip for students in your youth group is no small task. From picking a destination to booking airline tickets to training the team, it can get overwhelming in a hurry. This week, join Elloa Davis, Charlie Conder, Ashley Bohinc, and CJ Palmer for a conversation about how you can make the most of your student mission trips—from the moment you begin the preparation process through your return home—while easing the burden on you and your ministry.

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Oftentimes, mission trips get put on the back burner because of the amount of work it takes for them to go well. (4:30)

You’ll have more quality time on a one-week mission trip with your students than you will all the years they’re in your ministry combined. (5:00)

There are ways to get all your students involved, even if only 15 are actually traveling. (6:00)

Short-term missions can be really impactful when a relationship is already established on the ground where you are serving. (9:00)

One of the greatest ways to help students develop empathy is to get them out of their comfort zones. (11:00)

Going on a mission trip might be the first time a teenager realizes there is something that is not beautiful about themselves. (11:30)

It’s one thing to walk into another culture and see their poverty. It’s another thing when you try to name your own. (11:45)

It’s not the trip that changes you. It’s the experience with God on the trip that changes you. (12:00)

In our efforts to help, sometimes I think we end up hurting instead. (17:00)

When it comes to short-term missions, there’s a difference between having a “trip mindset” and a “partner mindset.” (20:00)

Youth Pastors – cue your communicators to talk about serving experiences and stories throughout the year. (27:00)





CJ is the Managing Editor for XP3 High School and Social Media Strategist for XP3’s blog and social media platforms. CJ has been leading small groups for middle school and high school students at North Point Community Church for the past 10 years. He also placed 5th in his 8th grade class fun run. CJ and his wife, Teri, live in Alpharetta, GA.


Elloa has been working with Orange in some form or fashion since graduating from Furman University, and is currently the Director of Small Group Curriculum for 252 Kids. She loves helping churches create environments where kids are excited to engage with their Creator. Elloa and her husband, Mike, live north of Atlanta, Georgia, and have been married since 2007. Together they’re raising a sweet, precocious little girl and two cats.


Ashley Bohinc serves as the Director of Middle School Strategy at Orange, co-host of The Think Orange Podcast, and co-author of The Art of Group Talk. She’s worked with students in public education, athletic, and ministry settings since 2005. Ashley is most passionate about resourcing the local church, communicating onstage, developing leaders, working with students, and engaging in world missions. Additionally, she’s the USA Director of Carry 117. In her downtime, you’ll find her watching Friends, cheering on the Cleveland Cavaliers, traveling, reading, or on one of her Fairytale Friday Adventures.



Charlie is an XP3 Orange Specialist at Orange after spending the past 20 years working with students in educational and ministry settings. Most recently, Charlie spent 12 years as the middle school youth pastor in a thriving Methodist church in the Metro Atlanta area. Charlie grew up in rural Illinois but has been living in metro Atlanta, GA for the past 14 years. She lives with her husband Eric, her sometimes snarky but lovable daughter, and their three pups.

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Orange Conference 2018