Returning “Home:” 4 Ways to Transition Well after a Youth Ministry Trip


Ministry trips can be truly exceptional experiences. They can bring us face to face with our own selfish attitudes, with our blind spots in justice, with our materialism, and so much more. They can make us grow in our faith, love, and compassion for others. We can go through paradigm-shifting interactions and come out with unexpected friendships. And we can find ourselves in a communion with God that, perhaps, we have never experienced before.

After experiencing all of these things, some teens and ministry leaders will be reeling. And after coming off of that ministry-trip-high, sometimes it appears the feelings and lessons learned will never disappear, but, weeks down the line, they do.

This is why debriefing and finish well are so important! A proper transition period can help your teen’s spiritual walk and your ministry as a whole improve. Insights gained on trips can be shared from students to students, allowing even those who did not go on the trip to benefit. And, perhaps best of all, finishing well is key to enacting lasting transformation in people’s lives. We’ve put together 4 top pieces of advice, built on the insights gained from our CYMT Innovation Lab and Theology Together initiatives, to help you close out a youth ministry trip well!


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