Students Do Digital Outreach in a New Kind of Mission Trip

When the COVID-19 pandemic canceled all five of the mission trips that Power to Change had planned for students over the summer, they needed to pivot. Like many ministries, Power to Change uses mission trips to expose students to other cultures, get them to share their faith, help in practical ways, and learn how to live life on mission. But the pandemic made it impossible to send students out in person for these trips.

They still wanted to do something. “Something that still gives students the change to share their faith,” writes Sarah Davies on the Power to Change blog. “Something that still allows students to try out missions and be a part of what God is doing globally as they learn about other places and interact with people who actually live there.”

It was decided to do a Digital Mission Trip. Over the course of six weeks, 37 students and 19 staff members took part in the DMT. Students use social media and online meeting software to pray together, do Bible study, learn about the cultures where they’re ministering, and reach out to form relationships and share their faith.

A new kind of trip

One benefit of doing a Digital Mission Trip rather than an in-person one is that it’s more flexible. The Digital Mission Trip isn’t an all-day commitment, so students can take part in the DMT while still working, studying, or staying involved in their church. “The DMT gave them the chance to learn how to incorporate ministry into life, since most won’t end up in full-time vocational ministry,” Davies writes. “This was a space to learn how to balance life well.”

Over the course of the six-week Digital Mission Trip, the students engaged in conversations with hundreds of people, with some friendships forged that have continued after the trip has ended. “The first week of conversations were pretty superficial, but they deepened,” says Yakira, a student from Ontario who took part in the Digital Mission Trip. “Not only is a mission trip a place to share God, but also a place that has brought me back to His great love as I see how He’s at work in my own life.”

How to do a Digital Mission Trip

If you are interested in starting your own Digital Mission Trip, we have some good resources for you. During one of our Ministry From a Distance webinars, Melody Chiam from Campus Crusade for Christ Malaysia shared tips on how to run a DMT. You can also get a Digital Mission Trip Guide here.