In the process of finding a teen missions organization that will meet the needs of you, your family or your group, we anticipate you have many questions.
This is the place to get answers.
For more information on Global Expeditions please call 1-866-545-6239.
For encouragement and practical tips to help you, your group or your child get on the mission field after being placed on a specific trip please call 1-866-545-6864.
If you have a question about any trips or participants that are currently active on the mission field please call 1-866-599-6753.
If you have a question that is not answered here, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or
HOW DO I KNOW THE TRIP DESTINATION IS SAFE?
Before a destination is selected, its political situation, recent and previous history, and national issues are evaluated.
Prior to missionaries arriving, staff members visit trip destinations to confirm the safety of food, housing, transportation and ministry locations.
While a mission trip is in the planning stages travel advisories issued by the U.S. State Department are consistently reviewed and frequent communication is kept with local contacts. If a destination is determined to be unstable it will be closed and all affected missionaries moved to other projects.
WHAT HAPPENS IN AN EMERGENCY?
We believe the best way to handle catastrophe is to plan ahead, so that it never gets a chance to happen! For this reason we have implemented rules and travel guidelines that are safety focused and we have pre-trip training for all participants to ensure there is proper adherence to the boundaries set forth.
All senior project leaders are First Aid/CPR certified and are aware of the emergency hospital/clinic protocol for the country they are serving in. Contact with parents is initiated for any situation leading to the transportation of missionaries to outside medical facilities or requiring the input and evaluation of certified medical staff.
The decision to plan travel to all Global Expeditions destinations includes the research and review of previous weather history and forecasted weather expectations. Unstable locations are flagged, and travel to these areas is avoided.
While Global Expeditions takes every precaution possible to avoid situations that have the potential to escalate, we still feel it is imperative to have clear emergency protocol in place. All project leaders are trained to follow directives laid out by the head office, should a site become unstable. Furthermore, we are connected to an outside advisory organization that will assist in quickly, legally, and safely handling any such situations that may arise.
WHO WILL BE SUPERVISING TRIP PARTICIPANTS?
On a typical Global Expedition’s short-term mission trip…
One Project Director oversees all administrative operations and is responsible for teaching, training, and disciplining the entire group. They strive to provide a quality experience for each missionary. Each Project Director has been hand-selected by the Global Expeditions executive office for their missions resume and proven leadership.
Within the project, the teens are split into teams of 25-30 missionaries. A Global Expeditions certified Team Leader serve are responsible for overseeing the daily ministry of their designated team. All team leaders are under the supervision of the Project Director.
Every team is then divided into smaller same-gender groups of 4-6 teens. These small groups are each supervised by a Missionary Advisor (age 18+). The Missionary Advisor is responsible for the accountability and discipleship of his or her small group and is under the supervision of the Team Leader.
Participants are never alone…
While on ministry, during fun days and anytime missionaries are outside their housing complex, all teens are required to be in what we call “approved groups.” This means that, on most short-term mission trips, teens are in a group of 4-5 Global Expeditions team members, including at least one Missionary Advisor (18+).
As safety is such a priority, we have made dismissal from the mission trip a possible consequence for any missionary breaking from their approved group, or leaving the base camp without permission.
HOW ARE LEADERS CHOSEN AND TRAINED?
Because we intend to provoke teen missionaries to passionately pursue Jesus Christ, Teen Mania’s Global Expeditions endeavors to recruit the finest leaders from across North America.
To ensure quality, all our leaders are subject to a thorough application and screening process.
Choosing Missionary Advisors
All Missionary Advisors are mature adults (ages 18+) who have demonstrated solid character and capable leadership. Interested candidates arrive to their mission trip registration early to go through a vetting process.
While they are learning small group leadership skills and moving through team development objectives, their project director is evaluating their ability to critically think, demonstrate social and emotional maturity, and display a level of spiritual depth that would make them a positive influence on younger missionaries. Candidates are then selected and receive ongoing guidance from their Project Director and Team Leaders for the duration of their mission trip.
Choosing Team Leaders
Team Leader candidates are required to attend a Teen Mania’s Global Expeditions TrueNorth Leadership Training Experience, so our staff have an opportunity to meet with them face to face (the events are held in different cities across the nation, at our headquarters and online in the months leading up to our peak mission season).
At the TrueNorth Leadership Training Experience, Team Leader applicants learn about the expectations of Teen Mania’s Global Expeditions and are brought through a number of leadership development sessions and small group activities. During this time they are interviewed and evaluated by Project Directors and Teen Mania’s Global Expeditions staff.
At the conclusion of the seminar a 360 review is done on each attendee by the onsite Teen Mania’s Global Expeditions staff and a determination is made on their eligibility to provide leadership on a short-term mission trip.
Those selected to become Team Leaders are then notified and assigned a training syllabus that they are required to complete prior to their arrival on their mission trip. They are also assigned a Project Director who provide accountability, so that the ongoing leadership education curriculum is completed in a timely manner.
Furthermore, on most trips Team Leaders receive additional preparation and testing, prior to having a team assigned to them.
Choosing Project Directors
Project Directors are hand-selected by the Teen Mania’s Global Expeditions Executive Office and serve by invitation only.
All Project Directors (with a few exceptions) have operated in the Team Leader role on previous short-term mission trips and have significant experience with Global Expeditions.
They have proven their ability to lead well and execute on the plans and directives of Teen Mania’s Global Expeditions.
CAN A PARENT BE THEIR CHILD’S LEADER OR JUST GO ON THE TRIP WITH THEM?
We welcome parents on all our Teen Mania’s Global Expeditions mission trips.
We have several leadership positions available and we encourage parents to consider serving in a leadership role. However, serving as a leader is not required to attend the trip as a family.
In order to become a leader on a trip, you must go through our leadership application and selection process.
Please click here to visit our leadership page for more information on what positions are available and how you can join your child on their mission trip as a leader.
WHAT DO THE LEADERS DO?
Missionary Advisors (ages 18-30) oversee 4-6 students of the same gender, providing one-on-one interaction with the young people similar to a camp counselor.
Their primary responsibility is the oversight and development of their small group. They provide constant supervision and frequent attendance checks to ensure the safety of each team member assigned to them.
Missionary Advisor candidates leadership skills are vetted by Project Directors and Team Leaders and they are given additional education on travel safety and small group coaching.
Each team (usually comprised of 25-30 students) is led by Global Expeditions Certified Team Leaders.
The Team Leaders work together to build a strong sense of family and positive morale among their students. They are responsible for providing direction and oversight at ministry sites and ensuring their missionaries are being effective. Team Leaders are responsible for developing their teams spiritually and holding them accountable to growth opportunities. They are expected to help their teens process through their trip as it progresses and cast vision on a daily basis. Team Leaders should be confident and ready to vocally direct a large group of students in the right direction.
Most projects will have a Country Assistant (age 21+).
They provide leadership support to the senior level project leaders (Project Directors) by assisting with the many logistics of the project. Country Assistants keep communication to parents alive by updating the group’s Facebook page, posting pictures while the trip is out on the field, and fielding incoming messages from parents. They keep documentation organized, run errands onsite, and serve as logistics support. Since they are involved with the behind-the-scene tasks, which are not always time consuming, they will also get the chance to join teams out on ministry.
It is our desire to have a volunteer Health Coach for each project, and sometimes for each team.
Health Coaches assist the project’s leadership by navigating through first aid needs. They monitor the students as they travel and serve on the mission field to ensure safety is always a priority. Health Coaches are required to have experience in the medical field and can be medics, nurses, doctors etc. When they are not advising the team on health issues, they have the opportunity to join in on the outreach opportunities in whatever country they’re in.
A Project Director will oversee the entire ministry trip on most Teen Mania’s Global Expeditions projects.
They have been working with the Global Expeditions’ Headquarters throughout the year on specific trip details. They have also received training on the Global Expeditions processes, procedures, and international contact relations. They are directly involved with areas of teaching, training, discipline, accountability, scheduling, logistics, and ministry. They will hold participants accountable to the rules and safety measures outlined by Global Expeditions and help in providing a safe environment for everyone.
All Project Directors (with a few exceptions) have operated in the Team Leader role. They understand the expectations and desired results regarding the Team Leader position and are therefore able to provide accountability and direction to their trip’s Team Leaders.
All field leadership including missionary advisors, team leaders, country assistants, health coaches, and global partners, ultimately report to the Project Director and are accountable to them for their responsibilities.
Each Project Director has had significant experience with Teen Mania’s Global Expeditions and has proven themselves in their ability to communicate clearly, maintain positive relationships, carry themselves with maturity, and execute on the plans and directives of Global Expeditions.
Project Directors are hand selected by the Teen Mania’s Global Expeditions Executive Office and serve in their leadership role by invitation only.
WHAT DOES THE COST OF THE TRIP PAY FOR?
The base cost of each trip includes any travel done after the trip’s start date*(international flights and/or ground transportation), missionary training and debriefing, in-country transportation, housing, and food. Trip prices also offset costs associated with ministry tools (i.e. tracts, Bibles etc), equipment, administrative and project setup costs.
*Does not include Youth Group Trips (on these projects youth pastors will be responsible to provide transportation throughout the time)
Trip prices do not include the following:
- Leadership Training Camps (for Team Leaders, Country Assistants, Health Coaches and Missionary Advisors)
- Background Checks for participants 18+ years of age
- Travel to/from the mission trip’s starting/ending location
- International Airfare and Unaccompanied minor fees
- Fun Day Activities vary from trip to trip and may have additional costs involved.
- Health/Travel Insurance and costs related to securing a passport
HOW DO PARTICIPANTS RAISE THE MONEY FOR THEIR TRIP?
Each year Teen Mania’s Global Expeditions helps thousands of teenagers, groups, families and leaders raise money and support for their mission trips.
We will help you too!
Once you, your group or child has been accepted to a Teen Mania’s Global Expeditions mission trip, they will receive a fundraising kit with a guidebook and professional materials to help them generate resources. They will also be assigned a Teen Mania’s Global Expeditions representative who will help them write support letters and plan fundraiser events.
WHAT ARE THE FINANCIAL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES?
Financial accountability and integrity is important to us, and we have developed a set of principles and guidelines to keep us on the right track in the way we use the resources God has entrusted to us.
- Global Expeditions (Teen Mania Ministries) is a member in good standing with the ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) and adheres to all policies, procedures and reporting guidelines of the ECFA, IRS, and CCRA.
- All contributions received, regardless of amount, are considered sacred to the ministry to which God has called us. We commit to prayerfully seek ways that we can stretch each dollar given by our donors in order to make the greatest impact for the Kingdom.
- All contributions received for a designated purpose will be accounted for separately from the general contributions to ensure their use for the intended purpose. When gifts exceed the needs of a specific project, funds will be allocated to other equally important outreaches of Teen Mania Ministries.
- Teen Mania Ministries will provide a tax receipt in accordance with the rules and regulations of the IRS and CCRA for each contribution received.
- Teen Mania Ministries will not sell or trade our donor list to any other organization or institution. We will maintain the confidentiality and integrity of our donors at all times.
- Teen Mania Ministries diligently seeks to pay our vendors and suppliers within thirty days of receiving an invoice. We understand that timely payment is important to the success of those with whom we do business.
- At the annual meeting of the Teen Mania Ministries Board of Directors, the salaries for the President of Teen Mania Ministries and the Secretary of the Board of Teen Mania Ministries are set by the board members. The president and the secretary of the board are not present in the meeting when compensation matters are discussed.
- Teen Mania Ministries does not receive any grants or funding from any organization whose mission is contrary to that of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
- The president and founders, Mr. and Mrs. Luce, do not receive royalties for any product that is sold through the ministry or used for fundraising or other promotional purposes by Teen Mania.
- Teen Mania Ministries adheres to generally accepted accounting procedures and conducts an annual audit by an independent, national auditor to maintain strong financial accountability. Related party transactions also undergo a full detailed audit at regular intervals to ensure integrity of all operations. Executive team transactions are reviewed yearly by the Board of Directors. The Executive Team reviews all other transactions.
- Teen Mania Ministries places a high importance on maintaining healthy families and a strong level of personal integrity and accountability when serving in ministry, especially when traveling. Therefore, the President is encouraged to travel with one family member per ministry trip and at key times with his whole family. Executive team members are also strongly encouraged at key times during the year to bring their families with them on ministry-related travel.
WHAT SHOULD SPONSORS BE TOLD ABOUT DONATIONS?
1) To receive a tax deduction, sponsors must make their checks payable to Teen Mania Ministries. Teen Mania Ministries has been recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt organization described in Internal Revenue Code Section 501 (c) (3) and is eligible to receive tax deductible donations. All contributions to Teen Mania Ministries are solicited with the understanding that Teen Mania has complete discretion and control over the use of donated funds.
2) Contributions are NOT refundable, nor can the donor or missionary request the contribution be designated for another missionary. All funds donated by sponsors become the exclusive and permanent property of Teen Mania Ministries when received and are at all times under the complete discretion and control of Teen Mania Ministries. Donated funds will be used in furtherance of Teen Mania’s tax-exempt purposes of missions work and evangelism.
3) Sponsors are NOT to place missionary names anywhere on checks sent. When sponsors send in a check, the check should be accompanied by either, (a) a donation coupon that has the missionary’s ID number, or (b) a note with the missionary’s ID number stating that the gift to Teen Mania was made as a result of a request by (name of missionary). If the check happens to be made out to the missionary, it should be endorsed before sending it to Global Expeditions.
Keep in mind, as noted in point 1 above, in order for the donor to receive a tax deduction the check MUST be payable to Teen Mania Ministries.
4) Teen Mania Ministries’ Cancellation policy.
- If a missionary cancels before their International Ticketing Deadline, no charges will be made to the missionary account, and those funds will hold in that missionary’s account for up to 1 year to send that same missionary or an immediate family member on another Global Expeditions trip.
- If the missionary cancels his or her plans to go on a mission trip after the Ticketing Deadline, the cost of deposits and flights administrative expenses will still be charged to their missions account. If a domestic flight was purchased via Skypass Travel, that cost will also be deducted.
- If a project is rerouted at the discretion of Global Expeditions, the cancellation policy does continue to apply.
- If a cancellation is made within 14 days of the trips start date, the full cost of the project will be charged to that missionaries account, along with all relevant travel fees. The funds in the account will be deducted for that season.
- Official trip cancellations should be submitted in writing to email@example.com with the Missionary’s name and ID# and reason for cancellation.
ARE DONATIONS TAX DEDUCTIBLE?
Global Expeditions (Teen Mania Ministries) is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and is registered with the IRS as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, making all donations to the ministry tax-deductible. In order to receive a tax deduction, the IRS requires donors to release to Teen Mania the control of how their donations are spent. This means all contributions raised for mission trips must be payable to Teen Mania Ministries in order to receive a tax deduction.
WHAT IF A PARTICIPANT IS ON A SPECIAL DIET?
Participants requiring meal items for a special needs diet will be asked to bring supplemental items and/or funds to secure provisions during their trip. The need for special arrangements to pick up or bring additional meal items must be requested by email to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the students ticketing deadline, so Global Expeditions can confirm if arrangements can be made. If arrangements cannot be made, the student will be asked to transfer to a project that is able to accommodate them appropriately.
Underage students may be asked to validate their dietary needs via their parents and/or a medical professional and no Global Expeditions participant is allowed to request meal substitutes during their mission trip without approval from the office or at the direction of a medical professional.
The implementation of these guidelines allows us to ensure teens are not using their mission trip as a ‘weight loss program’ and refusing to eat for reasons of preference vs. necessity while maintaining the integrity of their health.
No participant is ever required to eat anything they are allergic to and our travel release forms (documents outlining all allergies) are reviewed by the senior level project leaders prior to the trips international departure.
WHAT RULES DO PARTICIPANTS HAVE TO FOLLOW?
The rules and regulations adopted by Teen Mania’s Global Expeditions are designed to ensure the safety and well-being of each team member. Upon becoming a member of Teen Mania’s Global Expeditions, you are expected to maintain the highest standard of integrity, honesty and morality. We expect full cooperation from members (and parents if applicable) in any disciplinary decisions made. Global Expeditions reserves the right to send any team member home who shows blatant disregard for the stated rules and regulations.
All Rules have a Purpose:
- Christianity – to reflect the attitude and lifestyle of Jesus
- Safety – to ensure against bodily harm and other abuse
- Ministry – to set an environment for missionaries to encounter God
- Cultural sensitivity – to win the favor respect of nationals
Forms of Accountability:
- Warning – This can be a verbal or written warning.
- Campus – While the project has free time, missionary will be relegated to their quarters
- Loss of fun day(s) – Missionary will not have the opportunity to participate
- Bon Voyage (return home: also called a “BV”) – Missionary will be sent home at their own expense
RULES AND REGULATIONS
Lifestyle and Conduct
- No use or possession of illegal drugs or tobacco products – BV
- No abuse or distribution of prescription drugs - BV
- No use or possession of alcohol (includes Virgin drinks) – BV
- No use or possession of weapons – BV
- No viewing or possession of pornography - BV
- No physical fighting (includes boxing, wrestling etc) – BV
- No theft or long-term borrowing - BV
- No profanity, gossip, slander, or dark humor (i.e. sarcasm)
- No secular music (including music on mp3/iPOD)
- No movies or TV (unless permission is given by your Project Director)
- Never be outside the lodging complex alone – BV
- In the lodging complex, stay in a same gender group of two at all times
- Your Missionary Advisor must know where you are at all times
- When outside the country’s lodging complex, you must be in an approved group (all groups must consist of 4 members with one Missionary Advisor and one male 16 years or older)*
- Groups must stay together at all times regardless of time of day/night or if they are in ministry or on a Fun Day excursion.
- During ministry events, everyone should know and be aware of the team’s planned departure time/location.
*Some variations may occur if specifically announced by your Project Director
All participants must abide by the following dress code unless specified otherwise by their Project Directors (some cultures require different guidelines):
- No short skirts (slit or length may not end above the knee)
- All shirts must cover stomach completely (with hands raised) and have a modest neckline (no cleavage should be visible). Please plan to not wear spagetti straps unless it’s as an undershirt.
- No short shorts (must reach down to at least 5 inches above the knee)
- Modest one-piece bathing suits; you must wear a cover-up to and from the pool
- No nose or lip rings anytime during trip (Project Directors may make exceptions based on final destination)
- Must wear shirts at all times, including to and from the pool
- No ear, nose or lip rings anytime during trip (Project Directors may make exceptions based on final destination)
Overall Appearance (Male and Female)
- No bizarre head-shaving or dying hair during trip
- No shorts outside of the lodging complex when involved in ministry (Project Directors may make exceptions based on final destination)
- No sleeveless shirts outside of the lodging complex
- No clothing that advertises alcohol, tobacco products, secular bands, or has images that may offend (i.e. skulls etc).
- No new body piercing during trip
- No jewelry during ministry or ministry training
- Shoes must be worn at all times for safety
Phone Calls & Cells
- Every missionary will be required to call home upon arrival for registration
- Personal cell phones may not be taken or used during ministry
- Personal cell phones can only be used during designated times set by Project Directors to call family members. Use outside of the designated time will result in forfeiture of the cell phone until the conclusion of the trip. Project Directors may elect to collect/keep cell phones when not in use.
- Excessive use of personal phones during a trip may result in that phone being confiscated
- No guys in girls’ rooms; no girls in guys’ rooms - BV
- Rooms must be clean and orderly
- Rooms should be kept locked, if possible
- No running in pool areas (where applicable)
- No romantic dating relationships or pairing off at any time. This includes, but is not limited to holding hands, kissing, extended hugs, or communicating any intent for a romantic relationship (even in jest) - BV
- No lap sitting or back rubs (includes of the same gender)
- Everyone must sleep in their own bed (when possible) – no pairing up (includes same gender)
- Note: The most effective ministry is guys ministering to guys and girls ministering to girls
Attitude & Health
- Commit to maintaining a positive attitude regardless of circumstances -possible BV
- Have responsible eating habits - possible BV
- Do not share personal hygiene items
- Report any illnesses to your Missionary Advisor or Team Leader
* Activities such as jet skiing, bungee jumping, surfing, sailing, scuba diving, parasailing, white water rafting, rock climbing, water or snow skiing, riding motorcycles, etc, are completely restricted for everyone regardless of leadership status, age, or personal insurance provider
* Any hikes/walks should be condition permitting with the permission of a project director and the group must return before dark
All rules will be in effect throughout the duration of the trip, beginning upon registration and culminating when participant returns home. Rules that have a BV (Bon Voyage) next to them indicate that the participant can, and in most instances will, be sent home for breaking these rules.