At Crosslinks, we link mission partners with churches and individuals who commit to support them.
Taking this a step further, some go overseas to visit, encourage and work alongside the partners they support, or to create new partnerships. We help by facilitating short-term visits, practical arrangements and follow-up.
What are the benefits?
We are realistic about what a team can achieve on a trip lasting just two or three weeks but frequently God works in amazing ways through church teams. A visit often strengthens relationships between mission partners and their supporters. It can help supporters to learn more about how partners work and how to support them in the long term. Visits also inspire team members to consider longer-term mission or new service in their home church. As they interact with mission partners and see God at work in the lives of others, church team members may grow in maturity, understanding and excitement about the gospel.
What would a church team placement look like?
Placements vary depending on location, duration and the gifts and make-up of your team. Church team visits usually last between two weeks and a month and we aim to give team members new and useful experiences in cultural learning. Placements will combine service to a community overseas, word ministry in the community, and discipleship within the team. Teams might help with holiday bible clubs, schools work or children’s camps. They may teach English, evangelise among students, teach the Bible, or do practical tasks. Church teams enable you to share this experience alongside members of your own church family.
What’s the process?
Mission partners, churches or individuals can initiate a visit. Typically, a church’s leadership nominates a leader or two and team members, subject to our approval.
We work closely with leaders and teams to develop bespoke itineraries. We help them prepare for their visit and arrange flights, accommodation and transport. We advise on practical matters, run checks and clearances, and arrange insurance. We also offer specialist cross-cultural training.
For more details on the process, timeline and responsibilities in sending a church team, download this document.
Why go through Crosslinks rather than organise a trip independently as a church?
We handle some of the administrative and practical work involved in arranging teams. This mean that that the church (and particularly the church leadership) can focus more on the relational aspects and less on the nuts and bolts of making it happen.
For churches, benefits also lie in drawing on our expertise to help organise a successful visit. We provide support and training from our years of experience in deploying short and long-term mission partners. Going through Crosslinks ensures that the team is well prepared through a tailor-made orientation during which our staff will help the team think through:
- cross-cultural mission engagement
- the context in the country they’ll be visiting
- preparation requirements (e.g. visas, vaccines, kit lists)
- health, stress and security concerns
- how best to support long-term mission partners as a short-termer
Crosslinks also looks after short-termers while overseas – particularly in the cases of health or security emergencies. This is something that churches sending teams independently may struggle with – we have in-country knowledge, emergency and evacuation procedures, connections to medical advisors and comprehensive travel insurance cover for our short-term volunteers.
We also facilitate debriefing after the trip for the team, which is an essential part of overseas mission. Crosslinks can also offer ongoing support in conjunction with the team members’ church if needed.
The total cost of the church team will vary depending on team size, location and length of placement. We’ll help you with budgeting and fundraising and arrange your flights using our charity discount air fares. Flights are provided at a separate cost and are authorised under Diversity Travel (ATOL 9566) and protected under the ATOL scheme. Aside from the budgeted items, team members will need to cover their personal preparation costs, such as necessary vaccines.
If you’ve already chatted with your church leaders or mission committee about arranging a team, the next step is to contact Daisy Bartholomew and we can then help you find a suitable placement and time, with your input. Please allow at least four months before your proposed date of travel.
All church team members must be Christians and UK residents. They will also need to have a DBS and health clearance. Both of these will be arranged for you by Crosslinks.
The church organising the team must provide its own leaders, usually one male and one female, who will need to submit an application to Crosslinks (form available here). The leaders will also take applications from and interview prospective team members using forms we’ll provide.
Occasionally we are asked to send out a team of workers to meet a specific short-term need: running a bible holiday club, helping with work among students, or rural outreach, for example. We call these ‘open teams’ and we advertise opportunities here. To join a team, you need to be willing to serve, ready to learn, able to articulate the gospel clearly, and up for a challenge!
2019 church team opportunities
There are opportunities to serve as a group from your church or CU with mission partners in Serbia, Pakistan, South Africa, Nigeria, Thailand, Kenya and more. Opportunities include a range of mission activities at various times of the year. For summer 2019, please enquire with us by Jan/Feb 2019.