The following checklist may assist you with the
process of successfully leading a research journey. Start with a good plan,
maintain flexibility and a sense of humor, and submit to God as He leads
you through every step.
Decision Phase: 6-12 months prior to team departure
Begin praying for wisdom and direction for the expedition.
Choose a destination and a people.
Begin to research the site selected using area libraries and other available
resources, like the Brigada Network on the Internet. (See Information<>
Sources for details.)
Submit the idea to your church leadership for their input and approval.
Explain the potential costs and benefits of an unreached people data-gathering
expedition. Present possible follow-up ideas.
Initiate relationships with key individuals working with your targeted
people, both nationals and expatriate Christians. Be sure to remember security
precautions in all of your communications.
Establish a preliminary budget. Check with two or three different travel
agencies in order to negotiate the best price.
Begin the promotion process. Communicate in a variety of ways to those
who might be interested in going, as well as to the sponsoring church or
Initiate an application process for those seeking to go on the expedition.
If at all possible, schedule a pre-trip for the team leader (and another
member of the team) to make any arrangements on-site. Consider housing,
meals, research opportunities, and transportation for your team. See the
list of questions to ask on-site workers in Chapter 3 of the Life Changing
Encouunters training manual. Get a local map and phrase list.
Preparation and Training Phase: 3-6 months prior to team departure
Your church leadership and team leader should select a team based on the
applications you have received. Discuss issues that may need policies.
In cooperation with others who have applicable experience, develop a training
plan for the team, including meeting dates before departure.
Invite speakers from inside and outside your church to participate. Invite
others, not on your team, who will benefit from the training.
Assign and distribute reading assignments and materials to each member.
Plan ways to include the entire church body in this endeavor now and after
you return. How can small groups be involved?
Meet with your church leadership to plan dates for presenting the trip
to the church. Include a promotional date, a commissioning date, and a
date to report to the whole congregation upon your return.
Schedule fund-raising events and deadlines. This schedule should correspond
with required payments for airline tickets and other costs. Provide team
members with information on raising financial and prayer support. Schedule
a support-raising kick-off meeting.
Make the travel arrangements. Airfare will consume the majority of your
overall budget, so plan well!
Ensure that each team member has a valid passport. Make two copies of the
front page of each passport. Keep one at home and take one on the trip.
Include everyone's passport numbers on a master list for emergencies. Passports
must be in hand before applying for visas.
Secure required visas and determine airport taxes.
Form a consensus about ministry goals with your team. Formulate a written
mission statement and team covenant.
Delegate various team responsibilities: research manager, photographer,
treasurer, worship leader. Assign one or two team members to carry a first-aid
Encourage team members to find and read historical or cultural information
about the people and site you'll be visiting.
Schedule meetings with key national Christians and expatriate workers focused
on your target people to brief the team before you leave or when you are
on-site. Confirm potential meetings with those on-site via fax, e-mail,
or phone if necessary. Remember security precautions in all of your communications.
Create tools to help the home team and church pray effectively.
Make prayerwalking Bible-verse flip cards.
Take the team to a restaurant to eat food similar to what you'll eat on-site.
Deployment Phase: up to 3 months before departure
Purchase tickets (if you haven't already done so).
Confirm on-site housing arrangements and costs.
Develop your on-site daily schedule. Be careful to provide enough time
to travel between interviews. Try to allow for time each day to debrief
as a team, sharing insights and experiences from the day.
Schedule home prayerwalking events with your church.
Present the team to the congregation for prayer to send them out. Prepare
a map and itinerary as visual aids.
Ensure each member has home-team prayer partners. Schedule a meeting for
the team and home-team to come together for worship, prayer and sharing.
Compile emergency contact lists: leave a list of your in-country contacts
with key people at home; take emergency contact information for each team
member with you on your trip. Have a contingency plan ready to cover the
possibility of major changes in travel plans.
Communicate important details regarding the travel itinerary, especially
any last-minute schedule changes.
Departure and On-Site Phase:
Provide an orientation for the team in the destination city or nearby.
Plan for a day to adjust to the new environment and review the team mission
statement. Urge team members to journal and share their insights along
If possible, communicate with your home church while you are on-site. Plan
on sending one or two faxes/emails or calling a key contact while you are
away to provide prayer fuel and updates.
Complete the project. Continue to welcome feedback and coaching from nationals
and expatriate workers along the way.
Debrief with the team prior to departing from the city or region. Review
what God has taught each team member and help everyone consolidate their
experiences. Help team members develop a "report" to give upon their return.
* Checklist excerpted by permission from Life<>
Changing Encounters training manual
Debrief the team when you return home. See how team members plan to process
their experience once they are back in their routine.
Evaluate the experience. Have each team member complete an evaluation form
to provide feedback on the entire experience.
Have the team research manager gather and compile the team's research and
photographs. Offer to share research reports with the network or others
committed to the people. AD2000<>
& Beyond Movement will forward research on to pertinent agencies.
Report to the congregation. Allow the team's experience to impact the whole
congregation. This gives everyone a part in seeing the Kingdom established
among your target people.
The team leadership should document what was learned about leadership,
both personal lessons and insights.
Ask team members how each will be a good steward of the research trip.
What next steps will you take? When will you take them?
Two weeks after debriefing, team members should check in with one another
about their next steps.
the Adoption | Prayer
Introduction | Adoption
Involvement | Resources