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How Should You Share Mission Trips On Social Media?

By MOHI on Feb 12, 2024 8:15:00 AM

You're about to head overseas for your mission trip, and you can't wait to share the incredible journey with friends back home. On the packing list of course is your phone, ready to capture every moment, from the vibrant local scenes to the impactful work He has called you to participate in.

We know you want to keep your loved ones looped in and share this life-changing experience. But it’s critical to do it in the right way.

Thoughtful use of social media is key if you want to avoid damaging the impact of your mission trip.

It’s natural to want to share those big, eye-catching moments or focus on what you're doing. But there's a catch – sometimes, this can give a bit of a skewed picture, such as only showing the dramatic changes or how you're making a difference, without really highlighting the amazing ongoing work of the local community itself.

Remember, it's not just about us – it's about the incredible people and communities we're there to serve. So, what should you keep in mind about using social media on your mission trip?

1. Share the whole story, not just yours

When sharing your mission trip experiences on social media, it's crucial to capture the bigger picture. Remember, you're part of a larger story, one that's woven by the local community's ongoing efforts.

Instead of focusing solely on your actions, shift the spotlight to highlight these collective efforts.

For instance, if you're involved in a project, talk about the long-term impacts and the local heroes driving change. Steer clear of stories that paint visitors like yourself as “saviors”; you're there to support the local community, not to be the central figure.

Not to mention, real progress comes when these communities come together and become more self-sufficient, so a “Western savior” mentality is counterproductive for everyone.

Engage with locals, ask questions, and share their stories of resilience and progress.

By doing this, you're not just sharing a post; you're honoring the spirit of the mission and the community you're serving. It's all about celebrating the journey together, with respect and authenticity.

2. Respect and connect with local communities

You might be surprised to learn that many people in places like Kenya are just as connected online as we are. They're on Facebook and other platforms, which means they might see what you post.

Here’s a golden rule: post about others as you'd like to be posted about. Imagine how you’d feel if someone shared your photo or story without asking – not great, right?

Always ask for permission before snapping that picture. And think twice before you share – would you be okay if someone shared something similar about you?

Make an effort to share stories that celebrate collaboration and local achievements, showing off the strength and spirit of these communities. This helps show mutual respect and creates a more inclusive portrayal of our efforts.

3. Be present and mindful

When you're on a mission trip, it's tempting to capture every single moment on camera. But constantly snapping photos can actually pull you away from the real experience. Imagine those moments where you’re building a connection with someone, only to have a camera come between you. Even passionate photographers need to recognize moments to avoid just living through their lens.

Take a step back from the camera, soak in the experience, and share the stories later.

Some of the most profound moments you'll have won't be caught on camera, but they'll be etched in your memory. This way, you're not just collecting photos, but creating genuine, heartfelt memories.

4. Be authentic in the story you tell

Embarking on a mission trip is all about serving, learning, and genuinely connecting with the local community, right? So, when it comes to sharing your experiences on social media, it's important to keep it genuine.

We all get the urge to spruce up our stories for those extra likes, or share only the moments or angles that paint us in the best light, but don’t forget the bigger picture. Your mission trip isn't just a series of video-worthy moments; it's a powerful experience that deserves honest storytelling.

Take a moment to reflect on your mission after you're back. You'll find that this not only gives you a clearer perspective but also helps you share a more meaningful narrative of your experience.

When you do post, think about the insights you've gained, the collective achievements, or how you've grown personally. This ensures your posts won't just be another drop in the social media ocean but a genuine insight into the transformative power of your mission. Your followers and friends will appreciate this authentic glimpse way more than any embellished story.

Preparing for your next mission

In our mission journeys, we should harness social media as a tool to glorify God's work, sharing stories that uplift and honor those we serve. Our online presence should authentically reflect the transformative power of these experiences — so each can be a testament to the love and hope of Christ, inspiring others to follow a path of service and spiritual growth.

Still need to plan your next mission trip? Learn more about missions trips with MOHI.