Mission Trips: Frequently Asked Questions

Below you'll find some of the most common questions we receive regarding mission trips. If you're thinking about going on a short-term trip but you're not sure how it all works, please browse through this article to learn more. 

Q: What type of work will I do on a short-term mission trip?

A: Every trip is different. The underlying goal of our Global Outreach Ministry is church planting and church support. Trips revolve around building up the local church through effective evangelism and discipleship in the local community. Most trips are a combination of many things, including: church service projects, community outreach, evangelism through drama and concerts, vacation Bible school for children, and even conferences for pastors and leaders. Caring for, encouraging, and loving our missionaries is also a key objectives.


Q. Do I need a passport?

A. For international trips, you must have a valid passport with at least six months remaining prior your passport expiration from the date of departure and at least two free pages for entry/exit and visa stamps. For domestic trips, a valid state issued ID is required. You are required to obtain these on your own. For more information, visit Travel.State.gov/Passport.


Q. What does the trip cost cover?

A. The trip cost includes airfare, airport taxes, visas, meals, lodging, in country transportation, ministry expenses, and international travel insurance.


Q. What is not covered in the trip cost?

A. Immunizations, airport snacks, and optional recreational activities. During training, you’ll be informed of any additional expenses.


Q. Do I need any previous missions experience?

A. No. A few of our trips are specialized in nature, and if there are requirements, you’ll be made aware of them during the interview process. Most trips are great opportunities for those new to missions, those who are called, or those willing to try new things.


Q. How do I apply to be a part of a team?

A. To apply for a trip, click here. Be prepared to spend about 45 minutes filling out your application. The application includes a $300 deposit. This deposit is your personal commitment to the mission trip. Applications submitted without the deposit will not be considered for participation. Upon applying, the Global Outreach Team will review your application and set up an interview. You can expect to hear whether you have been accepted to the team about 7-10 days after your application has been submitted.


Q. Is my deposit refundable if I’m not accepted to the team?

A. Yes. If for some reason Calvary Chapel makes the choice to decline your application, your fee is fully refundable. If you, however, make the choice to cancel your participation, refunds cannot be given per IRS regulations since they are categorized as donations toward a missions project.


Q. How much support can I raise for my trip?

A. The cost of the deposit is required to be paid by the applicant personally as a commitment to the mission trip. After the deposit is made, up to 100% of the remaining trip cost can be covered by support. For ideas on how to fundraise, click here.


Q. Does my trip have to be paid in full before I go?

A. Yes. For your convenience, financial due dates are spread out in increments over time.


Q. Are fluctuations possible to the cost and dates of this trip?

A. In order to minimize the impact of rising travel costs, while maximizing your ministry opportunity, we’ve provided a maximum date range as final trip dates remain flexible by +/- three days in order to ensure the best possible airfares and itineraries. You’ll be kept well informed of your final itinerary in advance (most often this will not change) so that you can share your trip dates and schedule accordingly. We have estimated the cost of the trip based upon normal travel conditions. Your early application and deposit are used to secure lower fares made in advance. Once ticketed, we’ll provide an actual final cost, which seldom fluctuates. Deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable due to IRS regulations since they are categorized as donations toward a missions project.


Q. Do all payments, donations, and applications need to be made online?

A. To ensure our financial accountability, we are a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). We fully support the purpose and goals of ECFA and display its seal proudly to reflect compliance with its membership standards. Our safe and secure online application, registration, and giving programs offer you, your donors, and the church the highest degree of accountability and the lowest administrative costs associated with processing your application, payment, and donations. Please encourage donors to make online contributions at CalvaryFTL.org/Missions.


Q. Are donations tax deductible?

A. Yes. All donations allocated to Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale are tax deductible and the donor will receive a year-end statement. Cash and other donations made out to the individual are not tax deductible, so it’s best that donors give online at CalvaryFTL.org/Missions.


Q. How do my donors give towards my trip?

A. ALL payments/donations are received electronically at CalvaryFTL.org/Missions. When a donation is made, a transaction receipt will be e-mailed to the donor.


Q. What if incoming donations exceed my need?

A. Donations that exceed the need of the participant will still be used for mission projects. First priority will be given to ministry needs of that specific trip. If budgets for the particular missions trip are met, funds will go for future mission projects.


Q. Why is it important to adhere to application and financial deadlines?

A. Planning an international team trip involves communication with embassies, travel agents, hotels, transport providers, missionaries, and sometimes, medical professionals. Also, depending on the cost of your trip, deadlines are strategically given to allow you plenty of time to raise support. Applicants who apply late may be accepted if there is still availability, but will still be responsible to meet all the obligations of the trip on time, including financial due dates and will be responsible for any increase in expense from when the original group expenses were contracted.


Q. Do I have to attend all team meetings in order to be a team member?

A. Yes. Training is required because we are committed to preparing you as completely as possible. This is an essential time for understanding the culture and ministry, as well as building team unity. Team training dates are on the calendar well in advance, so you can plan accordingly. For your convenience, we typically meet after Sunday services. If you commit to a trip, you are committing to training and to a team, so please give training dates the highest priority.


Q. What kind of preparation is provided in team trainings?

A. Team training sessions are tailored to the country, culture, and ministry needs of our partners on location. We cover the language, history, and culture of the country. Standard training includes both ministry and practical aspects. We’ll go over outreach, evangelism, servanthood, team dynamics, spiritual warfare, packing, travel, safety, jetlag, on-the-ground logistics, and more. Additionally, specialized planning for dramas, children’s ministry, sports, and other activities will take place as your team creates the ministry together.


Q. May I deviate from the group’s itinerary—stay longer or leave early?

A. Due to restrictions imposed by airlines on individual and group tickets, deviations can often increase the cost for all other trip participants. Therefore, we’re generally unable to accommodate deviations from the group itinerary. If a deviation is required due to extenuating circumstances, the individual would be responsible for all additional costs. Under no circumstances will deviations be allowed on the front end of the trip. The team must travel to the country together.


Q. What immunizations are required?

A. Each country has its own recommendations and requirements. The government has a website which we use as our guide (CDC.gov/Travel). Once you’re accepted to the team, you’ll be made aware of recommendations and requirements. As a church, we’ll give you the freedom to prayerfully consider recommended immunizations; however, you must get any required immunizations. Some immunizations take several weeks to take effect, so plan early. Suggestions made by us are general. If you have special health needs, direct your questions to your doctor. If you do not have a doctor, the Broward County Health Department operates a travel clinic where you can receive counsel and immunizations (BrowardCHD.org/Vaccinations.aspx).


Q. Do I need to attend Calvary Chapel to be considered?

A. No, but you must regularly attend church somewhere. During the trip, you’re a representative of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale and will be expected to adhere to our statement of faith. Preference will be given to Calvary Chapel attendees if applications exceed available spots.