The official WELS program for short-term mission trips

WELS Mission Journeys provides an opportunity for all WELS members to walk together in the Great Commission. Through church- or school-based volunteer trips to WELS mission fields at home and abroad, members have the opportunity to engage in Christian service. Pre-trip training led by a Mission Journeys team leader equips volunteers to have significant impact during their trip. While volunteering, the learning and sharing of outreach ideas will allow teams to explore how they can use their God-given abilities to engage in outreach activities in their home congregation upon their return home. With the Lord’s blessing, these trips will inspire a lifelong journey of service and outreach for all who volunteer.

“I was changed. I have never done anything so spiritually fulfilling, and the Mission Journeys program provides the opportunity for that same experience to many more people.”

“It was an honor as well as humbling to be sent as an ambassador to a world mission congregation. Standing barefoot on a Sunday morning, worshiping with Christian brothers and sisters singing a song I knew in a language I didn’t. . .  It was a small glimpse of what’s to come in heaven!”

“Our Mission Journeys trip fanned the flame for all of us on the trip as well as those surrounding us. As we returned home, we were all invigorated to do more in our own congregations and continue to serve the Lord in our everyday lives.”

“They kept thanking us over and over for sharing the message of Jesus with them. The look in their eyes is unforgettable.”

“My trip has given me a new zeal to share the gospel.”

“I plan on taking this experience and utilizing what I learned to interact more with those I know who don’t understand the joy we have in Christ.”  

“A Mission Journeys trip will definitely change your life for the better.”

These trips teach you how to engage others and instill a heart of service. For those of you considering a mission trip, I strongly encourage you to go. There is nothing like it! You dont have to worry that you are too young, too inexperienced, too nervous, etc. God will use you! 

“Our entire group agreed – we came back to our homes learning much more and growing in our faith in more ways than we could have imagined.”

“It was the best decision I think I’ve ever made.”

“I recommend (12 out of 10!) participating in mission trips. Not only will you see the wonders that he has made, but God might also use and inspire you in an unexpected yet wonderful way.”


  • Short-term trips to London

    7 days

    Community outreach and personal evangelism

  • Short term trips to Latin America

    5-7 days

    Assist and encourage Academia Cristo students in local outreach

  • Local volunteer opportunities

    One day

    Help out a local home mission congregation at some of their events

  • Long term service in London

    3-6 months

    Work alongside the missionaries to build outreach efforts

  • Short term trips to Puerto Rico

    5-7 days

    Assist WELS’ sister church with outreach and building improvement projects (Spanish-speakers preferred)

  • Short term trip to a home mission church

    3-7 days

    Help a home mission with outreach, events, or improvement projects

  • Short term trip to Seattle, Wash.

    7 days

    Assist Illume Lutheran Church with their renovation project in April/May 2024 (Housing provided)

  • Long term trip to Seattle, Wash.

    1-2 months

    Cook for Illume Lutheran Church renovation volunteers in April/May 2024 (Housing provided)

  • Short term trip to Apache reservations

    2-4 days

    Maintenance projects around church and school properties on the Apache reservations in Arizona


Through pre-trip training, you will develop a spiritual plan for your earthly mission journey. Teams receive training materials that provide opportunities for spiritual growth, team building, and enhanced cultural understanding.


Your mission journey will provide you with a new perspective on the urgency of sharing the Gospel. With everything centered on our Savior, you will develop meaningful relationships with your team, host congregations, and even members of the community you witness to.


Your team will have the opportunity to lead an outreach activity or event in your community through your local congregation. This will allow your team to take what you’ve learned and apply it back home, continuing to walk together in the Great Commission.

How do I form a team? 

  1. Fill out the Team Member Application form below.
  2. Shannon Bohme, Mission Journeys coordinator, will contact you.
  3. Connect with you church about sending a short-term mission trip team. This includes your pastor and church leadership.
  4. Once the leadership gives approval, have an announcement in church and talk with Bible study attendees – share you desire to go and serve another congregational mission field.
  5. View the Mission Journeys trips opportunities and choose one with Shannon Bohme.
  6. Form a team that is committed to serving.
  7. Learn about the training materials from Mission Journeys.


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A: Mission Journeys is a program for WELS/ELS members over the age of 13. This program is designed for both lay people and called workers, to give all WELS members the opportunity to experience a short-term mission trip.

A: The focus of the Mission Journeys program is to work with congregations, but we will also work with schools and campus ministries to assist with mission trips. You do not need a team to apply. Mission Journeys will help you recruit a team from your congregation or school.

A: We will try to help you recruit additional team members. There is also potential to pair up with a team from a congregation close by.

A: You will receive an email confirming receipt of your application. Mission Journeys staff will contact you within one week to talk more specifically about the details of a mission journeys trip.

A: Some congregations and schools already work with a specific ministry and consistently send volunteers – if that is the case, we would encourage you to continue those relationships and enhance volunteer efforts through the Mission Journeys program. For congregations not currently doing missions trips, Mission Journeys will match teams based on the needs of the hosting mission congregation or field.

A: Mission Journeys is looking to send 75% of trips to domestic locations – in home missions or existing, self-supporting congregations – with the rest of the trips being at an international location.

A: Team size is dependent on the request and needs of the host congregation.

A: Types of projects including canvassing, a variety of camps (Soccer, Fine Arts, Coding etc.), and Vacation Bible School.

A: For many domestic trips, you won’t have to worry about a language barrier. While it may be helpful for some members of the team to have some fluency in the local language on international trips, it is not required.

A: Yes – Team training includes developing a resiliency plan, culture sensitivity training, team building activities, devotions, and sharing ideas for fundraising. Most mission journey teams will meet four to five times as a team before departure.

A: Your journey continues with a post-trip team meeting and a presentation to your church. Each team also leads an outreach activity or program in the local congregation/community. This could be an enhanced VBS program, canvassing your community, starting a campus ministry, or finding service projects in your community for your congregation to participate in.

A: Mission Journeys travel expenses are funded by the team and/or their church or school, depending on the situation. The costs will vary for each trip. The Mission Journeys program also charges fees to help offset administrative expenses. Thanks to generous donors, the cost is $25/person. This includes the training materials and a Mission Journeys t-shirt. We recommend that teams work with their church or school on fundraising, especially for those who might need financial assistance.

A: You may be staying with a host family, in a hotel, or in dorm rooms. Housing is dependent on what the host can provide.

A: Host families will be church members of the congregation or mission field you are working with. They have generously offered to share their home and meals to support the ministry. Host families may be a family with extra space to share or a retired couple looking to share their space with you. By staying with a host family, you may be building a life-long friendship. You may share a room with another member of your team, of the same gender.

A: While the focus of the trip with be to walk alongside the congregation or mission field that you are visiting, there may be opportunities to enjoy the area you are visiting. Most hosts are proud to share the beauty and sights of the area in which they live.

A: If your mission journeys trip is international, you will need a valid passport. The amount of time it takes to get a passport varies, and plane tickets cannot be booked without a copy of each person’s passport. Any costs associated with obtaining a passport are solely your responsibility. If you are applying for a U.S. passport, you can download an application and read instructions about obtaining a passport online at It is required for your passport to have at least six months of validity past your travel dates.

A: Travel insurance is provided to team members traveling on international trips. Services provided include political and natural disaster evacuation, emergency medical transport as well as other services relating to trip planning and emergency coordination.

A: If your church would like to host a team, there is a Host Request Form available on the WELS Missions Journeys webpage. Hosts and Teams will be matched according to gifts, timing, and needs.

Download flyers, posters, and bulletin inserts from the WELS Resource Center to promote Mission Journeys within your congregation, school, or organization.