JOPLIN, MISSOURI

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Post-Disaster Relief Mission Trip

THE MISSION

On May 22, 2011, the small town of Joplin, Missouri was forever changed when a monstrous tornado swept through the center of the quiet southern town. The storm took the lives of 162 people, leaving thousands of others with nothing.

But even in this dark moment, there was hope.

The residents of Joplin came together as one, united and determined to rebuild their community. That same year, we partnered with a number of disaster relief volunteers and organizations to assist in the rebuilding process. Many homes were completely destroyed and others were heavily damaged.

Thanks in large part to thousands of volunteers; Joplin is rebuilt. Houses that were flattened are now standing again. Businesses that were destroyed are now up and running.

JOPLIN-mission

A transition has been made as to WHY we are rebuilding within this community, but the partnership persists as the local church has asked us to stay and continue working together as the body of Christ. This has led us into partnership with neighboring communities to Journey Church who were in need of physical repair long before the storm hit. With home repair as a platform, we are eager for you to join us in meeting new families, building a foundation of trust, and making disciples.

Debris from the storm also drew us to local organizations whose heart is to holistically transform Joplin through strengthening families and developing the youth of this town. Our desire is to support these organizations as they invest day in, day out into the larger community.

You can be a part of a movement sweeping through the town of Joplin; one that is significantly stronger than any storm.

ADDITIONAL VIDEO

QUICK INFO

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DATES AVAILABLE

June 3-9 July 8-14
June 10-16 July 15-21
June 17-23 July 22-28
June 24-30 July 29-August 4
July 1-6**  

* Sunday – Friday Trip

  • Call for Availability on Crossed out Dates or for Winter/Spring Break Trips
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AGE GROUPS ALLOWED

  • Middle School Students 
  • High School Students
  • College Students

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TRIP COST

$419/person

*This includes all accommodations, food, work project materials and programming.

TYPICAL WORK

 Construction  75%

 Community Activities / Immersion  10%

 Relational Ministry 15%

PAST PROJECTS

WATERED GARDENS

Watered Gardens is a local homeless shelter in Joplin that focuses on restoring dignity within those who are struggling. Next Step has been able to work with Watered Gardens since 2013. We have done a multitude of projects, from helping finish their new building addition, to refinishing the floors in the original building. In the future, Watered Gardens will be expanding their campus. We are looking forward to continuing to help with the new projects and buildings coming in the future.

NEIGHBORHOOD LIFEHOUSE

Neighborhood Lifehouse exists to build relationships within their community in a safe, Christ-centered environment. A lot of their outreach involves investing in the local youth. With that, Next Step has had the opportunity to do multiple projects such as building a playground for the youth at Lifehouse, and working on the historic Lifehouse building. In the past, we have had the opportunity to fully remodel parts of the building, from new flooring to drywall.

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS

JOURNEY CHURCH

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This congregation has become family to Next Step. This church is what our team calls ‘home’ for the duration of the summer. But this church has gone beyond simply providing a roof over our head. Journey is a growing congregation eager to grow outside the four walls of their church and serve the community of Joplin in an intimate and real way. There is a constant stir within the church to find creative ways to address the spiritual needs of the community. Journey Church has committed to following up with the families we work with over the summer in order to continue building a relationship and sharing the love of Christ.

THE 2IN5 INITIATIVE

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Journey Church has created the 2in5 Initiative which is a vision to reach every house within a five mile radius of the church in a two year time frame. They want to reach these homes with physical construction and emotional needs, as well. Next Step is working with families in this two mile radius, rebuilding floors, roofs, and various other projects. We have a unique opportunity to invite these families to church so they can get involved more deeply in the Journey community.

GOD’S RESORT

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God’s Resort is a ministry that helps with transitional housing. They own a block of houses and allow individuals or families coming out of shelter to stay in them. This gives people the opportunity to learn how to pay rent and maintain a home in a loving and welcoming environment. Next Step has had the opportunity to work on multiple projects at God’s Resort, including siding, building a shed, and painting.

WORSHIP

EVENING PROGRAMMING

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WORSHIP MUSIC
We’ve been told our worship experience is where summer camp meets mission trip. We put together bands from all over the country to lead your students in powerful worship every night. These talented and Christ-centered musicians will help show your students that worship can be fun, worship can be exciting, and worship can bring a joy they have maybe never experienced before.

CHALLENGING MESSAGES
It is our goal to bring your students closer to Christ this week. One way we do this is through challenging evening messages. Whether your students are new to the whole God thing or devoted Christians, these messages will help them understand Christ is alive and working in their lives today and a personal relationship with Him is available.

ORIGINAL VIDEO SERIES
Every summer we produce an original video series that coincides with the evening messages. This video series is our attempt to reach your students in yet another way with powerful stories of Christ in action. We’ve featured speakers such as Francis Chan, Shane Claiborne and Propaganda. You can watch some of our past video series in our Media Section. 

MYSTEP FOLLOW-UP

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MyStep is an online program solely dedicated to helping your students, your church, or your ministry take the next step in a commitment to Jesus Christ. Whether you just came back from a mission trip through Next Step, or you’re just looking for another way to strengthen your faith, MyStep is for you! We created a safe environment for students to explore the faith, and experience God in new and amazing ways!

Devo Stories are one of MyStep’s most popular features. We have over 365 short video story illustrations that show the many different ways God is working in our daily lives. Whether it’s a comical lesson about the consequences of stealing or a serious conversation about a parents’ divorce, these stories help students understand God in new and real ways.

Another feature is the Prayer Wall, which provides an open and anonymous prayer forum for anyone to share their praises and concerns, and be prayed for throughout the year. Know our team is praying for these requests.

Both of these features can be installed for free on your mobile device. Simply search for Devo Stories or Prayer Wall on your phone or tablet’s app store. This makes staying connected to God and each other easier than ever!

LOGISTICS

ACCOMODATIONS

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The trip is hosted at the Journey Church Ministry Center. The facility is located in central Joplin and includes large sleeping areas for guys and girls. Sleeping will be on the floor so please bring a twin air mattress and bedding. There are bathrooms in the facility and a shower trailer on site with individual shower stalls.

TRANSPORTATION

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This mission site is bus and van accessible. Some groups choose to fly and then rent vehicles for the week. The nearest airports are Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) located 1.5 hours away, or the Joplin Regional Airport (JLN) located just 15 minutes away from where we stay in Joplin.

WHAT TO BRING

  • Twin Size Air Mattress
  • Bedding & Pillow
  • Water Bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellent
  • Towel
  • Toiletries
  • Swim Suit
  • Work Shoes
  • Work Clothes
  • Casual Clothes
  • Work Gloves
  • Safety Glasses
  • Hammer

WEEKLY SCHEDULE

SUNDAY (ARRIVAL DAY)

3:00-5:00 pm – Arrive to Mission Location
6:00 pm – Dinner
7:00 pm – Worship & Weekly Orientation
8:30 pm – Church Time, Small groups, Free Time
11:00 pm – Lights Out

MONDAY – THURSDAY (WORK DAYS)

7:00 am – Wake Up
7:15 am – Eat Breakfast & Lunch Preparation
8:00 am – Morning Devotional
8:15 am – Depart for Worksite & Begin Working
12:00 pm – Lunch & Devotion
1:00 pm – Resume Working
3:30 pm – Clean Up/Return
4:00 pm – Free time/Showers/Leader Meeting
6:00pm – Dinner
7:00 pm – Worship
8:30 – Church Time/Small Groups/Free Time
11:00 pm – Lights Out

FRIDAY (COMMUNITY / FUN DAY)

8:00 am – Wake Up 
8:15 am – Eat Breakfast & Lunch Preparation
9:00 am – Morning Devotion

9:15 am – Leave for Free Day Activity
4:00 pm  – Shower Time/Free Time/Leader Meeting
6:00 pm – Dinner

7:00 pm – Worship
8:30 pm – Church Time/Small Groups/Free time

11:00 pm – Lights Out

 

 

FAQS

Yes. Next Step Ministries exists to give middle school, high school, and college students an opportunity to explore their faith, experience God, and extend service to others on a mission trip. Students are our top priority and safety is always our primary concern. Thankfully, because of our long-term commitment and involvement within the community we have developed many close relationships with the locals. The community is familiar with Next Step and we’ve worked hard to humbly earn their trust and respect. Because of these close friendships we are the first to know if something out of the ordinary comes up or is unsafe. 

The trip lodging facility will always be locked to ensure safety. During the day, students will be serving at homes where Next Step has already visited the family and knows who they are. Furthermore, community members select these projects, so we can ensure they are safe places for us to be. This network of community friendships allows for Next Step to engage with the community in a way that is trusted and safe. 

On the first night of the trip, our staff will train and equip your team to understand safety on the construction work sites. If you’re interested in learning more about this, please visit our Construction Safety page.

We are more than happy to talk in more detail about safety on this trip. Please feel free to contact our office for further conversation regarding trip safety.

We are committed to never being in an area where we feel students are at a heightened risk to their physical, spiritual or emotional health.  However, we understand we are serving in a community where safety concerns surround us at a distance. For that reason, we have created Safety Procedures available for the main leader of your trip on the Trip Dashboard. You can access this information at anytime leading up to your trip.
Registration opens in July and will be available through early spring. To get your preferred dates, locations, and spaces it is recommended to secure your spots sometime before October.
For summer mission trips you must have a minimum of five participants to be eligible for a group. If you have less than five participants please contact our office. The maximum number of people will depend on location capacity and availability. Please call our office to learn more about the special requirements for spring mission trips.
Our office staff is available to help with this process. Please contact our office to learn more about how to reserve your spots. You can always add people to your group, as long as there is space available.
Next Step Ministries offers trips for middle school, high school, and college groups. Some trips are reserved for specific age groups and other trips are mixed ages. Please contact our office with your preferences and we will provide you with a list of available trips. Middle school trips are for students going into 6th, 7th, or 8th grade. High school trips are for students going into 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade. College trips are for ages 18-25.
Next Step Ministries asks for 1 adult for every 6 students.
Yes. Each church group is responsible for conducting background checks on all participants ages 18 or older.
Each location has a different max capacity, so please contact our office to learn more about spaces available. In the event that we are fully booked for the trip you are interested in, we can put you on a wait list or help find alternative trip options. To avoid these delays, we recommend registering for your trip as soon as you can!
$50 Deposit- 30 days after registration

50% Payment on March 15
Final Payment on May 15

The deposit is $50 per participant and due 30 days after online registration. The deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable. March 15 is the last day to cancel participants. Note, if you cancel participants prior to March 15 the deposit money will be lost. If you need to make cancellations after March 15, your church will still be responsible for paying the full fee for all participant registrations reserved. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact our office and we would be happy to discuss in more detail.

No, we do not affiliate with a particular denomination. Next Step Ministries is an interdenominational organization and we partner with hundreds of churches from all different denominations on our mission trips. Please see our Statement of Faith to learn more about what we believe. In simple terms, we stick to the basics of the Gospel. Our foundation for ministry is to provide opportunities for students to connect and grow in a personal relationship with Christ.
Next Step Ministries works alongside community leaders, non-profit organizations, and the local church in order to line up work projects. Next Step Partnership Coordinators live and serve within the community year round and are well connected. Next Step collaborates with the community to plan the projects you will be working on in advance.
Your group will learn about the work projects on the first night of your trip! Our staff will contact you 1-2 weeks prior to the trip to share updates in advance and provide an updated tool list. 
A Next Step Partnership Coordinator facilitates community partnerships, lines up projects, leads the summer staff, and coordinates other logistics such as lodging and accommodations. The trip will be facilitated by 8-10 energetic, mission-minded, and highly trained college interns. The site staff will include a construction team, worship team, speaker, meal coordinators, and administrative leaders to guide you through the week.
You will most likely be attending a trip with 2-4 other youth groups. All groups will share sleeping quarters and we will have meals and worship together as a large group. Most of our mission site locations can accommodate for 80-100 volunteers each week. For work projects, we love to mix students and encourage new friendships to form, but also understand that many groups prefer not to have their group split up for different work projects. Please let our office staff know your preference and we will plan accordingly to accommodate your preferences.

During the mission trip it is important that we make every effort to dress respectfully, modestly, and appropriately. We will be working hard serving in the community so it is best to wear old, comfortable, and modest clothes. Please understand there may be different cultural norms in the other partnering churches and/or community you are visiting for one week. While certain clothing may be acceptable in your hometown, it might not be appropriate for the mission trip.

Please review the dress code below and pack accordingly. If you have any questions, please contact our office at missions@nextstepministries.com or 608-514-4051.

  • Shirts: All trip participants should wear either a short-sleeve or long-sleeve t-shirt on the work projects. You may wear tank tops or sleeveless shirts in the evening during free time, dinner, and worship. Tank tops must be modest. Please note, no spaghetti strap tank tops or ripped/torn cut-off shirts. All sleeveless shirts must have a hem.
  • Pants/Shorts: All trip participants should wear modest pants or shorts at all times on the mission trip. Please adhere to the following rules:
    • Please be mindful of the length of your shorts. Follow the “fingertip length” rule to determine if your shorts are appropriate length. To do this, stand with your arms straight at your side and place your palm against the side of your legs. The length of your shorts should be at your fingertips or longer. Spandex pants/shorts are NOT allowed on the mission trip at anytime. This includes yoga pants or spandex athletic shorts.
  • Bathing Suits
    • Ladies must wear a one-piece swim suit or wear a t-shirt over a two-piece swim suit. Males must wear swim trunks that are long enough for the “fingertip length” rule mentioned above.

The trip cost is the same for students and adults. The cost covers all meals, materials, and lodging. The only cost not included is for transportation. You will need to provide your own vehicle for every day of the trip.
The trip begins on Sunday evening. Please plan to arrive between 3:00-5:00 pm. Our friendly staff will welcome you with dinner and help you unload all of your bags. The trip concludes Saturday morning after breakfast and clean up. Please plan to depart by 9:00 am. We are happy to accommodate your travel plans so please contact our office if you need special arrival or departure plans. Please note the July 17-22 trip is scheduled as a Sunday-Friday trip and will conclude Friday morning at 9:00 am.

Each trip participant should be sure to pack the following items: 

  • Air Mattress (twin size to be sure there is enough space for everyone)
  • Bedding & Pillow
  • Water Bottle 
  • Sunglasses and/or Hat
  • Sunscreen & Insect Repellent
  • Personal Snacks (i.e. granola bars, trail mix)
  • Towel and toiletries (i.e. soap, shampoo, toothbrush, etc.)
  • Work Shoes: an old pair of tennis shoes will work well 
  • Work Clothes: old t-shirts, athletic shorts, cargo shorts, or jeans all work well. Please be sure to review the dress code in advance. 
  • Casual Clothes: bring a clean set of clothes to change into after showers every evening. Plan to dress casually and comfortably! 
  • Personal work gloves, safety glasses, and hammer