What is a Certified Sending Partner?
Certified Sending Partners are churches who invite other students and sponsors from other churches to accompany them on their mission trip. Since most churches in Oklahoma are small, there is a tremendous need to know where to confidently direct churches with less than 6 students who want to be part of a mission trip. The church and families of these 1-6 students need peace of mind in knowing that their host mission trip leadership will be doing their due diligence in leading a safe and effective mission trip experience. The leadership of the Certified Sending Partners will be the ones approving any student or adult involved in their mission trip.
When and how long will the trips be?
Most opportunities will be during the summer, spring break, fall break, or winter break. They will last between 5-14 days, including travel. Trips in state (4-5 days), in North America (7-8 days), out of North America (8-14 days).
Who can go?
In-State projects are aimed at middle school (completed 6th grade) and high school students. Out-of-State projects are aimed at high school students (completed 9th grade). College students are welcome as junior sponsors, and adults 21+ as adult sponsors for all projects. All participants must fill out applications, send references, and be accepted on to the project by the projects Certified Sending Partner.
How many can go? How many must go?
Projects will have capacity limits as decided by the missionary host and Certified Sending Partner. Most will be in the 20-50 range for in-state projects, and 10-20 range for out-of-state projects. We encourage churches with 6 or more students and 2 or more adults to try to send a team by adopting their own project. Groups or individuals of 6 or less students are invited to join a team that has adopted a project through the GOSTUDENTS | NETWORK.
Who runs the mission trips?
Trips are ran by Oklahoma Baptist churches that are Certified Sending Partners. Coordinators from these churches are experienced and equipped ministry leaders that must meet a high level of excellence to be certified by the GOSTUDENTS | NETWORK. Requirements to be a Certified Sending Partner include things like: partnering with Baptist field personnel long term, running background checks, requiring Safe and Secure child safety training, appropriate adult to student ratios, mission training for leaders and students, travel insurance, consent forms, registration/payment programs, etc.
How much do trips fully cost?
Trips are priced according to ground cost (Lodging, meals, local transportation, ministry expenses, etc). The additional costs of out-of-state projects involving airfare, passports, or visas are handled individually by the participant through the project travel agent and/or the Certified Sending Partner. Ground cost range between $100 and $1200 based on length and location. Scholarships from $100-$500 are available while supplies last at www.oklahomabaptists.org/gostudents-scholarships to help participants cover ground costs.
When can we sign up?
When is the deadline to sign up to join or adopt a project?
Each project is different depending on dates, location, and capacity. Groups desiring to adopt a project will typically need a runway of 9-18 months to do a quality trip. Individuals should sign up for available projects ASAP. The Certified Sending Partner of each individual project will set those deadlines. Email us for deadline questions not answered on our website.
Will a deposit be required for a participant to officially be accepted on a project?
Yes. The deposit amount will be set by the Certified Sending Partner. Typically, a deposit from $25-$50 will be required in order to submit an official application. That deposit is applied to the cost of the trip if accepted and refunded if the applicant is denied. This deposit is typically non-refundable once the applicant is accepted on the trip.
How will the participants make payment for their trip?
Most Certified Sending Partners conducting their projects through the GOSTUDENTS | NETWORK will run their registration, requirements, and payments through their own GoMethod account. GoMethod can accept payment electronically by an ACH bank transfer from the applicants secure profile or by sending a check to the CSP Church with the participants name in the memo. Some projects may even take credit cards through the GoMethod system depending on the preferences of the CSP (Cards require service fees). The CSP’s will also determine the deadlines for payments to be made.
How will out-of-state participants secure airfare? When will they need to by?
The majority of participants will be required to secure their own airfare. A flight itinerary will be set up by the projects Certified Sending Partner. That flight information will be communicated to the group along with instructions for participants to purchase the correct airfare. Many projects will use travel agents that individuals can utilize and provide assurance that the airfare is purchased correctly. The Certified Sending Partner will set the airfare deadlines. Typically, airfare should be secured as soon as possible to guarantee a spot and the best possible price. All participant airfare should be purchased at least 60 days prior to the trip.
How safe are the projects?
Projects are all in safe locations and monitored by the Certified Sending Partner, Oklahoma Baptists, local missionaries, church planters, and ministry leaders. Training is provided for all leaders and team members. Each participant is covered by travel insurance in the event of an unexpected emergency. All participants fill out applications, provide references, and are vetted to help insure the right people are on the trip. Students are supervised at all times. An appropriate adult to student ratio is required for all projects.
Our church already has a connection with a Missionary, Church Planter, or Ministry Partner. Can we use this pathway to conduct a youth trip?
Yes! We’d be glad to consider bringing your church and missions partner into the GOSTUDENTS | NETWORK. Email us to get started. Missionaries, Church Planters, and Ministry Partners must be affiliated with Southern Baptists.
Can individual youth (without a group) register?
Yes, but we recommend students attend a mission trip with their own youth group. The GOSTUDENTS | NETWORK is set up to help youth groups go on mission trips together, but also for students whose home church doesn’t offer a youth mission trip, or they do but the trip offered doesn’t fit the appropriate or desired experience of the individual. In those cases, we certainly invite them to join a trip within our network of Certified Sending Partners.
How does an individual officially join a group?
Individuals can join a group by clicking on the “JOIN a Trip” section of our website, apply for an available project adopted by another church, and then following the instructions to fill out an application. The application and references will be reviewed by the Certified Sending Partner. Upon approval the individual will be informed of their acceptance and further instructions.
How does a group officially adopt a project?
The group leader should email us to get started. Groups desiring to adopt a project through the GOSTUDENTS | NETWORK must be willing to meet the requirements to be a Certified Sending Partner. There will need to be estimated project dates agreed upon by the potential missionary, church planter, or ministry partner with the group seeking to adopt them through the network. Upon approval, the adopting church can then count on resources being deployed to their group, scholarships being available, and individuals coming along with their group on the project.
What are the requirements for a church to become a Certified Sending Partner?
– Partner with SBC affiliated missionaries, church planters, or ministry partners who value student teams.
– Have intentions of a long-term relationship with the field personnel.
– Run background checks on all participants 18 years and older.
– Require Safe and Secure child safety training (i.e. Ministry Safe) for all trip leaders and sponsors.
– Meet the minimum adult to student ratios (1:6 In-State, 1:5 Out-of-State, 1:4 Out-of-Continent).
– Stay within appropriate student age boundaries (Completed 6th grade for in-state and 9th grade for out-of-state).
– Provide leader and team training to ensure the team is safe, effective, and gospel focused.
– Require an application and references for all participants.
– Secure travel insurance for all team members.
– Require appropriate release forms and consent to travel documents.
– Have registration systems in place (i.e. GoMethod) to ensure requirements and payments are tracked and completed.
Why should a church consider becoming a Certified Sending Partner?
One church can accomplish a lot, but multiple like-minded churches partnering together can accomplish much more. When we read the New Testament, we see how churches worked together to accomplish larger goals concerning the cause of Christ. It is certainly the heart of God to help other churches grow stronger and let them know they are not alone in the Great Commission. Certified Sending Partners model what it means to love the bride of Christ. They have the satisfaction of knowing they are helping other churches but also know they have increased the potential of multiplying themselves, maybe even providing a new ministry partner for their missionary or church planter they are serving in the future.
What do Certified Sending Partners receive from Oklahoma Baptists?
The CSP trips are not through Oklahoma Baptists, but rather assisted by Oklahoma Baptists (GoStudents NETWORK). Churches who become Certified Sending Partners will be responsible for all elements of the mission trip (collecting and dispersing money, lodging, food, transportation, etc.). Exceptions to this would be churches who adopt IMB GO IMPACT projects or similar organizations. Churches who become Certified Sending Partners will receive the funding and tools they need to help offset the additional load they carry when helping another church mobilize students. Oklahoma Baptists can provide resources such as the following:
– Cost for Coordinator provided (Possibly Co-Coordinator as well)
– Child protection training (i.e. Ministry Safe)
– Background checks
– Online registration and payment systems (i.e. GoMethod)
– Travel insurance, required forms and travel documents
– Connection to trusted SBC field personnel that value student teams
– Quality missions training
– Vision trips as needed
– Access to travel agents
One of the greatest benefits churches receive from partnering with the GoStudents NETWORK are participant scholarships. These scholarships would be made available to the Certified Sending Partners church participants along with the individuals going along with them. Scholarships range from $100-$500 per participant while funds last. Applications to receive these scholarships are found at https://www.oklahomabaptists.org/gostudents/gostudents-scholarship/ . Oklahoma Baptists will be right beside the Certified Sending Partners as they prepare, initiate, and return from their cooperative missions’ effort!