Lutz Campus

18333 Exciting Idlewild Blvd.
Lutz, FL 33548

Idlewild at The Springs

8209 N 19th St
Tampa, FL 33604

Iglesia Bautista Idlewild

Main Campus, Student Building, Hall 2

How to go on a Mission Trip

It may seem overwhelming and too difficult to bother with but it really is not that difficult to join one of our mission trip teams. Look for a “GO CARD” in the Missions Cafe to help you be ready to get on the mission field.

  • Pray. You may be tempted to get busy doing stuff but the first thing that we need to do is talk to God about where he wants you to go. The Holy Spirit will lead you in this process, he may reveal only one step at a time, but God will be faithful to lead you.
  • Get Your Passport. Start the process now, even if you are unsure of what trip you want to go on. Getting your passport can be a slow process so don’t delay. Click here to begin the process.
  • Get Information. Check out the list of mission trips online or pickup a “Trip Information Card” in the Missions Cafe. There is a card for each trip that is being offered, on it you will find the necessary information that you need to get you started, from dates to cost and information about the type of work that will be done. Contact the trip leader or watch the church bulletin for information about trip information meetings.
  • Attend The “Go On A Mission Trip” Class. This class is a necessary preparation for any mission trip. This is a basic training course that will inform, encourage, and equip you for your personal journey. The class will cover a lot of topics including what is Idlewild’s mission vision, safety and security issues and cultural sensitivity.
  • Fill Out The Mission Trip Application Online. We want you to succeed and the trip to be effective. Your application will provide key information to your team leader, helping him get to know you better and understand the dynamics of the team. Click on the trip you desire to go on and follow the steps to filling in the application online.
  • Raise Financial Support. If you need assistance financially, do not be embarrassed or shy about requesting help, the members of Idlewild Baptist Church are very willing to help people go on mission trips, most of them feel that it is a privilege to help.  A sample support request letter can be downloaded here.
  • Go, Come Back And Share. Your stories and enthusiasm will be the instrument God uses to encourage somebody else to go. Send a follow-up report to all of those who supported you in prayer and financial gifts.

I’m ready to get started!
I need more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I determine which trip to go on?
  • You first step is to learn of all the different mission trip opportunities that are available by visiting our “Mission Trips” page or by picking up a “Trip Information Card” in the Missions Café or you can call the missions ministry office at 813-264-8727.
  • Plan to attend the mission trip information meetings that will be offered 6-9 months before the trip and advertised in our Excite and Wednesday order of service or by contacting the Mission Trip leader (contact info on the Trip Information Card).
  • And lastly but most important spend time in prayer. Ask God to reveal to you where He can use your gifts for His work.
What if there is an emergency on the field?

All mission trips have information on the local hospitals and places that our volunteers can be taken to get medical assistance. The mission’s ministry has the emergency contact number for the team leader in the field and the ministry they are working with. A phone call chain is created by the team leader to convey information or news from the field to those back home.

Is there anything that could disqualify me from a Mission trip?

All mission trips have general requirements to be able to go on a mission trip: membership status, background check, & financial requirements. But there are more specific requirements that are unique to each trip: skills needed, physical demands of the trip, previous mission trip experience, etc. You can get more details on the requirements of each trip by attending the information meeting.

How is the cost of mission trip determined?

Some of the trip expenses include airfare: vehicle rental and gasoline, housing, food, shipping, visas and work permits, training materials and speakers. The missions department allocates an amount to every mission trip based on available budget.

What is the team member’s expected contribution?
  • The cost for Idlewild members is posted on this website and on the Trip Information Cards in the Missions Café. Non-Idlewild members need to contact the Missions Ministry office for their cost.
  • The cost of the trip for Idlewild members will not include any personal costs incurred in preparation for the trip (passports, shots and meds, postage for support letters, etc. For more information, etc.).
  • Any amounts that the members raises above and beyond their cost for the mission trip will be applied to the overall cost of the trip or to financially help another member.
Do we make every effort to explore “bargains” and “special deals” to minimize airline costs?

Yes! We have a Mission Trip Coordinator on staff that works with many travel agencies to get the lowest price possible. The Mission Trip Coordinator efforts and expertise have not only saved us money but they have also given us invaluable help with foreign governments, international banking, travel insurance, passports, visas, and emergency changes in travel itinerary.

What is not included in the cost of the trip?
  • Passport/ passport photos
  • Prayer letters
  • Medical exams, shots, and travel medications
  • Souvenirs
  • Some tourist-type events
  • Meals during travel
Will I need shots?

Most of the places we go to do recommend immunizations. Some countries may “require” immunization against a particular disease. If an immunization is required, you must have proof of that immunization to enter the country or to return to the United States. For the most up-to-date information on what is needed for the country you will visit, contact Centers for Disease Control or a local travel clinic. Wherever you go your tetanus should be up to date.

What is a visa?

A visa is an entry requirement required by a foreign government in addition to your passport. Not all foreign governments require a visa. A visa may be stamped on your passport, or a paper visa may be affixed to your passport. If a visa is required, we’ll provide the appropriate visa application forms for you to complete. Most visa applications require 2-3 passport-size photos as well. The visa fees for each team member are included in the team budget. (Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, please make sure that the team leader and the Short Term Ministry Department know this. It may mean a different visa process for you.)

How soon should I apply for a passport?

New passports and passport renewal can be a slow process and should be started as soon as possible. Most countries require that travelers’ passports not expire within six months of the end of travel. Please check your passport immediately. If it is set to expire within six months of the end of this trip, please begin the process to renew it now.

What about travel insurance?

Basic emergency medical evacuation/transportation; trip cancellation; lost baggage, and accidental death & dismemberment coverage is included in the team budget. For anything outside of this list, you will need to purchase your own overseas medical insurance or check your current medical insurance to find out if you are covered. Several insurance companies specialize in short-term missions travel coverage at inexpensive rates. Contact our Mission Trip Coordinator for a list of options.

Is it acceptable to raise money through car washes, bake sales, rummage sales, etc.?

The key question to ask is, “Would raising money in this way diminish the value of my short term ministry in the eyes of my family and friends?” In light of this possibility, we encourage people to raise funds primarily through prayer letters. Raising funds through prayer letters is also a good experience for  you to have in case you take on a long-term mission’s assignment.

Is financial support available from the church?

We have found, 99% of the time, that if prayer/support letters are sent out on schedule and at least 50 copies are mailed, all the funds come in. Our Idlewild On Mission Fund allows us to offer the mission trips at a substantially reduced price to our members. We do not provide a set percentage across the board for every trip. The discounted price is set on each trip and can be as much as fifty percent but it may be much lower on a low cost trip. Idlewild On Mission provides financial assistance for trips to: members only and they must be giving/tithing to Idlewild Baptist Church.

How critical are the financial deadlines?

The deadlines are vital. Usually the deadline is determined based on a major payment for airlines, visas, housing accommodations, or vehicle rental deposits. Therefore, every effort must be made to make payments on time. If this is not possible let your team leader know as soon as possible. We require that all trip cost be paid 100% within 60 days of the trip.

Is this trip tax deductible?

Yes, each person who gives financial support to you will receive a receipt, as long as the check is made out to Idlewild Baptist Church. The church will only give receipts on donations of $25 or more. Otherwise, the canceled check is the receipt. Please make sure your financial supporters are aware of this. Other personal trip-related expenses paid by participants may be deductible as charitable contributions. Consult IRS Publication 526 and/or your tax preparer for more specific information.

What is the proper way to explain to people how to give money to my ministry?

The explanation should contain the following information:

  • Contributions should be above and beyond normal tithes and offering commitments they have made. Checks must be made out to Idlewild Baptist Church. Encourage your supporters to give online.
  • Your name should be noted on the check and the destination of the trip. Mission trip contributions should be put in the drop box in the Missions Café. Instruct your supporters to use the envelopes you provide. Funds that exceed your individual needs will go to assist others on your team.
  • Excess funds will not carry over for your participation on another Idlewild sponsored short term team or a future short term or long-term ministry with a mission agency. Funds that exceed your team’s need will go to assist other Idlewild sponsored teams. Contributions are non-refundable. All funds must be in by the final deadline.
Do I get a refund if I decide to cancel the trip or the trip is canceled by Idlewild?

• No cash refunds or credits will be issued for any cost that the church has incurred. Example: If a person pays $2,000.00 for a mission trip and the only expense the church has incurred is $1,000.00 for a plane ticket, we will issue a refund or credit to the volunteer for *$1,000.00.

*•The difference between full cost (amount contributed by volunteer) and the cost of the plane ticket

• If we transfer the ticket that has been paid to another volunteer, the new volunteer must pay *full trip price or get a release from the party that owns the ticket to be used by him/her without any compensation paid to the original volunteer.

*•The original volunteer will receive a full refund or credit.

• If a ticket is cancelled and not used by another volunteer, the original volunteer will receive:

•Their unused airline ticket for future use
•The difference between full trip cost or amount contributed by volunteer and the cost of the airline ticket

• Partial Cash refunds or credit will be given to volunteers (full volunteer monies paid minus church incurred cost of trip) will be given to volunteer if the trip is canceled for reasons beyond the church’s control (i.e. political unrest – weather – disease outbreak – other).

• Full cash refunds or credit will be given to volunteers (all monies paid by volunteer) when the church is responsible for canceling trip (i.e. not team leader available – conflict with church calendar – administrative problem).

What if more money comes in for me than what I need?

Throughout this ministry you will function as part of a team. Your effectiveness is determined not just from an individual standpoint, but also as a team. Each person’s ability to raise funds varies depending on who they know, how many people they know, their ability to communicate effectively, etc. Therefore, since the goal is to fund the entire team, any monies given beyond what you need will go to support other team members who are struggling with their funds.

What if less money comes in for me?

If you are short of funds before you leave for the trip and everyone’s excess funds have been applied to those who are low on support then you will have to personally make up the difference before departure.

Is it possible for individuals to arrange separate itineraries to visit friends, participate in other ministries, sight-see before or after the project, or to use personal frequent flyer miles?

We do not plan separate itineraries for people except when they need to do so to accomplish the goals of the team. Using frequent flyer miles is more work for our Travel Coordinator and many times it will affect the price of the airline tickets. We have found that our travel arrangements go much more smoothly if everyone is on the same itinerary. Having separate itineraries not only makes it more complicated for the travel agents, but also makes it difficult to arrange for group discounts and to maintain quality travel and housing arrangements. Traveling together for the entire trip helps to build the team.

Is it possible to find out who has given and how much they have given toward my support?

You can call the Missions Ministry office and request a list of donors for your mission trip.

Does Idlewild have a sample Prayer/Support Letter for team members to use?

In the Mission Trip Application package there is a sample of the prayer and support letter that you can use to send out to your circle of friends, co-workers and family.

Are there are any meetings before the mission trip?

There will be a number of meetings before you go on the mission trip depending on the needs of your trip and will be decided by the team leader. These meetings are mandatory and critical for the success of the mission trip. In these meetings you will have an opportunity to get to know the people you will be working with and develop a team mentality. There may be training for the different ministries you will be involved in and prayer for the individuals on the team as well as for the people you will be ministering to.

What if I need more information?

For more information call 813-264-8727.

Financial Support for Missions

One of the things that makes Idlewild “exciting” is the big involvement of our people in mission work. Our people really are excited about the opportunity to go, pray and give to missions.


We help support mission work here in Tampa, around the United States and around the world, we help train leaders, plant churches and give financial support to missionaries. Have you ever wondered where the money comes from for all of that missions work?


The members of Exciting Idlewild are very generous in their stewardship of the finances that God has blessed them with. Our donors are people that believe in the Great Commission work that is being done through Idlewild. These people give through their tithes to the “Idlewild General Fund” as well as donating funds above their tithe to “Idlewild On Mission.”


The Idlewild General Fund


This is the money that we receive from the tithes and offerings of our members. The Bible teaches that God’s people should give ten percent of their income to the church and as a church body we also take ten percent of what we receive from your tithes and offerings and give it as an offering to missions. The ten percent from the general fund goes to support organizations such as the International Mission Board, the North American Mission Board as well as supporting Baptist seminaries, the state convention and the Tampa Bay Baptist Association.

Comp 1 (0;00;15;15)


The Idlewild On Mission Fund


This money comes through the generosity of our church members that give their tithe first and then they give some more. Have you noticed that your offering envelope has a place to designate your giving to Idlewild On Mission?


The money that you designate on the envelope for Idlewild On Mission should be after you have given your tithe. This money supports mission trips and projects in Tampa and beyond.


These funds help to reduce the out of pocket expenses of our church members that go on our mission trips. We also use this money to care for missionaries, plant churches and fund the missions projects that you can see on our Local, National and Global missions pages.


Your generous gifts help us to carry out our mission statement to “Reach Tampa and beyond for Christ.”


Comp 1 (0;00;28;05)