Organizing a GO Team

Are you a team leader or mission pastor that is interested in starting a Horizon GO Team?

There are three very important phases involved in the mobilization of a GO Team -- Planning, Promotion, and Preparation. The following timeline is given as a suggested guide to assist in achieving optimal results in all of these phases.

Planning

The Planning phase lays out the details of your trip. This phase should begin at least 6-8 months before the desired departure date of the Team. Depending on the culture of your organization, it may be beneficial to begin planning even further in advance than that.

1Determine the Type of Team
Are you interested in a few members of your organization participating on a

Vision Team or are you ready to mobilize a GO Team? Work with Horizon leaders and the leadership of your church or organization to determine what type of ministry activity you would like to accomplish. Sometimes, this can be determined after the team is formed and the strengths, gifts, talents, and passions of team members are assessed.

  • Adventure Teams
  • Construction Teams
  • Conference Teams
  • Professional Teams
2Identify the Leaders for the Team
Team leadership is probably the most critical aspect to the success of a team. A leader must be someone who has good credibility and can take responsibility for communicating regularly with the team and with Horizon. Horizon can provide leadership for Team Building Sessions and during the travel in Africa. However, a team member must be assigned the responsibility of organizing and leading the team planning and activities. Team leader coaching and a detailed Team Leader Handbook is available from Horizon.
3Determine the Size of the Team
This is more important than it may seem, but experience has shown that smaller more frequent teams have the greatest benefit to everyone involved: the African host (imagine hosting 25 people in your home for 11 days), the team leaders, and your home church or sending organization. For this reason we highly recommend teams of 12–15 members as the optimal size. We encouraged those organizations where there is strong interest to consider sending 2 or more teams (i.e. Two teams of 12 is much better than one team of 24. Teams may be scheduled consecutively.
4Determine Date and Location
It is important to work with Horizon to determine where and when you will send your team. Horizon will assist you in selecting a location that makes the most sense for your team such as a location where many of your team members have sponsored children. One of the priorities of all of our teams is that team members are able to connect with their sponsored child/children. This is also conducive to other team members sponsoring children in the same area. There is a lot of flexibility when it comes to scheduling a date for your team. Horizon will work with your team to schedule the preferred date. However, there are peak seasons when travel is much more expensive and there are many teams wanting similar dates for teams. Consulting Horizon early for scheduling is an advantage in securing the date you desire.
5Determine Budget and Payment Schedule
When the Team type, size, date, and location have been determined, Horizon will work to establish a cost for each team member. Everyone desiring to participate on a Horizon Team is required to submit an application with a $500 non-refundable deposit. The balance of the cost of the trip must be paid in full before the team departs. Payments can be mailed to Horizon or given to a Horizon Team leader at Team Building sessions. Payments to Horizon for the purpose of a Vision or GO Teams by the participant are not considered tax deductible. Donations made towards a team members trip by family and friends (other than the parent of a minor child participant) are tax deductible and the donor will receive a giving statement at the end of the year. Detailed accounting will be kept by Horizon staff.
6Additional Paperwork Necessary
Obviously, each team member must have a valid passport which will not expire within six months of the trip date. It is important that passports have at least four blank pages so that Visas can be processed. Passports can be uploaded to Horizon through this link.

Promotion

The second phase in the process of mobilizing a Vision or GO Team is Promotion. This phase should be scheduled so that people have time to digest the information about the trip/team and make a decision at least three to four months before departure of the team. Many people will need more time to process the decision, raise support, get passports, make arrangements at work, and so forth. Horizon staff can help you with some of these decisions. Horizon also has promotional materials available.

1Global Opportunities Sessions
Horizon staff is available to come to your location and conduct informational meetings to help your organization in the decision-making process. There are many regions available where teams can be sent, so we are glad to assist you in selecting the area that fits your goals. These sessions can be combined with Faith and Finances sessions that will inform potential team members about support raising.
2Promotional Materials
Horizon has promotional materials such as DVDs and brochures to assist you with making people aware of the opportunities. Contact our office or view our facebook and youtube pages for more details.

Preparation

The last phase of mobilizing a team is Preparation. Once the Planning and Promotion phases have launched, a deadline for registration will need to be established. There are several ways we help team members to prepare for their trip.

1Confirmation Email
Each team member who submits an application with the $500 down-payment will receive an email confirming receipt of such and welcoming them to the team.
2Introductory Letter
Early in the preparation phase and before the Team Building begins, each team member will receive an introductory letter with basic information about Horizon International, the purpose of the trip, team building dates and location, necessary travel documents, medical requirements, and so on. We try to answer all the questions people may ask.
3Trip Bulletins
At regular intervals, beginning about three months before the team departs, each team member will receive a trip bulletin informing them of any changes or any additional information they may need. "An informed team is a happy team."
4Team Building

Team Building begins, depending on your situation, about two-to-four months prior to the team departure. The three Team building sessions will address the three most critical areas of GO Teams:

  • Team Culture -- It is important for each team member to understand the dynamics of the team before they begin their cross-cultural experience.
  • Foreign Culture — It is important for team members to understand the dramatic cultural differences into which they will be immersed.
  • Team Purpose -- A sufficient amount of time is needed to plan and prepare for the coordination of the activities and work that will be carried out by the team.

Pre-Team Building Packet: For teams who have a weekend team building information will need to be read and completed before arrival for the sessions. That information can be found below.

Questions can be sent to goteams@horizonorphans.com.