What We Offer
We provide a truly unique camp experience on a beautiful campus in an amazing city. From our speakers and bands, to our mission sites, to our city, you’ll find no other missions program quite like ours.
Our program features on-campus housing in either dormitory or hotel-style accommodations which are both clean and safe.View Housing Options >
The cafeteria on campus is served by a great staff of New Orleanians who really know how to cook and show you New Orleans flavor and southern hospitality during breakfast and dinner. Part of your MissionLab package is a bagged lunch that you’ll enjoy at your off-campus site.
Since our program runs year-round, your experience in group worship can be anything from loud and excited to quiet and intimate. During our listed program weeks, our large group gatherings are led by a worship band and feature full production that creates an exciting environment where we celebrate and make a really big deal of Jesus.
We hope to offload the stress of planning and logistics as much as possble, and so apart of that is lining up where you’re group will be serving in New Orleans. According to a group’s preference, we line up sites that will be spiritually impactful and plays into the how God is moving in New Orleans long term
Your group will serve as a team throughout the trip, learning practical ways to express the love of Jesus to others. We are also provide each group private meeting space for group time at night.
The campus is only a few miles from the iconic French Quarter, or Vieux Carre, as well as downtown shops and entertainment and the historic Garden District. At MissionLab, we want groups that visit New Orleans on mission to truly interact with and experience the city. We think that’s a crucial part of understanding how how God is moving here.
MissionLab Housing Options
Our program features on-campus housing in either dormitory or hotel-style accommodations on the campus of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Ministry Site Options
Where your groups can serve with MissionLab.
Children’s ministry is a vital part of the MissionLab ministry in New Orleans. During the school year, this can look like anything from after-school programs to preschool work to playground ministry around the area. In the summertime, free or low-cost camps and programming for children is essentially non-existent in the city, leaving a huge need to be filled. Through Backyard Bible Clubs and sports camps provided by our volunteers, these children not only fill their days, but they also fill them with Christ-centered activities that can be life changing!
Most of our children’s ministry groups set up their programming in parks and green space around the city and spend the week ministering there. We provide the location, and you’re off and running! Many groups have found it best to spend the first day physically and spiritually prepping the area where they will be working. This includes trash clean-up, handing out flyers, and prayer walking. Groups come prepared with whatever supplies they want to use for their ministry, whether that involves crafts or equipment for games. We also partner with local churches and community centers to help out with camps and VBS activities all over the city. The supply needs and the level of prep necessary will vary by location, but the site coordinator can give you some insight when planning for these sites.
New Orleans is an urban center, and with that comes the issues found in most urban centers around the world. Our homeless population continues to increase. We have both the chronically homeless and those who are homeless because of recent circumstances. It is not our place to judge. Instead, we offer a helping hand to those in need. Groups have the chance to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of these people while they are here. You can give a care pack and pray with them, talk with them, listen to their story, and share yours.
Food Bank Ministry
Hunger is a growing problem across the country and especially in New Orleans. More and more children and adults are at risk of hunger. We work with food banks and community centers across the city. Groups should be prepared to stretch themselves physically! Projects include loading and unloading food donations, sorting and packing donations, cleaning and general upkeep, as well as other various projects. The work is tough, but it is so rewarding!
Our city is very much in need of physical labor. Construction work is such a key part of our ministry at MissionLab, and even when mowing yards and hanging sheetrock, opportunities to share the Gospel abound! Volunteers help with anything from helping the elderly maintain their yards to rebuilding entire houses. We work with local organizations as well as private homeowners, and we are happy to partner your group with one of our construction sites. If your group is interested in construction, keep in mind that you will need to bring with you or acquire the tools necessary for whatever job you will be doing. While many of our homeowners have some tools, they typically do not have specialized equipment or enough tools for an entire volunteer group to use. There are several home improvement stores in the city that rent tools and equipment if you are unable to bring along what you need. We do require that homeowners provide whatever materials are necessary for the repairs. It is wonderful and absolutely welcome if your group feels led to help cover the cost of these materials, but please know that it is not expected of your team.
NOTE: Please come prepared to lead your team in whatever level of construction you choose! Unless otherwise noted, groups will be working independently with homeowners, and site foremen are not available.
Prayer is vital to the ministry taking place in New Orleans. We are a broken city of broken people, and the work here cannot be done without prayer. “Why could I not just as well stay at home and intercede?” This is the oft asked question related to participation on a prayer journey. The answer is, “You can.” And God will as surely hear and respond to your prayer as He will to the prayers of those who go. While “location” may or may not be important to everyone, it is of utmost value to the prayerwalker. To pray while seeing, feeling, touching, and hearing is to pray with more intensity. After the prayer journey is over, you will never pray the same way again for the location of your walk and the people you met there. We will provide you with locations, maps, and instructions for leading your group to pray for our city while you are here.
Many of our volunteer groups have musical and drama skills that they would like to share with the community here. We can work with your team to schedule performance times and locations throughout the city. Come of our popular choir locations are local nursing homes and Jackson Artillery Park in the French Quarter.
Senior Adult Ministry
Senior Adult Ministry is a great experience for all of our groups that come to Missionlab. This is a time where your group will go to serve and spend time at different nursing homes or assisted living facilities that we partner with. It’s a great time for your team to get to talk with people that are from a different generation than you and to learn from their experience. Make sure that you don’t stay just with your team members but that you go and talk with the people at the facilities.
New Orleans is like a patchwork quilt of ethnicities and cultures, and the opportunities for ministry to internationals are around every corner! We work with some local ministries specifically geared toward internationals. These projects can include working with cruise ship employees and sailors from around the world. We also send groups to minister to the day laborer community we have here in the city. We have had a huge influx of construction workers in the city since 2005. Many of them speak Spanish and possibly a little English. They work long hours but are under no contracts, so they wait outside several of the home improvement stores each day to get chosen for jobs. This has brought about a new ministry in the city. Handing these men a snack package and a Spanish Bible speaks volumes to them, despite the language barrier. If your group has a specific people group that they are interested in working with, please let us know. However, please keep in mind that a working knowledge of a foreign language is great, but it is not necessary to minister! Smiles and kindness cross cultural barriers!
Many groups come to New Orleans to specifically spend time doing street witnessing throughout various parts of the city. This can take on many different styles depending on the group and their previous experiences. The people of this city are not strangers to street witnessing, and here at MissionLab, we have found that a few things work better than others when it comes to sharing your faith. People are much more likely to listen to what you have to say if you: speak kindly to them, ask them about their own personal story, and are willing to openly dialogue with them. While some people will not be interested in talking with you at all, others will be intrigued by your openness. Some groups hand out bottles of water, cups of lemonade, or even snowballs as a way to open the door for sharing the Gospel.
MissionLab is hosted on the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary campus –
a beautiful and convenient place to stay, eat and experience our city.
Frequently Asked Questions
• Lodging in campus dorms or hotel-style rooms
• Three meals a day (hot breakfast, sack lunch, and a hot dinner)
• Professional staff to facilitate your experience
• Ministry site assignments that match the ability and desires of your group
• Worship services and fellowship opportunities
• Preparation materials designed to spiritually prepare your group for missions in our city
• Private meeting space for group time at night
• A MissionLab t-shirt, devotional, and pen
Group leaders choose rooming assignments. Two housing options are available, dormitory or hotel style housing (additional charge for hotel). Dorms are furnished with bunk beds, with 4-6 campers per room. If your group chooses to stay in the dorms, campers will need to bring their own pillows, bed linens, towels, and toiletries. We will give you the appropriate number of rooms based on how many people are in your group, and your leader will then be responsible for assigning roommates to each specific room.
New Orleans, like any other urban center around the U.S., has crime issues. Please know, though, that all of our campers are housed on the NOBTS campus that is both gated and has 24-hour security. Our campus police team patrols the campus regularly throughout the day and night and also monitors whoever enters and leaves the campus. We also strive to ensure safety when we send groups to mission sites around the city. The places we send our groups have been assessed by our staff in advance, and have been prayed over and lifted up to the Lord in our preparation.
Casual, comfortable clothes are recommended for both ministry and free time. Our desire is to minister to the greatest number of people possible. Whether campers and staff are on campus or out on the site, it is important that nothing we do, say, or wear distracts from our message of sharing the Gospel and making disciples. In an effort to help campers dress in a manner that will not take away from your ministry efforts, we have provided the following guidelines that are strictly enforced by our staff:
SHORTS: Shorts MUST extend at least one inch below fingertips while standing. Running shorts that “swoop” up on the sides are not acceptable if they do not meet the length requirement all the way around.
SHIRTS:Beware of any offensive or insensitive material printed on t-shirts. You can roll the sleeves up and sleeveless shirts may be worn, but thin strapped tank-tops, low necklines, and midriffs are NOT allowed. No part of undergarments must ever be seen. Due to sudden rainfall in New Orleans, girls should pack more than just white t-shirts.
SHOES: Closed-toe shoes with closed heels must be worn while on construction sites. Keep your feet protected!
JEANS: Jeans offer more protection, but are not required for work sites unless otherwise stated. Low-cut hip hugger jeans are not allowed unless a shirt is worn long enough to cover the backside and midriff.
SWIMSUITS: For males, board shorts are acceptable swimwear (no speedos). For females, modest one-piece swimsuits or tankinis that completely cover the midriff are acceptable. NO two-pieces, mono-kinis, bikinis, or anything that reveals midriff or is very low-cut.
OTHER: It’s a good idea to bring a light rain jacket—afternoon showers are common.
MissionLab does not provide transportation of any kind (i.e. airport runs, trips to mission sites, Wal-Mart runs, hospital runs, etc). Your group leader is responsible for planning and facilitating all transportation for the group—that includes traveling to and from New Orleans, traveling around the city, and getting around on campus.
Free time is available and flexible with our customized schedule. We build in a few free evenings for groups to spend either relaxing on campus or site-seeing in the city, and if notified ahead of time, we can also add free time for the group during the day. The tourist environment of New Orleans provides opportunities for some great activities, and we always encourage our groups to experience the culture and cuisine that the city has to offer. We can also recommend a number of options for free or low-cost activities around New Orleans. There are also on-campus options for free time as well. The campus gym and pool are open at various times of the week, depending on the season.
There are NO laundry facilities for MissionLab use on campus. Campers are encouraged to bring enough clothes for each day, including extra clothes they don’t mind getting dirty and will not need to wear again. There are two public laundromats across the street from campus if there is an absolute need for laundry access. They cost $2-$5 per load.
Alcohol, illegal substances, firearms, fireworks, dangerous weapons, skateboards, & scooters are prohibited. Cell phones and electronic devices such as iPods, CD players, Gameboys, etc. are allowed or prohibited according to the group leader’s discretion (although please note that none of these items are allowed during camp-led worship). PLEASE NOTE: Neither MissionLab nor NOBTS are responsible for damage to or theft of any personal items or devices.
“Be ready to watch your kids lives change and their hearts soften, and God to work in their lives”
“Not only has it impacted our church, but I believe it has truly impacted our community.”
“It’s been one of the greatest experiences for my youth”
JOIN US IN NEW ORLEANS FOR A CUSTOMIZED WEEK OF URBAN OUTREACH, SPIRITUAL REFRESHMENT AND FELLOWSHIP.
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