Is The Commission Still Great? by Steve Richardson

Is the Commission Still Great?

by Steve Richardson

About the author

Given the scale and complexity of global missions, it’s no wonder misconceptions abound, even among invested, godly people. Is the Commission Still Great? dismantles the myths that obscure God’s beautiful plan to make disciples of all nations.


Author Steve Richardson talks about the book

Interested in reading a free chapter of the book before purchasing? Or maybe you’re ready to jump right into reading it. Either way, we’ve got you covered.


See what other people are saying

President Emeritus, CRu

Steve Douglass

“Steve Richardson draws from decades of experience leading church-planting teams in Southeast Asia and leading an excellent international mission sending agency. He has great insights on the importance of doing missions today.”


Ted Esler

“Steve has put into words what many who work in missions leadership have observed but been unable to voice. Namely, mission myths have led to a pandemic of ignorance about the realities and opportunities of mission.”


Doug McConnell

“The book is ideal for small groups and church mission committees to foster a discussion of the role of individuals and churches in fulfilling God's mission for the world. Richardson's writing invites you to participate in a way that will result in significant outcomes.”


Matthew Ellison

“This important book will graciously create needed tension in the heart and mind of readers so they can discern whether their Great Commission beliefs and practices are shaped by biblical convictions or by something else. Steve's book will help you think about missions well. Read it!”

Table of COntents

What’s in the book?


Why Carrots Aren’t Enough

Chapter 1

Missions Is Peripheral

Perception: Global missions is one of many good activities. It is in the Bible but is not a central theme.

Chapter 2

Western Missionaries Are Obsolete

Perception: Western missionaries are not needed like they once were. The church is growing in other parts of the world and local Christians can do a better job of reaching their own people.

Chapter 3

Everything We Do Is Missions

Perception: All good work done in the name of Christ, especially if it involves some form of outreach, is part of missions. Every believer is a missionary in his or her setting.

Chapter 4

Missions Competes against Everything Else

Perception: Pursuing missions comes at a cost to other important things. A global focus reduces our local impact.

Chapter 5

Missions Is Now Short Term

Perception: Churches don’t need to send career missionaries anymore. They can send their members short term instead and still make a big impact.

Chapter 6

Missionaries Are Holy, Rare, and Strange

Perception: Missions is only for eccentrics. Missionaries are either misfits in their home context or are “super-Christians” with an otherworldly call.

Chapter 7

Missions Is Harmful

Perception: The overall effect of cross-cultural missions has been to propagate western values and foreign versions of Christianity at the expense of local cultures.

Chapter 8

Missions Is Failing

Perception: On the whole, missionaries haven’t made much impact. As the world population grows, we may even be losing ground. Our strategies haven’t worked well.

Chapter 9

A Way Forward


Don’t Fall for the Con

This book was written with small groups in mind

We’ve put together a facilitator guide for Is the Commission Still Great? so you can lead your small group through an enriching time of discussion about this book.

Host a Small Group