Is the Commission Still Great?   •   Week 5

Is Missions Now Short Term?

Facilitator Tip
Ice Breaker & Snacks

Ice Breaker Activity

  • What new place would you most like to visit if money was no object, but you could only be away for a weekend?
  • How far ahead of a trip do you pack? And how long does it take you to unpack after you get home?
  • What is your travel comfort food?


As one option for this week, prepare some travel snacks for your group: beef jerky, dried fruit, trail mix or granola bars are all good options. Consider portioning them out in baggies for everyone. Or, take “short term” more literally and make an instant version of a classic: brownies-in-a-mug. Mixes are available that only require water, but you’ll need a mug for everyone.

Chapter Summary
Facilitation Recommendations

“Short term missions requires long term commitment.” –David Joannes


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

Chapter Summary

Facilitation Recommendations

Short-term trips and virtual experiences make global missions accessible to many Christians. They can have many wonderful outcomes and benefits. Our main concern is whether they can replace long-term missionary work. Is it still strategic to send a few cross-cultural workers for long-term ministry when we can now send many more for shorter stints? The core of missions is discipleship, which is often a long process. Missions, therefore, must always have a long-term mindset. This chapter explores some of the ways that short-term missions can inspire and support the long-term cross-cultural discipleship goal. The two approaches can work in synergy rather than competition. When done wisely, short-term experiences complement a long-term incarnational presence.

Discussion Questions
Need some extra questions?

Questions from the Book

  1. What benefits of short-term missions have you seen from the trips you have been on or observed?
  2. What problems or mistakes have you seen in relation to short-term mission trips?
  3. How does a long-term, big picture mindset about missions inform your perspective about short-term missions?
  4. How could you make a significant contribution to world missions through a short-term trip or virtual experience?

Additional Questions

  1. What do you think about the assertion that short-term missions doesn’t exist?
  2. How do you see short-term trips and virtual assignments fitting into the Great Commission?
  3. What impact have you seen in yourself or others immediately following a short-term missions trip? How about a year later?
  4. Do you agree that for some people, short-term missions is the most strategic way to be involved?
  5. What is your key takeaway from this week’s discussion? What are you going to do differently this week as a result of what you learned?