As a youth pastor, I know that the time spent traveling to a mission trip can be long and tedious, especially if you’re stuck in a van with a group of teenagers. But fear not, this time can be used to your advantage! Use this time to help your students begin to think about the mission trip and the impact they can have.

Here are 20 questions to get the conversation started:

  1. What are you most excited about for this mission trip?
  2. What do you hope to gain from this experience?
  3. How do you think this mission trip will challenge you?
  4. What do you think will be the biggest obstacle you’ll face on this trip?
  5. How can we prepare ourselves spiritually for this mission trip?
  6. What do you think our biggest impact will be on the community we’re serving?
  7. What do you think we can learn from the people we’re serving?
  8. How can we build relationships with the people we’re serving?
  9. What do you think our team’s strengths are?
  10. What are some ways we can use our strengths to serve the community?
  11. How can we work together as a team to accomplish our mission?
  12. How do you think this mission trip will change you?
  13. What are some ways we can continue to serve after the mission trip is over?
  14. What are some things you’re nervous about for this trip?
  15. How can we support each other during challenging moments on the trip?
  16. What are some things we can do to be culturally sensitive to the community we’re serving?
  17. What are some things we can do to show God’s love to the people we’re serving?
  18. What are some things we can do to have fun and build relationships with each other on the trip?
  19. How can we stay motivated and focused on our mission throughout the trip?
  20. What are some practical ways we can make a difference in the community we’re serving?

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Twenty questions? That’s a lot of questions to ask teenagers!” But trust me, it’s better than listening to them argue over who gets to play DJ for the hundredth time.

In all seriousness, using this time to have meaningful conversations about the mission trip can help set the tone for the trip and get your students excited about serving. It also gives them a chance to process their thoughts and emotions before arriving at their destination.

So, next time you’re on a mission trip van ride, don’t waste the opportunity! Ask your students some of these questions and get the conversation started. Who knows, it might just make the van ride go by a little faster, and maybe even a little more enjoyable.


Need some help with your nest mission trip? Check out these great resources on DYM!

Are you taking your students on a long van ride or trying to find things to do to keep the kids occupied during hours of driving to the mission trip? Use these printable no-prep travel games to get your teens interacting, having fun together, and building memories! You get 18 games that can be printed and put in each vehicle! Guaranteed fun and laughs!

This includes 3, five-day student devotionals designed for mission trips. The 3 topics include Leading Like Jesus, Loving Like Jesus, and Serving Like Jesus.

Co-written with my wife for our ministry’s week-long mission trips, our students AND leaders LOVED these devotionals! Students raved that it was the perfect start to their day, and leaders even demanded more devotions when they returned home.