How Can You Personalize Missions Recruitment? Understanding Five Categories of Searchers

Among all the possible workers for your ministry, how can you sift through those who have potential and personalize your connection with them?

Your website strategy and process for gathering contact information online can help you focus on those most likely to serve with your agency.

GMI research on the attributes of those searching has yielded five distinct profiles of searchers. Understanding and addressing the needs of each of these segments helps you develop specific strategies for each segment.


Scouts are serious about missions someday — when they finish school, pay off debt or obtain workplace experience that could equip them for service. The objective in creating a web experience for Scouts is to build engagement so that when the time for serving arrives, your agency has top of mind awareness.

Scouts are interested in understanding the identity of agencies and discovering resources that may be helpful to them — and others — as they proceed along their journey.


Strategists have clear focus and goals as they are exploring mission opportunities. Their actions on your agency website are designed to help them answer this basic question: “Does this agency do the kind of mission work that I feel led to do?”

Clarity of purpose leads Strategists to seek out specifics about what an agency is doing, how it is going about the work, and how they might fit into the picture.


Enthusiasts are excited about the prospect of cross-cultural ministry. Enthusiasts typically take time to explore your website and all aspects of your agency’s identity, including vision, focus, strategy, and beliefs.

A distinctive of the enthusiasts is that they are interested in specific information about opportunities for service (both short- and long-term), requirements and salary structure. They want to picture what it would look like for them to serve through your agency.

Faith Matchers

Theology matters more to some searchers than others. Faith Matchers believe their affinity with an organization’s statement of faith is an essential screening mechanism for considering a particular missions agency. Once the doctrinal questions are answered, Faith Matchers will explore mission and vision, geographical focus and cross-cultural mission opportunities, both long-term and short-term.


Tourists are focused on short-term opportunities as their avenue for cross-cultural engagement. This segment is experiential and wants to understand what a short-term opportunity would offer them. They want media-rich sites so they can see what happens in the field.

Agencies that offer a variety of short-term opportunities should develop a specific web strategy related to Tourists.

Segments and Strategy

While you may focus on one or two segments of searchers, a deeper understanding of all the segments can spark creative engagement strategies. Emphasizing key segments is important for effective recruiting, but understanding and accommodating a variety of paths to service can multiply your efforts.


Want to read more from Searching to Serve: Recruiting Kingdom Workers Online? The full report gives specific web strategies that your organization can use. Click the link to read more about the book by James Nelson and Carla Foote and purchase your copy today!

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