Leadership practices make a difference in helping missionaries thrive



Contact: Jon Hirst, 719-531-3599 or info(at)gmi.org for media inquiries


Leadership practices make a difference in helping missionaries thrive


Colorado Springs, CO, March 31, 2021 – After years of surveying field missionaries about their effectiveness and job satisfaction, GMI is releasing a groundbreaking guide for leaders who oversee field missionaries.  


Help Your Missionaries Thrive: Leadership Practices that Make a Difference, by Dr. Ken Harder and Carla Foote, shows leaders how they can improve retention and engagement of field workers by focusing on a handful of simple but powerful leadership practices. The resource tackles challenges such as trust, feedback, listening, decision making, dealing with a crisis, life stages, and much more.


“Listening to field missionaries is a privilege. These called and highly motivated workers are not motivated by salary or perks, but by serving in significant Kingdom ways.  While they truly appreciate their leaders and organizations, they have specific suggestions for improvement by their leaders and organizations. The results show that mission leaders can make a difference,” said Harder.


The book is based on GMI’s 2015 study which intentionally listened to field workers through a comprehensive workplace survey designed especially for them. The Engage Study offers mission leaders a unique look into the strengths and weaknesses of agencies in serving the global missionary force. Readers can hear missionaries express their joys and frustrations in their own words, and explore leadership priorities through statistical models that directly link leadership decisions to staff retention, thriving, and willingness to recommend the agency to others.


Based on Best Christian Workplaces Institute’s highly respected survey, the Engage Study addresses 12 key areas of field worker engagement.  Since 2006 more than 25 agencies and nearly 3,500 cross-cultural field workers have participated. 


“It has been a great pleasure for us to partner with GMI on this important research, and it’s an additional thrill to see GMI presenting the research data and action steps that can empower leaders at mission agencies both large and small to help their workers do their best,” said Al Lopus, President, Best Christian Workplaces Institute.


To find out more about Help Your Missionaries Thrive: Leadership Practices that Make a Difference visit: http://www.gmi.org/products/books/gmibooks/help-your-missionaries-thrive/


GMI leverages research and technology to create, cultivate, and communicate mission information leading to insight that inspires Kingdom service. Founded 30 years ago on the campus of the U.S. Center for World Mission, GMI has a rich history of facilitating strategic mission research and mapping for international Christian churches and ministries. GMI is a member of Missio Nexus and the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, and subscribes to the Lausanne Covenant.