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A Pilot Study on Field Mission Leader
Health and Effectiveness

In the last ten years, research in the for-profit sphere has identified the critical nature of one’s supervisor to employee effectiveness and satisfaction.  The field leader role is such a position for the average missionary.  Missions experts are seeing the need for up-to-date research on the field leader’s role, responsibilities, training, care and development.

Mission agency leadership positions are in a transition from the one generation to another, with different needs and aspirations.  Field leaders are simultaneously working with missionaries of different generations with different expectations.  Old wineskins won’t work.  New wineskins need to be explored and applied.

The purpose of Impact is to identify, in partnership with mission organizations, the issues bearing on the effectiveness of a field leader’s ministry and life so that mission organizations and leadership ministries can provide more relevant support and development. For the purpose of the study, field leaders are those that lead at the team, country and area levels and reside outside the USA.

Impact Project Goals:

  • To serve and partner with the mission community in discovering together accurate data about mission field leaders.
  • To help mission agencies continue to improve their own unique care and development initiatives for their leaders.
  • To see mission field leaders well connected, deeply cared for, and intentionally nurtured, so that they might be healthy in life and ministry, sensing fulfillment and being effective in their calling.

GMI is partnering with Barnabas International and collaborating with three mission organizations to pilot this needs assessment of field leadership using surveys and focus groups to identify key issues relating to field leadership effectiveness.  The partnership seeks an in-depth understanding of the issues; and will identify training/mentoring, care and organizational responses addressing those issues. The Impact pilot study is expected to be completed in 2008.

Jim Feiker and Scott Shaum of Barnabas International provide project oversight. Dr. Ken Harder of Global Mapping international serves as research coordinator.

For more information on the Impact field leader research project, please contact Jim Feiker ().

To consult about other potential research projects, please contact Jim McGee, GMI mission research specialist, by email () or by calling 719-531-3599 x591.


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