How to Make a Successful Missionary

EMQ » April–June 2022 » Volume 58 Issue 2

By Curtis McGown

What makes a missionary successful? That is the $100 million question. Literally. Many missionaries, or global workers, have left the field unnecessarily because either they, their leaders, their sending organization, or their sending church did not know the answer to this question.

One sending organization has quantified the loss as $750,000 for every family unit that does not return to the mission field for their second term (based on 4-year terms). They calculated that is the approximate amount invested to recruit, train, and mobilize a family of four to the field. Most organizations do not expect much productivity of missionaries in their first term as they are adapting culturally and learning the language and their job roles. What happens to that investment if we don’t also set them up for success in staying long-term?