The following study is being conducted by the staff at John Brown University for missionaries returning home from the field.
Missions is an amazing and complex endeavor. It’s God’s way of spreading the gospel to the ends of the earth. It’s both incredibly hard and incredibly rewarding, both gut-wrenching and fulfilling at varying times. Missionaries are privileged when He chooses to use us for a season to accomplish His purposes in missions. Sometimes that season is for a lifetime, and sometimes it’s not. The factors that bring us to a sense of “calling” and the factors that end that season are complex, personal, and not easy to unravel. In the interest of preparing missionaries better and improving their experiences on the mission field, we would like to attempt to measure the prevalence of various factors that can affect a missionary’s decision to return to their home country.
Most studies in the past have focused on working with agencies to collect turnover or debriefing data. However, the best way to get honest, full, and nonbiased responses is to ask the missionaries directly about their experiences.
This is where you come in. If you are a missionary who has returned home, please take 15 minutes to complete the survey linked at the bottom of this message. It will provide invaluable, anonymous feedback that can be shared with missions agencies and the general missions population about where we can direct our efforts to better support missionaries. The survey will ask for your missions agency, but not in order to provide them with any information about responses or publish findings by agency name. It is a piece of information that simply allows us to make sure that the responses are not heavily weighted for one agency only (and therefore potentially biased based on one organization’s policies or practices), as our hope is to include participants from a broad range of missions agencies and faith backgrounds.
Whether you are a missionary who has returned home or someone who has connections with others, please send it to others you know who have been missionaries, and ask them to contribute to this important body of research. It doesn’t matter where they served, how much time has passed since they returned to their home country, what led them to return or what type of missions work they did. The more people participate, the more valid the results, and the more applicable the findings for those involved in supporting missionaries.
The survey will only be open until December 6th, so please participate and encourage others to do so promptly. Your perspective is important to us. Thank you!
Here is the link to the survey: https://goo.gl/forms/pbLgf9BbM4tErCtj2
John Brown University
Missionary in Residence
John Brown University
B. S. Psychology and Intercultural Studies