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1 ReMAP II – Retaining Missionaries – Agency Practices Older sending countries in Europe and North America.

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Presentation on theme: "1 ReMAP II – Retaining Missionaries – Agency Practices Older sending countries in Europe and North America."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 ReMAP II – Retaining Missionaries – Agency Practices Older sending countries in Europe and North America

2 2 ReMAP II was a follow-up study on: ReMAP – Reducing Missionary Attrition Project World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) Mission Commission 1994-96 Why do missionaries quit service? Why do they come home prematurely? In particular, what are personal factors for attrition?

3 3 ReMAP II What makes missionaries prosper? What helps them grow into a fruitful ministry? What makes them effective? How do they become resilient Which organisational factors make them thrive?

4 4 ReMAP II ReMAP II  Global Study  601 Sending structures with 40,000 long-term cross-cultural missionaries  These were denominational and interdenominational mission agencies as well as local churches or networks sending their own teams independently  from Older Sending Countries (OSC) CA, US, DE, GB, NL, SE, ZA, AU, NZ  Newer Sending Countries of the Global South (NSC) Latin America (AR, BR, CR, ES, GU), Africa (GH, NG), Asia (IN, HK, KR, MY, PH, SG) ReMAP II:

5 5 ReMAP II ReMAP II  Responses of Mission executives  Self Assessment of practices, ethos, performance  Scale 6 (excellent) – 1 (very poorly done)  Retention of Missionaries  Retention Rates Total (RRT) Retention Rate Preventable Reasons (RRP) Retention Rate Unpreventable Reasons (RRU)  Correlations Retention ~ Agency Practices Methodology:

6 6 ReMAP II Agency Size ReMAP II Small agencies lose many more missionaries than larger agencies in OSC and NSC. Effective agency size is at 50+ field missionaries.

7 7 ReMAP II Agency Size ReMAP II retirement The huge difference in attrition rates between OSC and NSC is mainly retirement.

8 8 ReMAP II Agency Size ReMAP II Small agencies in OSC and NSC have a much higher percentage of staff in their home office (per active missionaries). They are neither effective nor efficient.

9 9 ReMAP II High retaining agencies have a similar length of experience and a similar percentage of mission families with children (educational needs). These agencies invest the same percentage of allowance into a pension scheme, but have less staff (per 100 field workers) serving in the home office.

10 10 ReMAP II High retaining agencies are slightly more involved in evangelism and church planting among unreached peoples and reached peoples and slightly less in supporting existing churches and social & developmental work. These differences in their ministry priorities may affect their candidate selection, pre-field training requirements, and leadership structures.

11 11 ReMAP II Candidate Selection ReMAP II High retaining agencies put much more emphasis on their candidate selection, especially calling to ministry, character, church experience, spiritual disciplines and prayer support

12 12 ReMAP II High retaining agencies have missionaries with higher academic training.

13 13 ReMAP II High retaining agencies have much higher minimal training requirements, especially in Bible and in particular, in missiology. Modern informal training methods (e.g. Practical missionary training and Cross-cultural internships) are too little in use as compulsory pre-field requirement to validate or invalidated their effectiveness.

14 14 ReMAP II ReMAP II High retaining agencies put much more emphasis on communication with leadership as well as the home- field. They have specific plans and job descriptions and documented policies. In particular they have a culture of prayer throughout the agency

15 15 ReMAP II High retaining agencies put more emphasis on leadership, in particular leading by example, field supervision and an effective system of handling complaints.

16 16 ReMAP II Language and culture learning is generally considered as a lifelong task. High retaining agencies put even more emphasis on ongoing language and culture studies as well as development of new gifts.

17 17 ReMAP II include the spouse and to maintain a sound work-rest balance. All missionaries are highly committed to their ministry. High retaining agencies give their workers more room to shape their ministry, continually improve the ministry,

18 18 ReMAP II Good relationships to the people group and the national church found very high rating in all agencies. High retaining agencies invest more in local leadership and missionaries find personal fulfilment in their ministry. They are probably more relationship- than task-oriented. Unexpectedly they put less emphasis on the goal “people become followers of Christ”.

19 19 ReMAP II care, risk assessment and involve the home church in the personal care. All agencies put very high emphasis on annual vacation. The quantity of Member Care is not much different. High retaining agencies put more emphasis on the personal spiritual life, health

20 20 ReMAP II Little investment in member care (MC) is associated with high attrition. Yet very high investment in member care is also correlated with increased attrition. But it doesn’t appear that MC in itself is detrimental, but that these agencies often do mediocre candidate selection and pre-field training which would prevent problems down the road. In OSC, the optimum is 5- 10% of total staff time at home and on the field invested in member care.

21 21 ReMAP II Preventative member care means the build-up of resilience by the strengthening of character and personal spiritual life. Preventative member care as well as crisis intervention is needed. Agencies that focus only on one at the expense of the other are associated with increased attrition.

22 22 ReMAP II The need for preventative and curative member care is obvious in total attrition, attrition for potentially preventable causes as well as unpreventable attrition which includes end of the project and not going for a new assignment, evacuation, medical reasons, new assignment after retirement age etc.

23 23 ReMAP II Newer Sending Countries of the global South show a similar u-curve, yet the optimum for member care is at a higher time investment (10- 20% of total staff time at home and on the field) as they are relational cultures.

24 24 ReMAP II Preventative and curative member care is needed in NSC agencies too. Regarding attrition for potentially preventable reasons, the optimum is found at 30-50% preventative MC while the optimum for total attrition was at slightly less preventative MC.

25 25 ReMAP II High retaining agencies provide regular financial support to their missionaries; their project finances are spent wisely and effectively and their agency’s finances are transparent to donors and missionaries

26 26 ReMAP II The agencies’ home office rate their own activities highly. In particular the prayer support by the home office, pre-field screening, debriefing and re-entry program for those coming on home assignment were rated higher by high retaining agencies.

27 27 ReMAP II High retaining agencies gave a higher rating in almost all areas (groups of questions), especially pre-field training. Exception is the amount of member care. It is not so much the quantity but the quality of MC that counts.

28 28 ReMAP II Low retaining agencies lose 10% of their work force per year, 4 % for potentially preventable reasons and 6% for unpreventable reasons; High retaining agencies lose only 2.9% per year; 1.3% for potentially preventable reasons and 1.6% for unpreventable reasons. This assessment is made not on the basis of hypothetical definitions but the actual performance of large groups of agencies (30% of all agencies of the study in each case.)

29 29 ReMAP II Within 10 year these differences in retention rates accumulate to a vast amount: 75% staff turnover vs. 25%.

30 30 ReMAP II The diagram shows the retention rates (for potentially preventable causes of attrition only) of missionaries that first left for the field in the stated 5 year period. The diagram shows the general trend towards earlier return, shorter assignments, higher staff turnover. Mission agencies in general are affected by this global trend, and low retaining agencies in particular. Yet high retaining agencies have maintained their very high retention rates. They were able to offset this global trend by improved leadership systems, communication, member care, candidate selection, pre-field training and continuous training.

31 31 ReMAP II In the years 2001-02 the large group of high retaining agencies showed only half of the number of total returnees as the group of low retaining agencies and their average length of service was 15.5 years vs. 7.9 years. Considering the fact that it takes a person 2 years to learn the language and culture and become effective in ministry, the difference is almost a factor of 2.5

32 32 ReMAP II Major Findings ReMAP II  Clear purpose and vision of agency  Specific plans  Flexible, dynamic structure  Lean administration  Consultative interactive leadership style  Personal trust throughout the agency  Empowerment of staff  Effective communication  Prayer throughout agency  Careful candidate selection  Quality prefield training  Missiological training  Effective on-field orientation  Intensive language training & cultural studies

33 33 ReMAP II Major Findings 2 ReMAP II  Supportive team  Maintenance of personal spiritual life  Effective personal care  Preventative member care & crisis intervention  Assignment to gifting  Work-rest balance  Continuous training and development of new gifts  Ongoing improvement of projects  Regular performance reviews  Flexibility & acceptance of new challenges  Stable financial support  Good relationship with home church  Good relationship with National church in country  Debriefing during home assignment

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