Understanding the Mission Gap

Christ’s calling to us was clear—we are to “go and make disciples”—to live His example of love in every community on earth. Yet less than 1% of Christians are actively involved in global missions. There is a gap between Christ’s call and our action. We call this the “Mission Gap,” and we want to know WHY it exists.


Our research has not focused on the numbers, it has focused on the causes behind the numbers. We started this ongoing research so OM and other ministries can make better decisions about how to encourage Jesus followers for God’s mission - whether praying, serving or giving.


By the end of 2018, we completed research across five different continents and languages, and we're not done yet.


Mission Gap Research

The research reveals how Christians understand their role in missions, the words they use to discuss it, the problems and solutions which motivate them, and the fears which hold them back from serving or giving. The findings shape the way we should present mission opportunities as we seek to inspire millions for our cause.

In each location, participants are self-identified Christians who meet criteria which define active church participation. Professional research firms are used in each country to recruit participants, convene and moderate the discussions. Each focus group session is conducted live in the local language of the participants and moderator. The final report details which type of mission messages are most likely to motivate Christians for our cause, and what mix of fears are holding believers back from participation. To make sure this research can be used by other ministries, the participants are never told who is behind the research.

Mission Gap research has been conducted in Australia, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Ghana and Hong Kong. More locations are being scheduled, and additional methods are being explored for locations where convening focus groups may not be possible.

Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you."

Acts 17:22-23 (NIV)