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The survey was sent to foreign missions: known by Teleios Research (n=9); listed on the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) website (n=149); and found by Google search (n=111). There were 31 (12%) responses received.
Overwhelmingly, the mission organizations were based in the United States (94%) and had a ministry focus on sharing the gospel (65%), Christian leadership (61%) and teaching the Bible (52%). The most common means of financial support was through individual donors (100%) and churches (83%).
Ministry focus was spread around the world, but most commonly were in East Africa (52%) and Europe, India and United States (45%).
Missions noted that their personnel wellbeing was on average 4.71 (0-6 scale with 6 being highest wellbeing). This level is similar to other wellbeing surveys done by Teleios Research in the general population. However, the missions believed wellbeing was lower among those to whom the they ministered (3.28).
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The missions noted that wellbeing was most enhanced among their personnel by good interpersonal relationships (87%) and having spiritual needs met (80%).
Further, they indicated wellbeing had improved since the change of the administration last year in the United States both among the missionaries and the those to whom the ministered (3.93 and 3.76; 0-6 scale with 6 being most improved wellbeing). Nonetheless, the mission noticed little overall change in their mission status since the changing of administration.
The missions stated their biggest need by far was better finances (80%). Missions noted that they would change US government policy towards missions generally by ensuring the stronger security policy in countries that persecute Christians (43%). Regarding dealing with their host country, they desired US policy to better ensure that humanitarian aid reaches its intended recipients (46%) and secondarily to help improve infrastructure (36%).
In summary, this survey hints that missions continue to have needs regarding finances and in some cases security and logistical issues within the host country. Further the missions assist populations with lower wellbeing than commonly seen in the first world. Despite these challenges, however, missionaries themselves have good wellbeing and both missionary and those to whom they minister have had improved wellbeing since the recent change in US presidential administration.
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All the findings of the survey can be found here (https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-FXNKHHKC8/) as well as other findings from Teleios Research are on our website (http://www.teleiosresearch.com/).
About Teleios - Teleios is a non-profit foundation that seeks to demonstrate the truth of scripture and the Christian faith through scientific methods by providing evidence for the positive results of a biblically-based lifestyle. Prior studies conducted by Teleios have shown that the practice of the Christian faith (praise, prayer, fellowship, service and Bible study) and security of salvation increases well-being while reducing guilt.
Lindsay Nelson, Teleios Research
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