Empowering Mission Entrepreneurs: A Three Phase Support Model

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Mission entrepreneurs (MEs) are the human agents of the missio Dei who start innovative contextually appropriate ministry initiatives (MIs) to address unmet spiritual needs. Only MIs with a primary objective that people increase their Christian discipleship and form into appropriate communities of faith for a given context were considered. The purpose and goal was to determine developmental factors, which empower MEs to start new initiatives and develop a ministry model that supports them. This dissertation soughtto determine what empowering developmental factors helped MEs identify their calling, and conceptualize and start new MIs. To increase the precision of the research questions I considered relevant literature in the Christian and secular fields of entrepreneurship, leadership development, spiritual formation, calling, contextualization, organizational structures, venture development and planning. As MEs development is underexplored, only generalized foundations emerged from the literature. Thus, I employed a grounded theory study, gathering and analyzing data from the six aforementioned Biblical, plus four historical and eleven contemporary MEs working in four continents to determine useful insights from their development.

I utilized appropriate Biblical exegetical and historical analytical practices and conducted semi-structured interviews respectively. Data collection ranged from just before MEs determined the unmet need until starting the MI. A 3-phase 12-step developmental pattern emerged from analysis of the data: Phases 1-3 Calling Identification, Alignment-Conceptualization, and Creation-Catalyzing.

In addition, I identified twelve developmental factors that cooperate with the developmental process: dissatisfaction with unmet need, God called and confirmed, divine and human support, ongoing guidance, purification and alignment, entrepreneurial mindset, MEs unique characteristics, values, general calling and desire correspond to MI, context informs, opposition, and accommodating ministry structure. God was the primary factor of MEs’ calling and MI conceptualization and creation. When synthesized, the pattern and factors identified a ME developmental process. In application of this process, I generated a 3-phase ministry model that helps determine potential ME developmental needs and offers a support menu for MEs and their mentors.

Mentor: Ryan K. Bolger, PhD

Degree Name

Doctor of Intercultural Studies (DIS)

First Advisor

Bolger, Ryan K.

Document Type



Entrepreneurship; Missions; Protestant churches


Missions and World Christianity


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