Critical Factors That Ignite a Missions Movement

Publication Date



The need to mobilize missionaries into the mission field and proclaim Christ is more crucial today than in any other time in history. Small sparks of revival or renewal occur daily, but many of these never ignite a movement. The question my research aims to answer is: what are the critical factors seen across various missional movements that ignite a movement and how can these factors be applied in today’s mission field?

I researched movement theories and crafted a Movement Rubric that groups movement characteristics into four categories: Human Agent, Ideology, Organization, and Strategy. Through the lens of this Movement Rubric, I conducted document reviews on select historical and contemporary missions movements, as well as semi-structured interviews with leaders of missions organizations across the country. I also conducted a document review on military special operations. Through the research, I identified critical factors that exist in each movement.

To learn how these factors could be applied in today’s mission field, I compared them to the current practices within SOF Missions, a non-profit missions organization that I founded in 2011. I developed change initiatives around several critical factors that were currently not in place within the organization. The goal for these initiatives was for SOF Missions to ignite a movement. This research offers missions minded people, churches, and organizations an opportunity to implement critical factors in their cultural context in an effort to ignite a missions movement.

Ryan Bolger, Ph.D.

Degree Name

Doctor of Intercultural Studies (DIS)

First Advisor

Bolger, Ryan K.

Document Type



Missions; Missionaries; Appointment, call, and election


Missions and World Christianity


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