Would Anyone Know How Many Missions Outreach Staff Exist Today?

Suppose a national Christian magazine were also to ask for the number of missions pastors in the USA (including full-time, part-time pastors or missions directors). What would be your best guess — and do you know of any sources? Are there directories for lists like this? (This is a major Christian magazine asking.) If you have any ideas, please click “Comment” after the web version of this item. Thanks.

5 Responses to Would Anyone Know How Many Missions Outreach Staff Exist Today?
  1. Bruce Huseby Reply

    My best guess would be less than 300 full time missions pastors, maybe another 400 part time.
    Missio Nexus would be the best source in the evangelical community. We used to have an organization called, the National Association of Missions Pastors which is now defunct. It would take research but many areas have fellowships for these roles. In Grand Rapids, MI it is called MP3. Missions Pastors, Professionals and Practitioners.

  2. Ted Esler Reply

    I discuss this question in the May 29th Mission Nexus podcast episode. I would guess the number is 600 to 700. That number is, I believe, very conservative.

    Why? Church size. 1,650 churches with more than 2,000 attendees. A good number of these will have a missions pastor. On top of that, we know that some churches under that threshold also have missions pastors.

    I personally write a monthly email just to mission pastors. I have about 120 of them on my list. If any mission pastor wants to receive this monthly email they can write me a short note and I will add them to the list.

    By the way, I prefer the term “Church Mission Leader” (CML) because many of these positions are held by women but their churches do not call them “pastors.”

    • Ryan Skinner Reply

      Hi Ted,

      I’d love to receive your monthly email to missions pastors. I serve as a missions pastor in an international church in Panama City, Panama.



    • Brent Earwicker Reply

      I’d also love to receive your newsletter. I’m a missionary to Uganda, but work in mobilization there and work closely with the mission department of my sending church. Thanks!

  3. Kim Sollie Reply

    There are considerably less than there use to be in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. I was a Mission Director for 12 years and during that time it seemed like every few months one of my peers was facing a reorganization that involved the cutting of the mission pastor/director role, myself included. There has been an interesting shift towards building more vibrant, effective local outreach.

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