The Well-Prepared Local Church Mission Leader

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In the United States of America more and more churches are including intentional organized missional outreach efforts as a part of their overall ministry. As this number continues to grow it becomes increasingly important to ensure that the leaders of these missional efforts are properly equipped to lead. This project examines some of the primary competencies (theological, missiological & practical) required to ensure that local church mission leaders are well-prepared for their work whether they are laity, clergy, volunteer or staff. The thesis begins by examining a theology of mission founded on the mission of the Trinitarian God (the missio Dei) who now sends humanity out in mission following the model of the incarnation empowered by God the Holy Spirit. This chapter draws from the work of theologians and missiologists while focusing primarily on the Bible. The next chapter considers several missiological principles that are vital for the work of local church mission leaders. The thesis concludes by suggesting a number of effective practices put into use by a number of current local church mission leaders. These were discovered by interviewing ten current United Methodist local church mission leaders regarding their approach to a number of practical missional leadership concerns (getting started, strategic approaches, leadership structure, funding model and short-term experiences). The thesis offers new and existing local church mission leaders a foundation to construct healthy local church mission ministries.





Hopper, Bradley E. (2021). The Well-Prepared Local Church Mission Leader. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from


Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.