The Mission Gap

God’s message to go and make disciples of all nations is clear. But 99.99% of Christians are not obeying.


There’s a great divide between what we as Christians are called to do and what we actually do. It’s called the Mission Gap, and it presents church and ministry leaders with a powerful opportunity.

As leaders, to create meaningful change and close the Mission Gap, we must understand Christians better.

We need to get an inside look at what they know about the Great Commission. We have to find out if they understand the purpose for their redemption. We ought to develop a sensitivity to what’s stopping them from serving God with their whole lives, and we’ve got to create a strategy for how we can inspire them to boldly push through their fears.

About the Research

The Mission Gap research began as a global initiative designed to gain a better understanding of how to effectively communicate the Great Commission with Jesus followers.

It became so much more.

The research rapidly evolved into an opportunity to get to the root of why Christians aren’t getting involved in global ministry.

The Mission Gap report effectively summarizes our research across 21 focus groups in seven countries and five languages.

Australian Research

In the Australian focus groups, we asked the question:

"As a Christian, what is your responsibility in the world?"

Responses were divided into 3 categories: what Christians 1. Know, 2. Hear and 3. Fear

1. Know

Australian Christians felt the primary role of a Christian is to help others, give back to the community and to make a difference. A general sense of human obligation, along with the role model of the Church, were concepts that most influenced the focus group participants.

2. Hear

Australian Christians need to hear messages that inspire their hearts to respond and act on the Great Commission. Among the solution statements, You Are Uniquely Shaped was received as uplifting, positive, and even hopeful; “it makes me think I can do something for the world.” 

3. Fear

Nearly half (46%) of responses received from Australians revealed a fear of sacrifice as a primary factor for their lack of engagement in the Great Commission. Other fears include – fear of failure at 33% and fear for safety at 21%.

Perceptions of mission

When asked to consider the problems in our world today, the answer that resonated most with Australian Christians was The World is Broken. A belief that widespread injustice and hurt are all too common.

As the solution statement to the problem, Australian Christians identify that we are Uniquely Shaped and are specially designed to help fulfil God’s purpose, leveraging everything He has equipped us with to spread His good news and share hope with all people.

Christ's ExampleAt Any CostUniquely Shaped
Separation from God
hurts the world
The world
is broken
So much more
is possible
Get Involved in the Research

Register your church to take part in the Mission Gap research and see how your congregation responds.

OM’s Mission Gap Project has developed DiscipleGrowth, an online survey resource that allows churches to take part in the Mission Gap research. By registering your church, you will receive:

Visit to register your church to participate in the Mission Gap research.