Initially, there will be two distinct target markets for the Christian Enablers Mission Support and Facilitation business, as follows:
|Market #1||Market #2|
|Geographic||Denver Metro area||Arusha Metro area|
|Religious||Traditional Protestant and Evangelical Protestant||Protestant Christian|
|Leaders||Pastors, Lay Leaders||Pastors, Lay Leaders|
|Enablers||Individuals (Initially, may be adults, youth, families, other)||Individuals (Initially, may be adults, youth, families, other)|
The target markets will pull from existing Christian churches, because churches constitute not only a source for identifying Christian disciples; they also embrace the Christian tenants that Christian Enablers wants to uphold and promote. Furthermore, Christian churches provide a wonderful source of potential mission trip sponsors. Pastors and lay leaders may serve as leveraged resources to identify and nominate eligible Christian disciples. These leaders’ passion for international Christian service will likely surpass any other source. Their access to and knowledge of individuals who might be ready to take the next step in their walk with Christ could hardly be matched by any other source.
Even ignoring the potential to leverage Christian leader insights, churches also represent the obviously single best source for potential mission trip disciples. Church members and non-member attendees best represent the pool of individuals who will seriously consider the prospect of extending themselves beyond the comfortable shell of their already materially comfortable lives. Churches constantly challenge their members to live their lives as Christ’s disciples, taking up the call to both love their neighbors as well as living out the Great Commission.
Inasmuch as I, John, have already participated in a mission committee whose focus of service has been towards Tanzanian education, missions of mercy, and medical and health related support, I happen to have developed a passionate desire to make a positive difference in the lives of Christian disciples living in Tanzania. My professional background leads me to want to leverage my strengths towards creating entrepreneurial initiative and sustainable self-sufficiency momentum. My family visited Tanzania in 2008, which initiated a fascination with the potential for Tanzanian economic vitality and business opportunity.
Of course, brotherly Christian love can be targeted in different directions to different brothers and sisters. But like the parable of the Good Samaritan, the extension of Christian compassion and love generally will emanate from the context of opportunity and what crosses a person’s path. There is probably no other good reason to single out Tanzania as a potential source and target of Christian brotherhood and mutual discipleship, than my introduction to Tanzanian people, culture and mission accomplished through that trip and my mission committee involvement.
In the future, Denver area Christian churches may become a subset of a larger universe of Enabler participants. But for now, Denver represents the most convenient, therefore logical starting point for initiating the US market for Enabler discipleship.
Likewise, individuals who have already helped or participated in some way with Rockland Community Church’s mission efforts represent the most logical source for triggering Tanzanian involvement. Pastor Abel has served as an anchor to Rockland’s Tanzanian mission efforts. Furthermore, multiple other Tanzanian Christians have helped or enhanced these efforts. These relationships represent a natural and logical starting point for expanding relationships, especially when their interests closely align with US missioners.
As in the Denver area, pastors and lay leaders in Arusha serve as natural and potentially powerful sources of Christian mission leverage. Like their US counterparts, Arusha leaders represent a source of knowledge and insight into their parishioners’ stages of spiritual maturity. They will be able to identify and nominate participants to the Enablers’ mission.
Tanzanian Christians should also represent a most natural source of paring with US counterparts. Their spiritual journeys will be susceptible to growth and deepening, just as much as Enablers journeying from the United States.
The markets for Christian Enablers will initially consist of churches and church congregants from the Denver metro area and the Arusha metro area.
b. Population Considerations
The Denver metropolitan area appears to be made up of the following:
|How Many||Per Cent|
|Overall Population||2.8 million||100%|
|Protestant, Traditional, Evangelical|
|Other Christian||194 thousand||7%|
|Total Protestant (Traditional & Evangelical)||476 thousand||17%|
Tanzania appears to be made up of the following:
|How Many||Per Cent|
|Overall Population||57 million||100%|
|Christian (per CIA World Factbook)||17.1 million||30%|
|Christian (per 2010 Pew Research Survey)||35 million||61.4%|
|Protestant (Pew)||25 million||44%|
|Lutheran (Pew)||7.4 million||13%|
|Pentecostal (Pew)||5.7 million||10%|
|Anglican (Pew)||5.7 million||10%|
|African initiated churches (Pew)||2.9 million||5%|
|The Orthodox Church (Pew)||60 thousand||0.1%|
It’s unclear why the CIA Factbook and the Pew Research Survey show such a big discrepancy. However, nearly the entire discrepancy relates to the division between Christian and Indigenous faiths. Both approximate Tanzania’s population to include 35% Muslim. However, this discrepancy appears to make little difference, inasmuch as Tanzania represents a country that is highly religious and with a significant proportion of its population subscribing to the Christian protestant faith.
Although I was not able to distinguish Arusha religious population statistics, it is probably fair to conclude that Arusha’s protestant Christian believers roughly reflect the overall percentage of Tanzanian protestant Christians.
When we consider Tanzania as a potential mission field, it is appropriate to consider that almost the whole of Tanzania’s population subscribe to some religion. Very few represent the “un-churched” – atheists, agnostics, or simply uninterested. Therefore, rather than expecting any missionary or mission team to “convert” non-Christians to Christianity, it might be more realistic to consider mission teams partnering with Tanzanian citizens as fellow disciples rather than Christian contrasts. This also implies that mission team efforts might be most effective in strengthening the Christian experience for both foreign and domestic participants.
A search on the internet for Christian mission team organizations and facilitators indicates that there already exists a fairly large market penetration for mission team management and facilitation.
An organization that calls itself, “Short Term Missions.com” (STM) appears to represent a directory of mission organizations and opportunities. Therefore, if one wanted to “shop” for a mission trip experience, STM could direct that person to any of about 1,800 mission trips organized by any of about 114 different mission trip organizations. Behind each of the organizations’ names, a parenthesized number indicated the number of trips that were currently available from that particular organization. Of the listed organizations, 5 included mission trips to Tanzania. These organizations included;
- Lahash International, focus – vulnerable children
- Launch Out Ministries International, focus – commitment to service, passion for sharing God’s love
- LEAMIS International Ministries, focus – cooking fuels from agricultural waste, first aid workshops, literacy, teaching English
- Volunteer in South Africa, focus – Zanzibar, child care, medical, working with less privileged children, and
- Overland Missions, focus – preaching gospel amongst the neglected.
In all, STM offered their liaison to 27 mission trips to Tanzania, generally originating in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Many mission trip facilitation organizations made themselves visible on the internet through web sites spanning the elaborate to the simple. Many have been in existence for more than 20 years and have either grown significantly or continued to operate modestly. They appeared to both represent listings on STM’s web site (probably through a paid subscription) and not. Many focused only on US cities as their mission trip destinations, while others identified specific countries where they have taken mission teams.
The most impressive mission facilitation organization to me (I didn’t survey or review them all) call themselves “Adventures in Missions”. They headquarter out of Georgia, are run by their founder and executive director, Seth Barnes, boast an impressive staff and numerous mission trip programs, and make their audited financial statements clearly available on their web site. They, like most other organizations, espouse strong Christian principles, mission purpose, vision and inspiration. They address multiple age groups and variations to mission trip focus. They call their biggest mission trip adventure World Race Program. Their revenues approximate $22 million per year. Their balance sheet appears strong, with assets totaling $23 million while their net worth stands at $17 million.
Adventures in Missions sends mission teams to various parts of the United States, as well as countries all over the world. Their African presence lies mostly in and around South Africa, although they also list Ethiopia, Ghana, and a couple mid-western and northwestern African countries. They appear to have not sent any mission teams to Tanzania, yet.
Hope International appears to have achieved a significant level of recurring service. Their missions tend to focus on micro lending and operation of savings and loan associations.
“Experience Mission” appears to have also established its presence fairly well. It maintains three overriding focuses, namely;
- “Empowering Communities” to help people develop and work toward their specific community vision,
- “Developing Leaders” through mission trips, immersion programs and cross-cultural internships, and
- “Mobilizing Volunteers” to serve others on mission trips, bringing the hope of Christ through action, while developing into servant leaders of tomorrow.
Experience Mission’s guiding values include;
- Human Dignity,
- Integrity, and
Chris Clum, EM’s founder and executive director, began this mission in 2003. It appears as though he has developed an impressive staff of about 24 besides himself, and has sponsored trips within the US, Latin America/Caribbean, and a couple countries in Africa (not Tanzania). The organization’s principles appear to be well thought out, inherently Christian in focus, and appealing to Christians of various denominational faiths.