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A Study of Christian Mission Through Profession

Alexander Negrow
Alexei Belov
Title: A Study of Christian Mission Through Profession as a Strategic Focus in Leadership Formation Among Young Evangelical Christians (In Kiev, Moscow, and St. Petersburg)

From 2016 to 2017, Hodos Institute, in partnership with the Graduate School of Leadership at St. Petersburg Christian University and other partners in Eurasia (countries of the former Soviet Union – FSU), conducted a study of Christian leadership in the workplace and Christian mission through one’s profession. The goal of the study was to find out what the young generation of Evangelical Christians of this region thinks and how they practice these themes in their lives. The aim of this article is to provide a brief report about our research project and offer our main conclusions and recommendations. The article is addressed to representatives of the international community who are interested in mission, leadership and Christianity in Eurasia. The article may also be interesting for individuals involved in leadership development and who also interact and partner with Evangelical communities, particularly in Russia and Ukraine.

Hodos Institute began the research project in early 2016 and moved in three directions: (1) research interviews in St. Petersburg; (2) questionnaire surveys among Evangelical youth in Kiev, Moscow, St. Petersburg and other regions; (3) analysis of questions that have been asked by students and young adults at various forums under the umbrella of the international movement, “Mission in Profession.” These forums were held in 2015-2017 in the following cities: Belgorod (Russia), Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan),Vladikavkaz (Russia), Ekaterinburg (Russia), Kiev (Ukraine), Perm (Russia), Poltava (Ukraine), St. Petersburg (Russia), Tbilisi (Georgia).

The arguments, conclusions and recommendations in this article are based on various materials. First, we conducted 24 interviews in St. Petersburg to find out how Evangelicals see and practice faith at work. Secondly, we collected data from online questionnaire surveys among Christian young adults from Kiev, Moscow, St. Petersburg and other regions. The questionnaire was completed by a total of 453 individuals. The list of questions included the open-ended question on how one understands the connection between calling and professional work. Thirdly, we analyzed questions posed by participants of the forums conducted within the strategic initiative, “Next Generation Leaders: Time of Professionals.” 2 Attendees at these events were young adults who are interested and able to integrate professional activity and Christian faith. Participants were provided the opportunity to ask questions of speakers and moderators and benefit from their responses. The organizers of these events collected and sent us these questions for analysis.

Before we report on our findings, we want to share what motivated us to conduct this research project.

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