In late February, Christianity Today announced the results of the first Best Christian Places to Work survey, a landmark study commissioned by CT and administered by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute. It is the largest survey ever conducted on the attitudes of employees at Christian workplaces, with more than 8,500 respondents across a range of industries.

A panel of independent judges selected four companies in ten categories for special recognition. For two weeks CT is saluting the first place organizations in each category.

Small Missions & Parachurch Organizations

Medical Ambassadors International
Modesto, California

The headquarters of Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) knows how to do more with less. Through an innovative missions strategy that helps indigenous people learn to provide for their community's needs, MAI has a presence in 54 countries. This translates into influence in more than 670 villages in the world, using 4,000-plus volunteers who help keep MAI's annual operating budget at a modest $4 million.

How is MAI able to accomplish so much with so little? Employees at the headquarters cite one main factor: prayer. "We are so dependent on the Lord for what happens in this office, so we stop for prayer often," says Laura Nelson, director of administration. A stated core value of the organization says, "This mission moves forward on the power of God's answers to our petitions. No prayer, no results. He has commanded it."

Almost every day of the week, there is an organized time of prayer for some or all of the staff in the headquarters, and many impromptu sessions as well. "We don't just say, 'I'll pray for you,' " says Denise Locker, marketing and communications manager. "Most of the time a staff member will stop right in the moment and pray with the other person."

The emphasis on prayer creates a workplace where employees share a strong sense of commitment to the mission of the organization. In addition, MAI keeps staff members and volunteers informed of ways in which lives are being changed all over the world through their efforts. Whenever field staff return from overseas, they give a presentation at MAI headquarters on what is happening in their assigned area. "This happens almost every week, and it's powerful," says Nelson. "You can't go away from these presentations without your heart being touched at the degradation that so many are dealing with. And then you realize that you're doing something to help."

Related Elsewhere

Our 40 Best Christian Places to Work articles include:

The 40 Best Christian Places to Work | What makes them so good? (Hint: Not money)
The Complete List & A Closer Look at the Top Finalists | Christianity Today salutes four finalists in ten categories.
Inside CT: Great Places to Work | There is indeed much to praise and imitate in Christian companies.