The Qadiani Ahmadiyya, and to some extent, other offshoots, operate on the principal of divided responsibility - the Ameer being the 'President' of the country-level organization, while the missionary is the spiritual guide of the community. The country-level missionary is called the 'Missionary-in-Charge'. This chief missionary is almost always of Pakistani descent and has a proven bond of loyalty to the central leadership.

In addition to being the 'spiritual network' of the Ahmadiyya, the duties of the missionary includes proselytizing, speeches, marriage solemnization, etc.

Missionaries are paid extremely low salaries and find it hard to survive without handouts from family and friends. Foreign appointment are coveted by the Rabwah-based missionaries, which is seen as a ticket to financial success. Although missionaries are supposed to be regularly rotated between assignments, this is rarely the case if the performance is seen as good, as measured in terms of activity and financial collections. This approach results in transfers being seen by the missionaries and their flock as punishment. Missionaries based outside of Pakistan make very good money and many of them are millionaires. This is usually achieved by influence-peddling and shared investments. A missionary's business activity is usually not audited by the central organization, the unofficial view being that if he (there are no female missionaries) is good enough to succeed in business, he is a capable organizer and socially adept - two key skills required for this goal.

Missionaries must be graduates of the Jamia Ahmadiyya and must have dedicated their lives to the organization. There are lay missionaries also, who dedicate themselves part-time (Waqf Arzi) or after retirement from their secular jobs, but their role is not very significant.