Using Mission Information to Transform Nations...Together!

OC Research is a department of One Challenge (OC International).
This site showcases some of the best research of OC workers and offers information, training, and resources for all mission information workers. This site features:

  • A blog about Mission Information work - scroll down this page for recent posts
  • Research Mentoring - Information about SearchLight, Breakthrough and Internships
  • Research FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions about OC's research ministries
  • Research Wiki - practical "how to" information about missionary field research
  • Resources - reports, case studies, training resources, and useful research websites.

For more information about the innovative, world-wide ministries of One Challenge, visit!

Understanding the Remaining Mission Task

What is the remaining mission task? Rebecca Lewis, daughter of Ralph Winter, released a video that describes the remaining mission task in just six minutes. Click here to see this amazing video.
A member of the Global Research Team worked for nearly a year to compile the data supporting the graphs in this video. An article in the International Journal of Foreign Mission, "Clarifying the Remaining Task," explains the new pie chart in detail and provides all the data. Click here to read the IJFM article.
Lewis' statement, "Out of 30 missionaries sent, roughly ONE goes to the unreached and frontier people groups," challenges us to consider our deployment of mission workers and to pray fervently that "the Lord of the Harvest to send out laborers into His harvest field" (Luke 10:2).

Understanding the Times, Knowing What to Do

“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the others find themselves equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” -- Eric Hoffer

We live in a rapidly changing world where North American mission organizations, like One Challenge, face significant issues as we look to the future. Realizing that change impacts the effectiveness of mission work as we know it, OC leadership invited the Global Research Team to facilitate a two-day Futures Think Tank. Here are several significant highlights from the Futures Think Tank and some of the tools you can use to understand our changing world.

Understanding the Times and Trends

How exactly can a mission organization prepare for the future? A key biblical passage that provided a blueprint for the Futures Think Tank is 1 Chronicles 12:23-40, which describes how all the tribes of Israel came together with a “whole heart” and “single mind to make David King” (v. 38 ESV) “according to the word of the Lord” (v. 23 ESV). In the middle of a list describing each tribe, a significant comment is made about the leaders of the tribe of Issachar who, “understood the times and knew what Israel should do” (v. 32). These two characteristics set them apart from the others. Following their example, we must strive to understand the times and know what to do. Read on to learn how this is done.


Helpful Resources for Developing a Prophetic Message from Research Information

While producing a short instructional video for workers in Asia, it seemed that it would be useful to provide links to resources that have been proven most helpful in developing a “prophetic message” from research information. A “prophetic message” is also known as the national challenge or call to action. Click here to view the video.

These resources are at the top of the list:

  1. DAWN 2000, by Jim Montgomery
  2. The DAWN Research Handbook by Roy Wingerd
  3. The Church Growth Survey Handbook by Bob Waymire and C. Peter Wagner.
  4. The Omega Course by the Alliance for Saturation Church Planting


Research Courses Available on the OC Learning Center

The OC Learning Center strives to produce effective and relevant training so that harvesters are fully prepared and equipped for every good work that the Lord has prepared. Several of these free online courses are about research. Although the heading says "Finding Your Way with OC Research" much of the training is broadly applicable, such as "The Biblical Basis for Research" or "Spiritual Warfare" found in Level One or "An Overview of the Research Process" in Level Two.

You can review all ten of our course offerings at If you want to take a course, register as our guest. One of our instructors will accompany you as learn.

Looking for some training that you are not finding? Send us an email, and we will try to connect you with the training you desire. Also consider the research mentoring services we provide.


Insights from a Veteran Mission Information Worker

A guest post by Jeanie Curryer, formerly Director of OC Research

I am writing this one week before I retire after 45 years of involvement in missions, over 30 of which were focused primarily on research. Before becoming a researcher, I was an English teacher at Faith Academy outside of Manila, not the most likely background for an information worker. Nevertheless, in 1985 at the prompting of the president of my mission, I was assigned to a new ministry in research. After a few weeks of training in church growth research at our headquarters, I returned to Manila and found myself suddenly involved in a survey focused on locating every church in Metro Manila, which at that time was comprised of four cities and 13 municipalities with a total population over eight million.

The Disciple A Whole Nation (DAWN) saturation church planting movement was underway, and many denominations were heavily engaged in starting new churches in support of the goal of seeing a church in every barangay (village or neighborhood) or a total of 50,000 churches in the Philippines by the year 2000. My agency was fully involved in supporting this movement, but two pressing questions nagged at us. How can the Philippine Church monitor the progress they’re making toward this goal if we don’t know which barangays do and don't have churches? And, how do we go about answering this question? The 1985 Metro Manila Church Survey was our first attempt to address this dilemma.

Mission, Research and Applied Scholarship

In May, several from the Global Research Team visited Africa International University, a Christian college in Nairobi, Kenya. In the stacks of the library there are tall blue books on nearly every shelf. These are bound dissertations by Africans documenting ministry challenges faced in Kenya and beyond. There is so much we can learn from one another!

Several mission training academic institutions from around the world have launched a new initiative called the MRAS (Mission Research and Applied Scholarship). It aims to engage institutions of higher learning involved in mission studies to catalog their research so that students who work for advanced degrees can focus on topics of greatest need to the global church's mission enterprise.

MRAS has the potential to create energy and shared commitment between the academy and applied researchers. It could encourage Christian students to ask questions that field workers actually face. It could put what gets shelved in libraries to effective use in the field.


7 Key Insights that Advance Nationwide Disciple Making Processes

Not all saturation church planting or disciple making processes produce equal fruit. What makes the difference? If we have limited resources, which emphases are most fruitful?

These are some of the questions posed at the beginning of the 2017 National Church Planting Processes Survey. This first-of-its-kind study aimed at assessing the effectiveness of whole-nation disciple making process, sometimes referred to as Saturation Church Planting (SCP) or DAWN Initiatives. Seven significant insights emerged from the analysis of participant responses, insights, which when acted upon, can guide the development of effective nationwide disciple making processes.

Here are the seven insights:

  1. The “ideal” DAWN strategy is effective.
  2. National Church Leadership is the most significant factor for developing a whole nation church planting process.
  3. “Seminars and Consultations” is the second most significant factor contributing to an effective nationwide disciple making process.
  4. Relationships are foundational to a fruitful national process.
  5. Continually refine the process.
  6. Think critically about it is going to take to disciple the whole nation.
  7. Success requires a long obedience in the same direction.

A more thorough explanation of these seven insights is available here, including practical applications of how this research guides the development whole-nation disciple making processes as we move toward AD 2050. Other articles related to NCPP research are available here.

Gathering Together to Propel the Kingdom Forward through Research

One hundred people from 23 countries convened in Nairobi, Kenya for the 8th Lausanne International Researchers’ Conference (LIRC8) from April 30 to May 4. The Lausanne Movement’s Church Research Track, The Movement of African National Initiatives (MANI), The World Evangelical Alliance’s Community of Mission Information Workers, and the Global Research Team of One Challenge partnered together in organizing the conference.

Dr. Peter Brierley, keynote speaker and initiator of the conference in 1986, said: “(This conference) was easily the best we have had thus far, both in terms of numbers, the number of countries represented, and the wonderfully efficient organization that surrounded it.”

Research that Guides Kingdom Impact

One thing that makes One Challenge's ministry of research unique is that it holds an integral and explicit part in our stated organizational strategy: “Using Research, Motivation and Training we Mobilize the Christian leaders to reach their nations and beyond.”

So, why is research found right there at the beginning of our strategy?

Perhaps Proverbs 18:15 can help clear this up: “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.” As we seek to wisely discern God’s will for our work and ministry, we recognize that we need to seek out knowledge. The process of seeking out knowledge is what we call “research.”

Research helps our ministries in several ways:

  • Research leads to good ministry strategies. Answers to questions like what is God doing and wanting to do in a certain context, where are the needs, what ministry methods are being used by God to meet those needs most effectively, what needs are not being met, and how can the wider body of Christ better cooperate to bring the transforming power of the Gospel to their nations will lead to key strategies for One Challenge and others as we seek to carry out our Lord’s Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)
  • Research leads to greater effectiveness in our work and ministries. As we use Research to evaluate our progress in carrying out the strategies the Lord has led us to, we learn how to do it better in the future. Our research should always point us forward as we learn from the past and present.
  • Research motivates and challenges the church. As we research the church in its context, we have information that, when shared with Godly people in those countries and contexts, will motivate and challenge them in their work for the Lord. It is our experience that as good research clarifies the situation, God moves in people’s hearts to do His will.
  • Research leads to focused intercession. God wants us to pray that His Kingdom would come on Earth. Clearly seeing the needs motivates the body of Christ to call out to God to meet those needs. Movements of intercession for the nations are built on good information that is gathered through research.


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