What Makes OC Global Church Research Unique?

Since its inception, OC has taken a servant and learner posture when it enters a new country, region, or city. OC research facilitates this learner’s attitude because, before any ministry is done, research is conducted to understand what the church in that area needs, what the leadership desires, and how OC can help realize the goals that the established church expresses.

Larry Kraft, Director of OC's Global Research team says: “We don’t go into a situation and say ‘this is what you need to know.’ We go in and ask a national pastor or church leader what decisions they are facing. We talk through with them what they need to know in order to make the wisest decision. Then we help to figure out how to get that information, look at it, and come to appropriate conclusions, as opposed to coming in with a canned product.”

This process actually makes it quite hard to communicate simply what OC does as ministry, because what we do varies per country, per situation. “If I explain to inquirers that we don’t start specific initiatives until we investigate local or national needs, people can more easily understand why questions about ‘what we do’ don’t get a standard answer,” says Larry.

One paradigm which helps explain OC’s style of research is DIKW: Data,Information, Knowledge, Wisdom. Although OC workers attempt to gain all of these elements, we primarily concern ourselves with attaining “wisdom.” That means that we take data, organize it into information, which yields knowledge that can help us determine the best course of action for the future. “Our goal is to always ask the questions, ‘What strategy decision needs to be made, and what do we need to know in order to best make that decision?’” Larry says.