An Amazing Story of How Research Guided the Church in Brazil

In the late 1990's, we began to publish analyses of the status of the church in Brazil on the Internet and this seemed quite useful to the church at large. In one case, it was not until about 10 years later that we found out how the Lord had used some of this information. Here's the story:

In 2007, I met a Brazilian couple who had been studying theology in London and were preparing to return home to Brazil to serve the Lord there. They, like my wife and I, had experienced all kinds of cultural challenges when they moved to the UK, and we had a pleasant conversation about what we loved and missed about Brazil. We also learned about a moment when our experiences intersected there. Here is what they shared:

Research LINK Relaunched

The current issue of Research LINK. highlights two thought provoking resources from Africa that provide insight for training Christian leaders. The first was produced by members of our own South Africa Resource Team. The second highlights 17 insights into African Leadership. Even if you do not serve in Africa, the insights offered in the report will motivate you to critically reflect on ministry in your own context. Subscribe to the Research LINK mailing list here.

Done Research?

Have you done a mission research project that you would like to share with others? Your work may inspire and guide others to discover insights for a more fruitful ministry. So we’d love to add your work to the secure Research Archive, which only those who have an account at can access, or perhaps include it in the public Research Wiki or even share about your work on this research blog page. Start the process for sharing your mission research by contacting the Global Research Team at

17 Insights into African Leadership

The Africa Leadership Study asked over 8,000 African Christians to identify lay leaders, pastors and organizations demonstrating a high level of positive impact. Respondents were also asked to identify key components of mature, impactful leadership. The report of the study is entitled 17 Insights into Leadership in Africa.

In the middle of the 17 insights is a cluster of five key areas for developing the impact and influence of African leaders. Consider how these insights apply to your ministry:

Insight #6 African Christian leaders minister within multi ethnic and cross cultural settings where intercultural skills, competencies and commitments are crucial to success.

Insight #7 African Christian leaders are increasingly part of a digital world, although some have limited access. Ability to effectively use digital media such as internet, e-mail and social media to communicate with and train those served is becoming ever more important.

A Cry for Intimacy: Insight for Training Christian Leaders

What are the training needs of South Africa’s Christian leadership? The need for training Church leaders in South Africa has been apparent for many years, but an accurate and comprehensive picture of the needs facing Christian leaders across South Africa has previously never been adequately researched… until now!

A Cry for Intimacy documents the responses from 800 South African pastoral leaders. OC workers in South Africa helped facilitate this extensive research project conducted by TOPIC (Trainers of Pastors International Coalition) Southern Africa involves ten years of scientifically verifiable research. Authors Willie Botha, David Bulger and Karl Teichert provide vital information for the future of the church in South Africa. It answers a number of key questions, including what gaps exist and what urgent needs face Christian leaders in various locations, denominations and cultural segments. It lays a critical foundation for addressing these needs and provides stimulus for further research.

The surprising discovery of the research was that the greatest felt need of South African Church leaders was intimacy with God. This was mentioned twice as often as the next felt need.

Need a helpful book on Research? Check it out from the OC Research Library

OC has 31 research-related books available for loan. If you would like to borrow a book, send us a message so we can send it your way. Here are the available books:

    Breakthrough! Stan Nussbaum
    Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Robert K. Yin.
    Community, Culture and Processes. Willaim B. Gudyknust et. al. eds.
    Contemporary Christian Communications: Its Theory and Practice. James F. Engel
    Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values. Geert Hofsted.

Click the "Read more" link to view the entire list of books available.

New Online Research Training at the OC Learning Center

Level 2.0 of our online research training is now available at the OC Learning Center.

    Module 2.1 focuses on the purposes of mission research
    Module 2.2 provides a overview of a ten step process used in mission research

Modules under development will provide indepth training related to each step of the research process.

Also check out our research wiki for other resources related to research training.


Highlights from the 2016 OC Researchers' Consultation

One Challenge workers seek to serve the global body of Christ by gaining knowledge through research. To better accomplish this, 33 workers gathered together recently for the One Challenge Research Consultation in SE Asia. The event takes place every five years to help researchers, leaders, and mission workers within the OC Global Alliance learn how to systematically ask good questions and manage information to make wiser ministry decisions. The first Research Consultation took place in 1984.

A Unique Consultation
The gathering brought together 16 women and 17 men, ages 22 to 72. While most participants serve with the U.S. Mobilization Center, workers also came from three other OC mobilization centers: Canada, India, and Brazil.

An Ambitious Agenda
Under the theme, “Asking How God is at Work,” the five days were filled with information, interaction, and inspiration. The focus of the first day,"Building on the Past," began with a review of OC’s rich history of mission research. Day two focused on how Quantitative Research or numbers can help us discern how God is at work. The third day focused on Qualitative Research or recording and analyzing people's stories. Each day featured a demonstration of various tools used for collecting data, coding, and analysis. Collaborative discussions punctuated the entire week. The week ended with a challenge to prayerfully envision the future of OC research in our virtual, cloud-sharing world.

Easy Access to Consultation Documents
Those with an account for this website can use their user name and password to log on and view many of the conference documents, These are found in the "OC Research Archive" in the "2016 Research Consultation" folder. If you are not yet have an account, you can request one by clicking the link "create a new account" in the upper right hand corner of this page.

Infographic Features Global Research Team

This infographic features the work the Global Research Team of One Challenge.

Three Eras of OC Research

In September 2016, 33 OC workers met in Asia for a Global Research Consultation. Upon reviewing the 50+ years of OC’s work in mission research, we realized that we are in a third and new era of OC research. This article will provide an overview of the three eras of OC research and highlight what we envision for the next five years.



Subscribe to OC Research RSS